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NOVEMBER 2016

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QUESNEL Gilbert Schotel Named Business Planