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MARCH 2017

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PRINCE GEORGE Upgrades Scheduled for Prince George

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Dam Good Reason for BC Hydro’s Success

Has Acquired Busy

Brad Bennett continues powerful legacy of grandfather W.A.C. and father Bill with Site C project

Bee Signs & Graphics

BY MARK MACDONALD

DAWSON CREEK Local businessman

BUSINESS EXAMINER

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INDEX High Road Services Society

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Prince George

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Movers and Shakers 14 Opinion

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Quesnel

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OUR 7TH YEAR

s Chair of BC Hydro, it is Brad Bennett’s task to ensure the crown corporation continues to generate power for the province. It’s somewh at f itt i ng t h at Bennett was chosen to lead BC Hydro a year and a half ago, after three years on its Board of Directors, preparing it for the future by upgrading facilities that are now 50 years old. It was his grandfather, W.A.C. Bennett, who formed the BC Hydro and Power Authority in 1962, and laid the groundwork by building major dams throughout the province during his 20 years as Premier. Brad’s father, Bill Bennett, also built d a m s du r i n g h i s d e c a d e a s a Social Credit Premier. T he Kelowna-based Bennett clan, one of the most powerful political families in the province, has been at this, literally, for generations.

W.A.C. Bennett, who led the Social Credit government for 20 years, moved to have the province take over B.C. Electric in 1961, combined that with the B.C. Power Authority and created the BC Hydro and Power Authority. “It started development plans for BC Hydro to open up the province with major infrastructure to prepare B.C. for economic growth,” Brad Bennett notes. “It was all about opening up the province’s vast potential. “As part of creating BC Hydro, he negotiated the Columbia River Treaty with the United States to develop dams and flood controls on both sides of the border,” he adds. “They developed the Two Rivers policy, which was a plan to access and build major hydroelectric projects on the Peace and Columbia River systems, which was the most ambitious hydroelectric program in the world at that time.” SEE BRAD BENNETT | PAGE 3

BC Hydro Chair Brad Bennett is preparing the corporation to meet future needs

Prince Rupert Waterfront & Downtown Designs Plans Unveiled Canadian Publications Mail Acct.: 40069240

Map Documents 10 Major Design Concepts For Potential City Enhancements

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RINCE RUPERT - A massive (17’) long map detailing the potential of major public spaces in Prince Rupert has been released. The map is the final product of the City’s public engagement efforts initiated in late November in association w ith the Planning Partnership. T he map h ighlights 10 major design concepts that will help enliven Prince

Rupert’s public spaces in the future – including Seal Cove, the waterfront area and the city’s downtown core. “Taking the time to plan ahead for our waterfront and downtown is a step towards securing future funding opportunities. It’s also intended to inspire developers, community groups, and residents about available and attractive areas for potential

investment and development,” explained Mayor Lee Brain. Some of the map’s highlights include the development of a ‘waterfront village’ and park space at Seal Cove, a ‘festival square’ in front of and adjacent to City Hall, improved pedestrian access and view corridors between dow ntow n a nd the waterfront, and the creation of a new waterfront landing in the

Kwinitsa area – including a potential new airport ferry dock. Over its four-day intensive process to create the designs the four-person design team, led by the Planning Partnership, held over 20 meetings, including three public presentations. “It was an honour and a privilege to work in Prince Rupert. SEE PRINCE RUPERT | PAGE 5


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MARCH 2017

Multi-Tiered Program Has Operated For More Than A Decade High Road Services Society Has Helped To Empower The Disadvantaged BY DAVID HOLMES

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M I T H E R S – B u i lt on a foundation of dignity, caring and on recognizing that every member of society has the capacity to make a contribution, the High Road Services Society (HRSS) was created with the goal of working to improve the quality of life for the persons it serves. “In 2006 a number of local families containing adults with developmental disabilities decided that they wanted more say in their communities in terms of the services to be provided for them. At that time they approached me, I was a private contractor providing some of those services, and they asked me to help put together an organization that would allow them to have discussions on how the services are to be given and to provide some oversight,” explained Dana Gorbahn, HRSS’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The results of this effort was the creation of the High Road Services Society, a non-profit organization that was then contracted to provide a variety of self help programs designed to assist adults with disabilities in Smithers and in nearby Houston. Today the programs

“We’re living in a community that is accepting of people regardless of their individual abilities.” DANA GORBAHN CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HIGH ROAD SERVICES SOCIETY

administered by the HRSS include an Adult Residential Program, a Semi Independent Living Program, a Self Help Skills Program, a Supported Employment Program as well as operating the IKitchen, a culinary business venture that produces meals for groups and individuals. All of the Society’s ongoing efforts are geared toward fostering skills, independence and confidence among its clients. “We’re here to help develop interpersonal skills and activities that provide an environment for inclusion into society. We also provide a supported employment where we work to develop those skills that will allow the individuals to work in the community with competitive wages, meaning at least minimum wage,” Gorbahn said.

The IKitchen crew is busy learning transferable skills, earning a living and helping to build self confidence The bulk of the energy of the High Road Services Society is focused on locating housing and in developing employment opportunities for its clients. An example of a successful employment opportunity is the Society‘s IKitchen Program, which is centered around a commercial grade kitchen that has been set up to provide culinary employment for disabled adults. The kitchen produces fresh and frozen home style meals that are prepared for

customers throughout the region. “As they are getting paid to work in the kitchen the clients are developing skills and employment opportunities so that eventually they’ll be able to move on to work in other restaurants, or to just have the ability to be able to do those sorts of things in their own homes, without needing to have a support worker available to help them,” he said. For the future Gorbahn expects to see a continuing need for the

services of the Society, but is grateful for the level of caring and understanding he has witnessed in the community. “I’m still a big believer in the work of the Society. We’re living in a community that is accepting of people regardless of their individual abilities. We’re helping these people live the dreams that they have,” he said. To learn more please visit the Society’s website at: www.highroadservices.ca

Upgrades Scheduled For Prince George International Airport Improvements To Enhance Efficiency For Anticipated Future Growth

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RINCE GEORGE - The Prince George International Airport will soon undertake renovations and operational upgrades valued at $683,886 to increase efficiencies and enable future growth for daily flights and new airlines thanks in part to the support of funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT). In 2016, Northern Development’s board of directors approved $368,418 in funding for the projects through its Economic Diversification Infrastructure Program. The program specifically targets projects that significantly strengthen the local economy, that drive revenue and job creation through a major capital investment and provide a long-term asset for the community. “The additional capacity afforded to the Prince George Airport through these operational upgrades will impact the entire region. Every dollar committed to these projects is a commitment to building a stronger north. A more efficient airport, with increased opportunities for visitor attraction and investment attraction, will benefit the region for years to come,” explained Evan Saugstad the NDIT’s Board Chair. $250,000 of these funds had been awarded to support terminal

“Every dollar committed to these projects is a commitment to building a stronger north.” EVAN SAUGSTAD BOARD CHAIRMAN, NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE TRUST

renovations valued at $514,717. The Prince George Airport is currently over capacity for office space, where it is difficult for existing partner airlines to find the required room for operational or production efficiencies. Renovating the terminal to maximize the use of existing space and adding some additional capacity will enable the Prince George Airport Authority to entertain opportunities with new potential flight partners. “We are extremely thankful NDIT continues to believe in us and what we do for the region’s economy. Without the funds we couldn’t carry out these projects. We look forward to providing continuous improvement for our passengers and airline partners with the welcome help of the NDIT,” stated John Gibson, the President

A number of updates are planned for the Prince George International Airport to help improve efficiency and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Prince George Airport Authority. The hold room for passengers waiting to board flights is at capacity during peak flight hours as the space accommodates four carriers with two gates, creating congestion leading to flight delays. Additionally, one of the gates creates a vacuum from the wind when it is open, causing safety concerns as the doors can swing back abruptly. The project will see a renovated gate vestibule with an increased size with improved accessibility, better position and addition of sliding doors which will eliminate the need to construct a third gate. The Prince George Airport also struggles with finding space to display flight information. Thanks

to this project, digital signage will replace the existing manual signs in the hold room, allowing up to date information to be displayed for passengers. An additional $118,418 for a $169,168 project was approved to improve the process of fuel sale management. Currently, airport staff account for fuel inventory and sale manually, resulting in significant staff time and risk of error. Automating this process will help ensure that a reasonably priced fuel supply is available to service cargo and passenger aircrafts and frees up staff time to help with fuel business development which is forecasted by the Prince George Airport Authority to increase in 2017. To learn more please visit the airport’s website at: www.pgairport.ca

Funding from the Northern Development Initiative Trust will help enhance interior spaces at the airport


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MARCH 2017

BRAD BENNETT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Having grown up in a political family and being intricately aware of all that it entails, Bennett believes in public service. He also served as Chair of the University of British Columbia from 2004-2010, and was instrumental in helping UBC build the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus, which has continued to expand. Bennett thinks about the irony of his current position in light of his heritage. “ T h at c ome s to my m i nd often,” he muses. “I’m proud of that legacy, and proud of my Dad’s time as Premier. “I consider the job as Chair of BC Hydro a huge responsibility, and I consider it my public service,” he adds. “I certainly don’t do it for the money.” As far as politics is concerned, he notes: “I help in the background and make sure we get good government.” The two largest current projects are Site C, the third dam on the Peace River, and the upgrading of the John Hart Dam project in Campbell River. “It is important to recognize that we need to maintain our assets, and some of our major generating assets are approaching 50 years of age. The Oroville dam situation in California demonstrates the importance of being ahead of the curve,”

The vast majority of people understand the relevance of developing Site C. We need to get in front of the curve, and we need to manage the future. I would not want to be in the position like they’re in, in Oroville, and have people ask: ‘How did we get into such a difficult position? Why didn’t you do something?’

he says, pointing to the potentially calamitous situation of a dam spillway that has been stressed to its limits handling f loodwaters, potentially endangering thousands of people. T he $1.1 bi l l ion Joh n H a r t Da m project u nderway nea r Campbell River is a prime example of that. Originally built in 1947, the dam is located on an identified seismic zone and needed to be brought up to current seismic codes. “This project is also on budget and on schedule,” he says. “It’s the second largest capital project we’ve undertaken, next to Site C.” BC Hydro is a year and a half through the eight years it will take to build the Site C dam. “We’l l never please everyone on ever y project developed in this province,” he says. “Everyone knows that. We can’t wait to get every last person to agree, just because they don’t want it.” Bennett says BC Hydro has let over 50 per cent of the total contract value of the Site C dam project, and it is moving along as scheduled. “The vast majority of people understand the relevance of developing Site C. We need to get in front of the curve, and we ne e d to m a n a ge t he f uture. I would not want to be in the position like they’re in, in Oroville, and have people ask: ‘How did we get into such

a difficult position? Why didn’t you do something?’” Bennett states that power dema nd in B.C. is projected to increase by 40 per cent in the next 20 years, due to a combination of a projected two million more residents in the next 25 years, and the accompanying demands of industry. “We need to plan for those increases, and we need to plan for people using more electricity,” he adds. “We need to get in front of the demand.” He notes that 98 per cent of BC Hydro’s power is considered “clea n” energ y, t he bu l k of which comes from dam-based hydroelectric power, although solar, wind, run of river and bio-mass power has been added into the grid. “Other jurisdictions in Canada don’t have it so good,” Bennett adds. Alberta, for example, is targeting to have 30 per cent of its power deemed clean by the year 2030. “We’re already at 98 per cent.” W hile BC Hydro has introduced alternative energy supplies into its grid, hydroelectric power remains the mainstay, and the most economic, helping keep rates down for businesses and individual customers. “The lowest nominal cost is hydro-generated power, and it’s the most reliable,” he explains. “Water reservoirs are our ‘batteries’, and they are

there when we need them. Not like the wind and sun.” “We have a blend of assets in our program. We couldn’t rely on intermittent power to meet the needs of our customers,” he states, adding that currently, 25 per cent of the province’s power is provided through Independent Power Producers, w i t h t h e re s t t h ro u g h d i rect hydroelectric generating stations. “Without adding Site C, we can’t add any more IPPs to our system or it becomes unbalanced and affects the rates we need to charge,” he says. Over the past five years, BC Hydro has invested $6.5 Billion in over 560 capital projects of different sizes and types. “ We brou g ht i n a l l of t h i s project work in under budget. I think that’s proof positive that BC Hydro is very good at what it does. O u r reputat ion h a s been built on building an affordable, safe system for B.C.,” Bennett says. “It’s i mporta nt to say that Hydro touches all corners of the province, and we provide 95 per cent of the power to over four million people. BC Hydro is one of B.C.’s most respected companies for what it has done, and what it continues to do,” Bennett continues. “The same needs we had at BC Hydro in the 1960’s and 1970’s addressed by my grandfather and father are the same as we face today.”

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MARCH 2017

PRIVATE SECTOR-POST SECONDARY COLLABORATION YIELDS PROFITABLE PARTNERSHIPS

PRINCE GEORGE CHRISTIE RAY

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rom advocacy to networking to group insurance, our Chamber team works to provide opportunities for local businesses to grow and prosper. But recently, we began something new! Together with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) and the College of New Caledonia (CNC), we hosted the “Collaborations…Connecting Business to Campus” launch event. The luncheon brought together ou r mem b ers, a s wel l a s representatives from Prince George’s university and college. U NBC and CNC shared stories of successful collaborations between post-secondary and the business community. Fo r e x a m p l e , S m i t h e r s

These kinds of partnerships help local businesses tap into the expertise of post-secondary institutions. Companies collaborate with the best and brightest minds, and many end up hiring the students involved

engineering firm Wildernest Systems Inc. partnered with CNC’s School of T rades a nd Technology. Together, they developed a brand-new new modular building system. Quickly and easily, it can be used to set up temporary structures in remote work camps. With f u nd i ng a nd suppor t from two federal agencies, the team successfully designed and tested a first-generation prototype.  They continue to work together to bri ng the bu i lding system to market. And at UNBC, students developed intuitive software that encourages the public to participate in finding solutions to social problems. Dr. Alex Aravind’s research te a m pa r t nere d w it h G oldstream Publishing Inc. to develop software to track moose populations in Northern British Columbia. Together, they created the “My Moose” app and by doing so, are providing important data for biologists. These kinds of partnerships help local businesses tap into the expertise of post-secondary institutions. Companies collaborate with the best and br ig htest m i nd s, a nd m a ny end up h i r i n g t he s t u d ent s involved. Collaborations can transfer innovation from the

academic world, into local economic success! Students also gain hands-on experience and make connections in their field of study; it’s truly a win-win. Our launch event wrapped up with networking, so our members could meet the professionals from CNC and UNBC. Our local post-secondary institutions are truly top-notch; it was so exciting to see them reach

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out to our members! We can’t wait to see what partnerships stem from this initiative. We intend to keep the momentum going, and encourage future collaborations. Christie Ray is the CEO of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at christie.ray@ pgchamber.bc.ca.

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OFF THE COVER

MARCH 2017

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A massive 17’ map has been created to outline 10 potential upgrades envisioned for the City of Prince Rupert

“Taking the time to plan ahead for our waterfront and downtown is a step towards securing future funding opportunities.”

PRINCE RUPERT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

We were in awe of the majestic landscape that surrounds Prince Rupert and the breathtaking views, and are excited about the opportunities to reconnect downtown to the waterfront and to your stunning context,” stated Donna Hinde, lead architect at the Planning Partnership. “We loved working with the community - full of passionate people with fantastic ideas and deep roots in Prince Rupert. We have no doubt that everyone in Prince Rupert will soon be doing their part to help bring the vision to life. This project was truly a highlight of our careers.” Hinde is a landscape architect with many years experience working with multidisciplinary teams for waterfront master pla ns, dow ntow n pla ns, community plans and campus

LEE BRAIN MAYOR, CITY OF PRINCE RUPERT

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain has been a supporter of the planning effort to revitalize the downtown master plans. As an architect she is well known in her profession for her skills in designing and facilitating complex community engagement strategies and has facilitated hundreds of

This is an architectural rendering of the proposed new ferry dock which is one of 10 design concepts public consultation programs in the past. The map, which represents a long term vision for the city’s downtown and waterfront renewal, is an effort that will take time and financing to achieve. However the city already has a few initiatives underway that

are captured in the designs. For example the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement Society is currently working on the red evelopm ent of R u s h bro ok Trail; there will be significant paving improvements carried out along 3rd and 2nd Avenues in 2017; the public breakwater at

Cow Bay is looking at diversifying potential public uses; and, an area adjacent to the slough in Seal Cove has been cleared to explore the possibility of a park development. To learn more please visit the city’s website at: www.princerupert.ca

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MARCH 2017

Rapid Gantry Custom Signs: Creates Signs & So Much More Firm Makes Extensive Use Of The Latest In CNC Production Techniques

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RINCE RUPERT – When you’re creative, inventive and enjoy making things from scratch what should you do for a living? If you’re Jason Hakki, the fou nder of Rapid Gantry Custom Signs, you open a sign shop. “The whole business came into being when I started building CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machines - sort of as a hobby. These were things like computer controlled routers used for cutting objects,” he explained. “I had built this large format (5’ x 10’) CNC machine in my garage, my friend and I built it as a kind of hobby project. We were always into making things, so we built a little desktop one powered by a drill motor and worked our way up to the large format machine.” In 2013, making use of the skills learned to create the computerized cutting systems (ideal for producing multiple copies of the same item) Rapid Gantry came into being. Today this award winning firm (Rapid Gantry was the winner of a Northern Savings Credit Union’s ‘Business of the Month’ award last year) uses its computer controlled manufacturing capabilities to produce a range of signs, parts and other objects in metal, wood, plastic and even steel. Since its inception the company has worked for an equally wide range of clients, from corporations and institutions right down to individuals with a specific need. Continuing its winning ways the quality work produced by Rapid Gantry Custom Signs has also allowed the company to be selected as a finalist for this year’s Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce Industry and Manufacturing Excellence Award. “The reason we built the CNC machine initially was that we wanted to build windmills to take advantage of a program offered by BC Hydro. We wanted to create the machine to cut windmill blades that would be used to generate electricity that could then be sold back to BC Hydro. That

Rapid Gantry’s CNC technology allows it to work in a variety of materials, from plastics to heavy gauge metals was the reason we had built the original machine,” he explained. While the concept of windmills may have moved to the back burner, the desire to turn the technology into a business had taken hold, so thanks to the injection of some funding support from groups such as Community Futures Pacific Northwest and the Hecate Strait Employment Development Society, Hakki was able to begin his business. “The Hecate Strait Employment Development Society here in Rupert was able to fund me by providing Employment Insurance benefits for a year to allow me to focus on getting the business going,” he said. “I didn’t have a clear idea initially what my business could ultimately be, but I recognized there was some real potential with the CNC machine. I had lots of ideas I just needed to nail down a concept that could become a

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viable business that could generate an income. That’s why I got into making signs.” The primary focus of the company currently is to produce unique, three dimensional signage for its clients. “We approach signage almost from a classical point of view, trying to capture the big, bold feel of the type of signs they used to make back in the ‘30s and ‘40’s. We’re attempting to do the same thing but using the modern CNC machines to provide us with creative options that simply didn’t exist before,” Hakki explained. Located at 1100 Park Avenue in Prince Rupert, Rapid Gantry Custom Signs’ operation can’t be described as a storefront, but as a working sign shop. “In my signage business I really try to focus my energies on learning exactly what the customer wants. As each sign is essentially a custom project it’s important that I know how and where it will be used,” he said. “It’s great to make a beautiful sign but if it doesn’t fit the business there’s no point doing it. We spend a lot of time working with the feel of the sign. A sign is a 24 hour per day salesman for your business so it’s important that the message

Providing individualized customer service is a hallmark of any Rapid Gantry Custom Signs project

Company founder Jason Hakki enjoys producing modern signs that have the feel of simpler times it coveys is accurate, simple to understand and effective. You’re not going to have a gold gilded sign for a Dollar Store, it just wouldn’t make sense.” Having been in business for more than four years Hakki is confident that with the skills he’s developed as both a business

person and as a creator, his firm will be ready to meet the challenges of the future, regardless if those challenges are for CNC related industry related opportunities, or in the production of innovative and unique signage. To learn more please visit the company’s Facebook page.


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MARCH 2017

TRANSPORTATION Transportation Key Part of Northern British Columbia’s Growth Effective Transportation Essential For Region’s Ongoing Economic Success

Thanks to the determination and ingenuity of governments and business leaders alike the transportation infrastructure of the north has improved dramatically over the decades

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he resource storehouse that cont i nues to power t he economy of British Columbia, the province’s northern third is a vast, rich and exciting region with unmatched potential. But its scale and the diverse and scattered nature of its settlement have always presented challenges in terms of communication and transportation. While modern communications technology, such as the Smartphone and the Internet, have made the North as accessible as the Lower Mainland, the realities of travel, how to move goods and people to, from and around the region remains a challenge. But thanks to the determination and ingenuity of governments and business leaders alike the transportation infrastructure of the north has improved dramatically over the decades and continues to get better each year – a development spurred on by the scale of the industrial activity underway in the region. By road, by air, by rail and by sea the economy of the north is made possible by the interconnected infrastructure of its transportation systems. The first major transportation systems began to develop early in the 20th Century when the Grand Trunk Railway began laying the first rails that would ultimately link the north to the Pacific coast and the rest of North America. Today the Canadian National (CN) Railway, the current rail operator in the region maintains more than 2,800 miles of rail lines in the province, employs more than 2,300 workers and is directly involved in more than $458 million in local spending. In Northern BC the corporation has a joint intermodal terminal and a forest products SEE TRANSPORTATION | PAGE 8

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MARCH 2017

In every sense Northern BC’s gateway to the world is the Port of Prince Rupert, a sprawling marine cargo facility

TRANSPORTATION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7

distribution centre in Prince George, maintains a presence in Fort Nelson and Kitimat and has its principal port access at Prince Rupert.

The Port of Prince Rupert is an especially important destination, for the railway and for all Northern BC businesses shipping materials to foreign destinations. Rail transport to the port is typically divided between bulk cargoes such as coal and containers which can

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be carried by truck, but more typically arrive at Prince Rupert by train. While only a generation or so ago many of the main roads in the region were gravel, but thanks to a growing population and the development of major industrial projects, the region’s road

networks have expanded and been upgraded. But for many in the commercial trucking industry there’s still a lot of work to do. “There’s no question that the roads have improved a lot over the SEE TRANSPORTATION | PAGE 10


MARCH 2017

TRANSPORTATION

The largest airport facility in Northern British Columbia is the Prince George International Airport

LNG Canada returns to market to select preferred prime contractor With energy prices currently low, and competition to sell natural gas supply high, a successful LNG export project needs to be cost competitive and affordable. With that in mind, LNG Canada continues to look at ways to maintain the value already created in the project, find ways to be competitive by bringing costs down, and reduce project risks by providing price and schedule certainty. “Since announcing a delay in a Final Investment Decision for our project at the end of 2016, every activity our staff are undertaking has a single objective in mind,” says Susannah Pierce, Director of External Relations for LNG Canada. “The objective is to move the LNG Canada project one step closer to a Final Investment Decision and be ready to go into construction should that decision be a positive one.” The cost to engineer, procure and construct the LNG Canada project makes up a large part of a Final investment Decision. LNG Canada determined that going back to market and issuing a Request for Proposal to a group of prequalified global companies would allow it to identify a preferred prime contractor that would assume responsibility for the engineering, procurement and construction execution, including managing the various sub-contractors required for site construction of the facility. “A single preferred prime contractor intended to reduce the project risk for our Joint Venture Participants, brings more certainty to the costs, and delivers the best outcome in terms of schedule,” offers Pierce.

Lucy Day, Senior Local Content Advisor, wants local contractors and the business community to know “that any commitments regarding local contracting and procurement made by LNG Canada, will be fulfilled by the preferred prime contractor.” To facilitate this process, Day and other LNG Canada staff have organized sessions with each of the proposers to meet with businesses in the local community so the proposers can better understand their skills and experience. As well, the database that LNG Canada maintains of companies that have registered to work on the project is being shared with the proposers. Four companies/consortia have been invited to take part in the RFP process, including Bechtel Canada Co. and Chiyoda Canada Ltd. Joint Venture; JGC Corporation and Fluor Canada Ltd Joint Venture; Saipem S.p.A and Chicago Bridge & Iron Company B.V. Joint Venture; and Technip FMC and KBR Joint Venture. Pierce says, “LNG Canada believes the fundamentals of our project are strong, and using the period of delay to return to market brings more certainty to project costs and schedule,” which are valuable to the investors behind the project. For local contractors and businesses interested in qualifying to work on the LNG Canada project, or to find out more about the RFP process, email contracting@lngcanada.ca.

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TRANSPORTATION

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MARCH 2017

Faith & Perseverance: Central To Falling Company’s Survival Sibola Mountain Falling Now Operates From Alberta To The BC Coast

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RINCE GEORGE – Perseverance, team loyalty and an unwavering belief in the dream has seen Sibola Mountain Falling Ltd., survive, grow and prosper in spite of the odds. “There were definitely some sleepless nights along the way,” explained company founder Jordan Nicolussi. Launched in 1998 Sibola Mountain Falling has a staff of more than 120, with teams ranging in size from four to 25 working on a total of six job sites from Alberta to the BC coast. But there was a point not that long ago when the fate of the company seemed much less secure. Sibola Mountain Falling began small, but that was all part of the plan. “The company started in a very small way and gradually grew but slowly – but that’s really how I intended it. I had no desire to build an empire,” Nicolussi recalled. “By about 2002 we had added to the team and had bought out a falling contract on the Queen Charlotte Islands that was essentially our first taste of the big leagues. It was a great time as we had a small crew and basically operated all year round.” But by 2004 changing government forestry policies saw the company severely impacted to the point its future existence was in question. “We were down to taking a job here, taking a job there, it was a challenging time,” he said.

What it all comes down to – the job of harvesting the trees is one of primary steps in British Columbia’s forest industry

“It was a great time as we had a small crew and basically operated all year round.” JORDAN NICOLUSSI OWNER, SIBOLA MOUNTAIN FALLING

No matter how severe the cuts to business, the company survived thanks in large part to the faith of the owner and his sub-contractors and employees alike. One reason Sibola Mountain has survived despite the odds is its willingness to work with the customer to help them receive the maximum value for the wood the company harvests

TIMBER FALLING

on its behalf. “Our supervisors ensure that each faller understands and follows the specifications with a system of general inspections, weekly audits and crew meetings,” Nicolussi explained. “We also collaborate with our clients to make certain that our falling is planned and laid out to ensure yarding and production efficiency.” Today Sibola Mountain has become an industry leader and eager to embrace the realities of operating a 21st Century forestry company. “Ever since 2010 we’ve been growing steadily every year,” he said. To learn more please visit the company’s website at: www. sibolamountainfalling.com

PIPELINE RIGHT-OF-WAY

Before the Canadian National Railway existed the Grand Trunk Railway helped to open up Northern BC

Canadian National Railway is an important link in the operations of the bustling Port of Prince Rupert

TRANSPORTATION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8

years, but they are still way behind where they should be,” explained Gary MacLeod, the

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“Upgrading these facilities and keeping them maintained is a provincial initiative. The province has done a lot over the years. But our area has been extremely busy during the last decade or so and with LNG and other major projects on the horizon it could get a whole lot busier. We as an Association have been after the province for continued improvements to the roads and other infrastructure for years. They’ve done some, but it’s usually either a Band-aid or they are up here all the time repairing the things that wear out because of use.” Air transportation is vital for a sparsely populated region of the province that encompasses more than 500,000 square

“Prince Rupert’s container business has experienced rapid growth since the opening of Fairview Container Terminal.” PRESIDENT AND CEO, PORT OF PRINCE RUPERT

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UNDER INFLATED TIRES GENERATE BOTH RISKS & COMPANY DOWNTIME “One of the biggest problems on our roads is the fleets and operators of the trucks that run on under inflated tires.” NOOREZ DEVRAJ

I

f a passenger car were to suffer a blow out it would be inconvenient, annoying and can be a little frightening for the driver. If a commercial vehicle suffers a blow out it could be life threatening to those in the immediate area, and a huge loss of revenues to the owners of the vehicle. One of the most common causes of commercial tire blowout is under inflation. “Tires are porous and will naturally lose up to three PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) of air pressure per month. One of the biggest problems on our roads is the fleets and operators of the trucks that run on under inflated tires. The under inflated tire heats up as the truck rolls along and that in turn leads to a blow-out, sometimes with tragic results,” explained Noorez Devraj the CEO/Founder of Lyna Manufacturing Incorporated. A trained Chemical Engineer, Devraj is the developer of the Stallion Tire Management Solution (STMS), a biodegradable sealant gel that is used to coat the interior of commercial tires to prevent overheating, punctures and catastrophic blowouts. “According to research maintaining proper tire air pressure is still the primary issue facing commercial trucking fleets today. With the average price of a radial truck tire costing in the $350 range, fleets take tires and their tire programs very seriously,” he

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explained. When a tire is underinflated, its ‘footprint’ is larger and the rubber compounds used in its manufacture will become softer and hotter due to the excessive flexing of the tire sidewall. This larger footprint, in combination with the hotter and softer rubber, will lead to an increase in punctures and a rise in tire related roadside service calls. Lyna Manufacturing’s Stallion Tire Management Solution is the only product that has passed the tire manufacturer’s test criteria with ARDL (Akron Rubber Laboratory). STMS will self balance tires, self seal punctures up to ½” in diameter, help keep the tire running cooler and reduce blowout risk. Designed specifically for the demanding needs of commercial operators, the Stallion Tire Management Solution can be used on all heavy equipment. Devraj explains; “We want the end user to be made aware of this problem, and that we have a proven, working solution. We are in the business of saving tires and the tire dealers are in the business of selling tires.” To learn more please visit the company’s website at: www.stallionmfg.com


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MARCH 2017

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The Port of Prince Rupert is well into a major upgrade project that will allow it to handle even larger vessels

TRANSPORTATION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

kilometers. Northern British Columbia is especially well served by air, with is main airborne gateway being the Prince George International Airport. The north is also serviced by no less than eight additional regional airports strategically located in Smithers, Terrace / Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and in Masset. Far and away the Prince George Airport is the region’s largest and busiest. Recently released statistics show that during 2016 more than 460,000 travelers passed through the facility’s terminal which was actually 1.5 percent higher than anticipated. “Coming off of a big year like 2015 where Prince George

hosted the Canada Winter Games and the economy slowed down, we were anticipating 455,000 passengers,” explained John Gibson, President and CEO of the Prince George Airport Authority (PGAA). Part of the reason for the airport’s success at drawing travelers has been an ongoing series of improvements to the operation. In 2016 alone the PGAA spent nearly $2 million on capital improvements to the airport including the repaving of aprons and replacing runway lighting and security systems. The Prince George Airport will soon undertake additional renovations and operational upgrades to the facility in SEE TRANSPORTATION | PAGE 13

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MARCH 2017

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the form of $683,886 to increase efficiencies and enable future grow th for da ily f lights a nd new airlines thanks in part to the support of funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT). “We are extremely thankful NDIT continues to believe in us and what we do for the region’s economy. Without the funds we cou ld n’t ca rry out these projects. We look forward to providing continuous improvement for our passengers and airline partners with the help of NDIT,” Gibson stated in a media release. The final component of the North’s transportation mix is by sea, with the Port of Prince Rupert being the region’s key gateway to markets around the world. Ad m i n istered by the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PR PA) the orga n i zation looks a f ter the operation of the sprawling (1,000 hectare) geographic area that is home to a variety of ports, terminals and facilities. One of the largest ongoing expansion efforts at the port is the Phase II North container terminal expansion project. Launched in the first quarter of 2015 this massive project is now more than 75 percent complete and is on schedule to increase annual capacity at Prince

Rupert’s container terminal to over 1.35 million TEUs (Twenty foot Equivalent Units) by the third quarter of 2017. “Prince Rupert’s container business has experienced rapid growth since the opening of Fairview Container Terminal. This project is the continued evolution of our fast and reliable trans-Pacific service,” e x p l a i n e d D o n K r u s el , t h e President and CEO of the Port of Prince Rupert. T he nex t sign i fica nt m i lestone for the project is expected this month with the arrival of three Malacca-max dock gantry cranes to make Prince Rupert big ship ready. Each crane is equipped with a reach of 25 containers wide and is capable of work i ng t he l a rgest vessels in the world with a carrying capacity of 20,000- plus TEUs. “The expansion of our intermodal operations answers growing interest from North A mer ica n sh ippers t h at a re capitalizing on the Prince Rupert advantage,” Krusel said. Rega rd less of t he mode of t ra n sp or t Nor t her n Br it i sh Columbia has the vision and the facilities to move any cargo, from adventure seeking travelers to bulk cargoes for global markets efficiently and on time. With the level of updating taking place across all sectors, the north is busily preparing itself to be ready for whenever the next great challenge occurs.

13

Construction Company Preparing For The Start Of LNG Graham Construction: General Contractor Has Long History In The North

P

RINCE RUPERT – For the better part of a century Graham Construction has played a pivotal role in helping to build the country – and the story is far from complete. Founded in Saskatchewan in 1926 PW Graham & Sons Construction as it was known at the time began life as it is today, with a focus on major construction projects. The company’s long list of successfully completed projects began with the company winning a contract to construct railway stations for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Today with offices located all across Western Canada and in the United States Graham Construction has grown into one of the country’s leading general contracting firms with experience building everything from hospitals and recreational facilities to the largest of industrial or infrastructure projects. Graham Construction has a long and successful relationship with Northern British Columbia. “While everyone is waiting for the start of the long anticipated LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) projects there are some very exciting things happening in the north. Some of the early phases of the LNG project might start later in the year and we have some

The distinctive Ralph Klein Legacy Park in Calgary is another outstanding Graham Construction project plans in place with some of our local First Nations partners for training and job opportunities in preparation of that occurring,” explained Shane Nickolson the company’s Director of Pre-Construction. As one of Canada’s largest general contractors, with more than 1,300 employees and annual revenues of more than $2 billion, Graham Construction has the experience and the business skills to take on the largest of projects. In Northern BC, working in concert with local contractors the company can act as a conduit to the sorts of mega jobs that a smaller firm simply wouldn’t be able to handle on its own. “For example small local contractors in the Terrace and Prince Rupert region build companies that match what’s going on in

their communities. They are well able to handle projects in the $5 to $10 million range – but now the mega projects are on the horizon, projects in the billions of dollars which will be real game changers,” he said. “As one of the largest general contractors in Canada, we can serve a bridge between the local contractors and the major projects. The local companies can lean on our safety systems, quality systems, management systems that a $10 million company isn’t going to have but us as a $2.6 billion company does have. We can serve as a gateway, helping to open the door for the local companies who then can take the opportunity and run with it.” To learn more please visit the company’s website at: www.grahambuilds.com


14

MARCH 2017

being Nass Valley director Harry Nyce for the fourth year in a row.

TERRACE Terrace will be getting a new Mills Memorial Hospital, with construction starting as early as next year. The project will be the single largest provincial government construction project in the history of the northwest. The facility will be located on the same property containing the current Mills Memorial. ReMax Coast Mountain’s Terrace office congratulated Dave Materi on receiving the BC Northern Real Estate Board’s 2016 MLS Award, recognizing top sales. Angela’s Hearing Solutions has moved to a new location at Unit 106-4716 Lazelle Avenue. The Lax Kw’alaams Band, Gitxaala Nation, Gitga’at First Nation and Metlakatla First Nation are all receiving funds to assist in their participation for the Pacific Future Energy Refinery Project’s environmental assessment process. Lax Kw’alaams, Gitga’at and the Metlakatla Stewardship Society were each provided with $95,600. The Gitxaala Nation was funded $89,530 by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Northwest Community College is planning its next major upgrades, including tearing down and replacing existing residences, office buildings, and the two-storey food services structure. Everything will be built around an open commons green space, which will allow the longhouse to emerge as a focal point. The college’s board is also considering changing the secondary institution’s name, and has hired an outside branding firm to research the issue in preparation. Taishend International Investments, the Chinese-owned company developing 1000 acres at the Skeena Industrial Development

Park, estimates that it will spend between $4 and $5 million by the time it logs and clears the land. As of the end of 2016, a reported $25 million has already been spent on the project. Don Roberts has been re-elected as chief councillor for the Kitsumkalum First Nation, making it his sixth re-election to the position. Also elected to council were Wayne Bolton, Kenny Brown, Troy Sam, Susan Spalding, Kathy Wesley and Lisa Wesley. Calgary-based Veresen Inc. has sold its Dasque-Middle Creek run of river hydro electric development just southwest of Terrace to Bluearth Renewables, also from Calgary. The sale is part of a series of agreements with several companies worth $1.8 billion in all on the part of Veresen to divest itself of its power generation division.

KITIMAT Riverlodge Recreation Centre is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. In commemoration of the event, activities and free admission were available to community members. The centre is located at 654 Columbia Avenue West. Kitimat mayor Phil Germuth is stepping into the role as the new chair of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikkine, with vice-chair

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PRINCE RUPERT The City of Prince Rupert has presented the final edition of its design plan on a 17-foot map to the Rotary Club of Prince Rupert, outlining 10 major concepts that will cultivate more public spaces in the downtown core. Concepts include a festival square near City Hall offering increased accessibility to pedestrians, and a new airport ferry dock near the Rotary Waterfront Park. The designs were led by Toronto-based firm, The Planning Partnership. The final edition of the map will be available to view on the City of Prince Rupert’s website. Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla have signed deals with the province, that a total of $144.5 million and transfers 28.86 square kilometers of Crown land to the two nations. The multiple benefits agreements are tied to the potential operation of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project on Lelu Island, and the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Natural Gas Pipeline Benefits Agreement. Should the project move forward, Lax Kw’alaams will receive a total of $98.5 million for community projects, communications infrastructure and a Trust Contribution. The province has also committed to $50 million in transportation infrastructure once construction starts, in addition to the $20 million already provided by the government for the Tuck Inlet road project. Metlakatla will receive a one-time benefit of $250,000 and an annual benefit of $500,000. Once LNG is being shipped, the community will receive $0.02 per tonne. Prince Rupert council has approved a twophased structural assessment and engineered drawings of the CN Rail Station heritage building in its last meeting. The city is looking to apply for a grant program from the BC Government commemorating provincial communities and their contributions to Canada. The province is investing $8 million in museums and heritage sites to mark Canada’s anniversary.

Providing a wide-range of services to Northern BC, Alberta and across the world.

The Lester Centre of the Arts is celebrating its 30th anniversary in the community, located at 1100 McBride Street.

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AltaGas, the company that plans to build a propane export terminal on Ridley Island, has announced that it will be acquiring WGL Holdings Inc., in a deal worth $8.4 billion. The merger will expand Calgary-based AltaGas to Washington DC.

WILLIAMS LAKE After going without a chief financial officer since October 2016, the City of Williams Lake has announced its hiring of Vitali Kozubenko to fill the position. Kozubenko will begin the CFO responsibilities starting March 15.

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For its third year in a row, Taseko Gibraltar Mines Ltd. has received an award during the province’s annual mine safety awards held in Victoria Feb. 27. The John Ash Award is presented to operations that logged a minimum of 3,000,000 worker hours and had the lowest injury-frequency rate.

The Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society has recently been informed that it will be closing its doors effective at the end of March due to federal cutbacks. Development at the former Lake City Ford site located at 715 Oliver Street is one step closer to becoming a reality, as city council has approved several permits for the development and accepted Oliver Street Investment Ltd.’s offer of $49,000, plus all development costs for the purchase of a portion of Oliver Street boulevard. Joe Alphonse has been re-elected as Chief of Tl’etinqox First Nation for his fifth consecutive term, holding 43 per cent of the votes. Councillors voted in were Randy Billyboy, Dona Cooper, Eleanor Cooper, Harvey Dick, Daana Gilpin, Cecil Grinder, Paul Grinder, Brendon Harry, Isidore Harry, Tyron Harry, Gerald Johnny and George Mack. Williams Lake’s own Audio Video Unlimited, located at 234 Borland Street, has announced that it will be permanently closing its doors for business. Cariboo GM congratulated Tammy Tugnum on her retirement, serving the dealership for over 21 years. The dealership is located at 370 S. Mackenzie. Mueller Electric Div II Ltd. congratulated Brandon Schwalm on achieving his Red Seal Journeyman’s Electrical Qualification. Two-years after creating the arms-length Central Cariboo Economic Development Corporation, Williams Lake city council has decided to bring its economic development office back to city hall. The move follows Susan Fomier, hired in March 2016 as the newlyformed corporation’s economic development officer, resigned from her position in January to return to work in Ontario. Red Door Spa & Salon, located at 197 E. 4th Avenue South, is celebrating its grand opening. Councillor Laurie Walters has been appointed to the Northern Central Local Government Association executive board for its 2017-18 term. Mauro Calabrese has been named as the new president of the Association of BC Forest Professionals. Calabrese has more than 20 years of experience in the field, beginning as a helicopter attack firefighter and later starting with West Fraser Mills Ltd. in 1996. Northern Development Initiative Trust has approved the City of Williams Lake’s application for a $20,000 Business Façade Improvement Program to improve retail and commercial building facades in the City’s downtown and highway commercial corridor.

PRINCE GEORGE Premier Christy Clark visited Prince George to announce a one-time $150 million fund for forest rehabilitation and tree planting. The funding is estimated to provide 3,000 jobs over the next five years in rural communities and around the province. Funds will be allocated to the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, which was set up last year to restore damaged forests, reduce forest fire risk and increase forest carbon capture. Local business owner Dave Fuller has been named business coach of the year by the Professional Business Coaches Alliance.


15

MARCH 2017

Brenda Butterworth-Carr, former superintendent of the Prince George RCMP detachment, has been appointed deputy commissioner and commanding officer for BC. The City of Prince George will be the home of a new site for BC Transit vehicles, to be located on Foothills Boulevard and 18th Avenue. The station will be complete with a washing station, a refueling pump, and garages for ecofriendly vehicles. The CNG buses will reduce greenhouse gas by up to 25 per cent. The Prince George Chamber of Commerce has welcomed Erika Magnuson-Ford as a contractor filling in for its Membership and Events Manager. Magnuson-Ford previously spent three years with the Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce. Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman have issued an environmental assessment certificate to NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. for the Towerbirch Expansion Project, an 87-km-long interprovincial natural gas pipeline between British Columbia and Alberta. Approximately 69 kilometres would be in the Peace River Regional District in northeast British Columbia. The environmental assessment certificate’s 17 conditions are in addition to and designed to supplement the 24 conditions recommended by the National Energy Board. Effective July 1, the tax applied to hotel accommodation in Prince George will be increased 3%, from its current rate of 2 per cent. The increase, requested by the City of Prince George in collaboration with Tourism Prince George, has been given the green light under the Municipal and Regional District Tax

Program. Renovations are now complete on the Blackburn Community Centre, which was made possible by a grand from the Northern Development Initiative Trust, corporate sponsorships, and hundreds of volunteer hours. The total cost of the project was $44,500.

DAWSON CREEK Dawson Creek’s hospital is pursuing substantial construction and extensive renovations, estimated to cost $250 million. To date the Northern Health Authority has submitted concept plans, offering preliminary designs and costs, to the provincial health ministry. Valard Group has pitched Dawson Creek on the province’s oilfield electrification scheme, which the ministry of energy and mines announced last year. The provincial government hopes it can incentivize northeast oil gas producers to connect to the BC Hydro grid in a bid to drive up electricity demand and reduce emissions. A $2.33 million contract has been awarded to Brocor Construction Ltd. for a project to upgrade the intersection at Highway 97 and Montney Highway. The project includes realigning and widening the intersection along with other changes, and is expected to begin in May with completion in late September.

FORT ST. JOHN The Independent Contractors and Business Association of BC has acquired Fort St. Johnbased Energy Services BC.

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OPINION

16 A division of Invest Northwest Publishing Ltd. Prince George Office 2871 Wildwood Cres Prince George, BC V2K3J4 Toll free: 1.866.758.2684 Fax: 778.441.3373 Email: info@businessexaminer.ca Website: www.businessexaminer.ca

MARCH 2017

PUBLISHER | Lise MacDonald, lise@businessexaminer.ca EDITOR | John MacDonald SALES | Dan Stelck, dan@businessexaminer.ca WRITERS | Beth Hendry-Yim, David Holmes, Kristin van Vloten

EUROPEAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT RATIFICATION IS GREAT NEWS

MARK MACDONALD

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he European Union’s ratification of their free trade agreement with Canada is great news for Canadians. What is called the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is a landmark for this country, which will result in much easier access for our companies to the massive European market, and vice versa. With EU firms enjoying the same removal of prohibitive tariffs, that opens doors for them in Canada, although our market of 35 million people is relatively small, considering the EU’s population of 508 million. CE TA wa s t he crow n i ng achievement of the former Conservative government, with the finishing touches applied just prior to the 2015 federal election. Conservative governments

are those that have introduced a l most a l l free trade ag reements for this country, including the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA, featuring Canada, the U.S. and Mexico), and the Trans Pacific Partnership with 12 mostly Asian countries. Federa l Libera ls have been known to express their dislike for such agreements, much to the delight of a sliver of the electorate, but have never undone one of the deals thus far. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even hailed the CETA ratification. Taking potshots at free trade may be effective campaign fodder, but the realities of governance dictates that these deals are good for Canadian business, which means jobs, and, of course, increased government revenue. Once in power, that simply cannot be ignored. One cannot stress enough how important free trade agreements are with nations other than our cu rrent nu mber one trad ing partner, our closest neighbour, the United States. W hen any business has one major customer, it is subject to the whims and wants of that client – and if the company changes its buying plans, then it’s certain economic

disaster. Canada has traditionally inhaled the exhale of the American economy, and overall, has certainly benefited. The last economic downturn was a rare exception as Ca nada skated through very well compared to most nations, and some of that success was due to our country’s diversification in trade. BC’s forest industry, in particular, would have been completely ravaged if it was solely tied into the U.S. economy as it traditionally has been. However, strong demand from Japan and China produced a spike in exports in that sector, which benefited us immensely. With A mer ica n housi ng sta r ts at record lows a nd the bu l k of building material comprised of Canadian softwood lumber, that industry would have been decimated. Oil and gas is another issue. Americans have enjoyed a sizeable discount on Canadian petroleum exports. When the price of a barrel of oil was over $100, it ran as much as $35 U.S. per barrel, so it would be safe to say that still runs in the neighbourhood of 30 per cent. If there is any way Canada can get that most valuable resource out to other markets, it would provide

a tremendous boost to employment, as well as government revenues. Looking at a map showing U.S. pipelines, it looks like a spider web covers t hei r por t ion of the continent. That American monies are used to bolster Canadian anti-pipeline protesters is hypocritical at best, although some people recognize these funds help protect U.S. interests and the discounts they currently enjoy. It also protects the railway traffic that carries Canadian oil to southern U.S. refineries. S o, i f Ca n a d a c a n ge t t h e Energy East pipeline underway, then completed, that would give us access to the vast European market. The twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline gives us more potential export potential for Asia, although it would have been more lucrative if the Enbridge proposal was allowed to proceed. Anything we can do to lessen our reliance on one market – the U.S. – is good for our long-term economic health, and hedges us against the inevitable dips that occur. To the horror of T rudeau’s green supporters, he approved the twinning of Kinder Morgan, which to some, was another

broken campaign promise and betrayal of trust. But like free trade agreements, t h e re a l i t i e s o f b e i n g “ t h e man” overseeing the national budget clearly demonstrates that vague, populist campaign prom ises ca n’t be kept once reaching office. There are too many jobs and too much government revenue tied to the oil and gas sector to simply turn it off, as extremists would like. It is sha mefu l to pa nder to such interests disingenuously, but that’s what it’s come down to – say whatever you have to in order to gain power, and do what you have to do and what t he e c onomy d ic t ate s onc e you’re in. The numbers show that only provinces with oil and gas economies are showing black on their ledgers. Take that out, and the country’s economy is in tatters. It’s not just the direct jobs and revenues from the oil patch – it’s the ancillary businesses that emerge to service that sector, and everything else that results. Free trade is good and necessary for Canada, and the federal government is right to applaud Europe’s approval of a document that could go a long ways towards lessening our reliance on the U.S. market.

TRUDEAU GOVERNMENT LOOKING AT HIKING CAPITAL GAINS TAX T he b ot tom l i ne – c apita l Liberals reduced the capital such as Switzerland and New – they create an incentive for THE FRASER people to hold on to low per- gains taxes reduce the reward gains inclusion rate (i.e. the Z ea l a nd  recog n i ze t he ecoINSTITUTE forming assets. This “lock-in” that entrepreneurs and invest- amount of capital gains sub- nom ic benefits of hav i ng no JASON CLEMENS AND NIELS VELDHUIS

C

ANADA - As the Liberal government finalizes its 2017 budget, there are increasing rumours that it may increase capital gains taxes. For a gover n ment sq u a rely committed to improving econom ic g row th a nd fosteri ng i n novat ion, doi ng so m ig ht just be the single most damaging policy change it could implement. Unlike most other taxes, capita l ga i ns a re on ly i ncu r red when a person sells an asset. Capital gains taxes are applied to the sale of an asset when its sales price is nominally (not adjusted for inf lation) above its purchase price. T he fact that capita l ga i ns t a x e s a re , to s o m e e x t e n t , voluntary is the explanation for one of the most damaging aspects of capital gains taxes

effect, as it’s known, means that investors and entrepreneurs retain existing investments rather than selling them a nd i nvesti ng i n somet h i ng new, such as an emerging business, in large part just to avoid the capital gains tax. But that’s not all. Perhaps, one of t he least u nderstood econom ic effects of capital gains ta xes is its impact on entrepreneurship and innovation. Entrepreneurs risk their own capital and time in the hopes of profiting from the creation of a new product, an unproven service, or the introduction of a new technology. Entrepreneu rs ty pica l ly accept low pay i n t he e a rly stages so that earnings can be reinvested to meet the needs of their growing business. In return, they expect to be compensated when the busi ness matures and is taken public or is bought by another company, or becomes profitable enough to afford higher wages.

ors receive from the sale of a business. Lower the potential rewards and you’ll discourage entrepreneurs and investors. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s wh at t h e L i b e ra l gover n ment of t hen-P r i me M i n ister Jean Chrétien a nd Fi na nce M i n ister Paul Martin said about capital gains in their 2000 budget: “T he high-technology sector a nd ot her fa st-g row i n g i ndu s t r ie s a re pa r t ic u l a rly important to Canada’s future e c o n o m i c g ro w t h . O u r t a x system must be conducive to innovation, and must ensure that busi nesses have access to the capital they need in an economy that is becom ing increasingly competitive and knowledge-based. An examination of the taxation of capital gains in Canada suggests that this objective would be better achieved with a reduction in the i nclusion rate of capita l gains” The Chrétien/Martin

ject to tax) from 75 per cent to 50 per cent as part of a larger initiative to improve Canada’s competitiveness and attracti v e n e s s to i n v e s to rs . T h e y understood that a lower, more competitive capital gains tax rate was essential to attracting and retaining both investment and entrepreneurs. In his 2000 budget address, Finance Minister Martin highlighted that: “A key factor contributing to the difficulty of raising capital by new startups is the fact that individuals who sell existing investments a nd rei nvest i n others must pay tax on any realized capital gains.” However, despite the deduction in capital gains taxes by the previous Liberal government, Canada still maintains one of the highest capital gains tax rates among OECD countries. And what’s more, 11 of the 34 OECD countries do not impose a capital gains tax. Other small, open economies

capital gain tax. Not only does the absence of the tax improve the allocation of investment in countries, it creates stronger incentives for entrepreneurship and investment, both of which are critical to improving any economy. At a time when both the rate of business start-ups  and the ex p e ctat ion s for  long-ter m economic growth are declining in Canada, increasing the capital gains tax is exactly the opposite of what this government should be contemplating. I f P r i m e M i n i ster T r udeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau were truly dedicated to long-term economic growth and fostering innovation, they would follow the lead of their Liberal predecessors and reduce – rather than increase – the capital gains tax rate. Jason Clemens is the Executive Vice President, and Niels Veldhuis is the President of the Fraser Institute

SUBCRIPTIONS | $45 PER YEAR (12 ISSUES), $80 FOR 2 YEARS (24 ISSUES), SUBSCRIBE ONLINE: WWW.BUSINESSEXAMINER.CA. DISTRIBUTION: FOURTH WEEK OF EACH MONTH VIA CANADA POST AD MAIL. The publisher accepts no responsibility for unsolicited submissions. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. Produced and published in British Columbia. All contents copyright Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena, 2017. Canadian Publications Mail Acct.: 40069240


17

MARCH 2017

Dawson Creek Businessman Has Acquired Busy Bee Signs & Graphics Local Sign And Print Shop Will Be Rebranded Legacy Signs & Graphics

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AWSON CREEK – Busy Bee Signs & Graphics, a fixture in the regional printing industry for many years, was recently acquired by the Legacy group of companies. Cameron Schulz, the owner of the Legacy group, which includes the Legacy Village Markets in Dawson Creek and in Hudson’s Hope, says the soon to be rebranded business will continue to operate as a full service sign shop providing sign and graphic solutions for customers located within the Peace Country region. “The Legacy group includes the two convenience stores, the Legacy car and truck wash which is a convenience store and ninebay car wash and now the sign shop that we thought would be an excellent addition to the overall company mix,� he explained. While continuing to provide a full range of printing and signage products, from illuminated signs, to billboards, to vehicle decals, the outlet will soon be rebranded Legacy Signs & Graphics Ltd. Schulz, who is also the owner of Schulz & Company Consultants, specializes in business consulting and in providing advisory services to business leaders across the Peace River region. The acquisition of the sign shop

Busy Bee Signs & Graphics in Dawson Creek has been acquired by the Legacy group of companies

“When you run a business there are pockets of opportunity that appear and I felt this was one of those times.� CAMERON SCHULZ OWNER, LEGACY GROUP OF COMPANIES

was an opportunity that had appealed to Schulz for some time.

“Busy Bee Signs & Graphics has been around for 15 plus years, but had reached a point where it needed a little re-energizing. When you run a business there are pockets of opportunity that appear and I felt this was one of those times and that the business would be an excellent addition to the overall Legacy group,� Schulz explained. One of the larger sign shops in Northern BC, the facility is equipped (among its other resources) w ith th ree thermal printers, and was one of the first shops in Canada to embrace this new form of printing technology. “Thermal technology produces

Owned by Cameron Schulz, the Legacy group is the owner of a pair of Legacy Village Markets a very good quality product, one that is environmentally clean in terms of inks, discharge, fumes and things of that nature. It is a more expensive technology, and takes longer to produce a product, but it ends up being a much better quality product,� he explained. A natural born entrepreneur, Schulz has grown the Legacy group by recognizing regional opportunities, acknowledging the talents of those he employs, and then taking the steps to ensure the right working environment exists to see those disparate elements achieve its full potential. “Taking over the sign and graphics shop was an interesting

opportunity and challenge. We bring a value proposition from the Legacy group, based on quality and customer service that we felt was adaptable to the sign business,� Schulz said. “We now try to ensure that we deliver when we say we’re going to deliver and that’s what the Legacy brand is all about. We’re right in the middle of upgrading the branding, including with a new website, so there will be an entire redevelopment of the shop under the new Legacy Signs & Graphics banner.� To learn more please visit the company’s website at: www. schulzandcompany.com

STRATEGIC PLANNING: IDENTIFYING THE PRIORITIES

QUESNEL AMBER GREGG

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he Quesnel Chamber Board and Staff met on Thursday, February 16, 2017 for their annual strategic planning session. After a brief overview of how the organization functions, who its members are, and the goals and achievements of 2016, the group began to discuss the direction for the coming year. Participants reviewed the current organizational structure to identify what the Chamber does well, which programs and services add value to the membership, what could be improved on, and how the team can work together to achieve the overall goal of supporting the business community in Quesnel and promoting a strong economic environment. In 2016 the Chamber accomplished many of its objectives including: â– Submitting a policy to the BC Chamber to improve the housing market â–  Signing a five-year agreement with the City of Quesnel to operate the Visitor Centre â–  Hosting the 2nd Annual Home & Outdoor Adventure Show

■Further developing our Policy and Advocacy program. Chamber Manager Amber Gregg shares her thoughts on why it is important to look back. “The Board of Directors are a group of volunteers. They all run businesses of their own and are not in the office every day. “Because their time is valuable, they each contribute to different areas of the organization for specific programs and events. It is important that they review all of the goals that were set for the previous year so that they can see the overall productivity of the Chamber.� Looking forward, the Board and staff identified four areas they would most like to focus on in the coming year. Membership and services, policy and advocacy, communication, and operations encompass the general priorities. Under each of these categories, more specific goals were acknowledged and detailed initiatives were discussed. Three main areas where the group felt they could increase effort were marketing, strengthening the current networking events, and to establish regular meetings with our municipal, provincial and federal government representatives. If you are interested in becoming a member or joining the Board of Directors or one of its many committees, or if you are a business who is facing challenges and you feel the Chamber can help, don’t hesitate to contact the Chamber office. Amber Gregg is the Manager for the Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at qchamber@quesnelbc.com.

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MARCH 2017

INDUSTRIAL RADIATOR COMPANY BEGAN AS PART TIME VENTURE Sinkut Radiator Service Credits Staff & Customer Service For Success

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ANDERHOOF – It may not have been the career he originally envisioned, but for Rick Reimer, the owner of Sinkut Radiator Service Inc. (and Oil Cooler Remanufacturing), the move to Northern British Columbia was among the best decisions he’s ever made. No stranger to mechanical repair, Reimer originally owned and operated an automotive servicing business in Steinbach, Manitoba before moving to BC. “I essentially bought my Dad’s shop when I was about 18 years old, and ran that business for about five years before I sold it to my mechanic. In a way I guess it’s kind of genetic, my interest in equipment servicing, as it’s what my Dad and brothers do in Manitoba, operating an alternator and starter rebuilding shop specializing in air conditioning,� he explained. But it wasn’t the automotive industry that brought Reimer to Northern BC as he had originally moved to the area to teach at a local Christian school. “I taught at a small private Christian school

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“Today at least 80 per cent of our work is for clients in the forestry and mining industries.� RICK REIMER OWNER, SINKUT RADIATOR SERVICE INC.

Located at 4786 Griffith Road Sinkut Radiator Service is equipped to handle any radiator or cooling system work where I taught all the grades, math, social studies, history, the whole nine yards. But I had this interest in radiators and so I started the radiator business as a sideline in the evenings while still teaching,� Reimer said. Beginning on a small scale in 2005, he constructed a small shop in his garage, equipping it with some of the basic tools he would need to carry out radiator repair jobs. “I took some specialty training at a shop in A lber ta du r i ng t he su m mer break, gradually began to put the shop together and we completed our first radiator job in Ja nua r y 2006. We basica l ly took on whatever work came our way, light and heavy trucks and industrial assignments. I think our first job was recoring a small 966 Cat loader heater core for P & H Supplies, a local truck shop,� he said. “We began gradually repairing and rebuilding a variety of heat exchangers, industrial, agricultural and that sort of thing. Car and light truck radiators now typically come in boxes from China, which is where much of that type of business has gone.� Named after Sinkut Mounta i n a nd t he ne a rby Si n k ut

River, Reimer’s radiator repair and remanufacturing business grew slowly, primarily as an after work side venture as he continued working as an educator. From 2006 until approximately 2010 he performed double duty, school teacher by day, radiator repairs by night, until the workload and the appeal of growing his radiator business became irresistible and Sinkut Radiator Service became a full time vocation. “In reality I was running full time before that as I was working from 4:00 until midnight or later almost every day, getting up at 5:30 to do my school homework and everything else I needed to do. I was actually holding down two full time jobs at the time, through much of my last year as a teacher, so it was becoming pretty obvious that something was going to have to give,� he said. “W hen I quit teaching and went full time into radiator work in 2011 the first thing I did was to let all of my customers know that Sinkut Radiator was number one now and that I was open for business. The key to doing any job right is always customer service and that’s something I

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MARCH 2017

Ready to go: another load of Sinkut Radiator products has been packaged for delivery to clients across the north

Using local couriers and transport companies Sinkut radiators and other products are shipped throughout the region strongly believe in. To this day that is at the heart of everything we do at Sinkut.” Once Reimer had made the decision to go full time with his radiator service business he hung his first signs and began making sales calls – introducing himself to potential clients across the region and reintroducing himself to his past clients. This included making appearances at regional industrial trade shows, such as in Burns Lake, Vanderhoof, and the Forestry Expo held in Prince George. Now, after nearly seven years in full time operation, Sinkut

Radiator Service describes its business as providing the full range of heat exchangers- from marine tube and shell bundles to vintage tractor radiators to aluminum extruded tube oil coolers to school bus radiators. “Here in Vanderhoof we’re right in the heart of the forest industry. Today at least 80 per cent of our work is for clients in the forestry and mining industries. We work on a full range of equipment, not just rolling stock, but anything that has an engine that needs cooling, like the aluminum Ferrari rad we rebuilt, or tugboat radiators

we recore, or just straightening twisted dirt bike rads,” Reimer explained. Ty pical industrial systems routinely serviced by Sinkut Radiator could include everything from processors and loaders, to feller-bunchers, logging trucks, mining drills and haul trucks, sawmill hydraulic oil coolers, compressor coolers, power generators a nd more. Reimer’s business philosophy is: “Whatever type of radiator we work on, we are always trying to improve on the original design and produce a stronger, more efficient radiator that will fit perfectly. Our main goal is always customer satisfaction and we will do whatever it takes to keep our customers happy,” he said. “In addition our big push for the past year or two has been, especially now that we’ve expanded our shop and increased our testing capabilities, is in the servicing of mining equipment. We want to become more active in the mining sector as there are some important working mines in the region and so we’re very interested in offering our services to this industry. It’s no exaggeration to say that the biggest radiators of all are to be found in the mines.” D ep end i n g on t he ne e d of the cl ient a nd the cond ition

of the existing radiator Sinkut Radiator Service can overhaul, rebuild, replace or manufacture any style or size of cooling system. Currently located at 4786 Griffith Road, just east of Vanderhoof, Sinkut Radiator Service is housed in a unique and rambling shop and employs a full time staff of only three, including Reimer himself. Aggie Reimer, the owner’s wife, business partner and co-owner of the corporation also assists in handling some of the company’s administrative duties. So what is a typical day at Sinkut Radiator Service like? Due to the size and scale of the systems that the company works on, a radiator, oil cooler or heat exchanger requiring service will normally arrive at the shop via a courier and will be returned to the customer once the work is completed in the same way. Projects arrive at the shop from all across the north, with customers from Prince Rupert, Terrace, Houston and Burns Lake regularly served. After they arrive, the radiators a re routi nely f lushed, steam-cleaned thoroughly and pressure tested. Once the required repairs have been done and final testing is completed, the radiator is ref lushed and rinsed, dried out and painted. The operation takes great pride in its finished products and works hard at packaging the radiators properly for shipping. Once the work is complete the serviced components are couriered back to the clients. The company makes use of all of the freight and courier companies operating in the region. “Within the past year we’ve become the radiator supplier for Red Chris Mine (owned and operated by Imperial Metals) out on the coast. We also supply equipment dealers with upgraded radiators and the container terminal in Prince Rupert with coolers for all their lift trucks,” he said. Strategically located on Highway 16, essentially all roads from the west lead directly to Sinkut’s door, so increasingly this portion of the province has been providing the firm with

a large percentage of its workload. “Vanderhoof is just about the best place we could be for a business like this,” he explained. For the future Reimer doesn’t anticipate opening a second shop or dramatically expanding his business or staff count, but can envision the development of a larger shop to better serve his expanding client base. A real asset for Sinkut is the quality and skills of its staff. One of his employees, Skyler Isaac, was recently crowned the overall Grand Champion at the North American Radiator Sharp Skills Competition held at the NARSA (the International Heat Transfer Association) Conference held in St. Louis, MO last September. The exceptional achievement is a genuine source of pride for Reimer. “Our team is skilled and motivated, they love working on radiators and improving the process and systems to produce high quality workmanship. Our goal is to make the customer say wow,” he said. “But it does all come back to the great team. My g uys are professional, innovative, and customer service focused. With Skyler and my other employee Norman Guenter I know I’ve got the right mix of skills and talents to do the job right, no matter the size. They’re a big part of the success of the business.” To learn more, please visit the company’s website at: www.sinkutradiatorservice.com

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Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena - March 2017  

Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena includes business news from Fort St. John and Dawson Creek to Prince Rupert and Kitimat, and from 100...

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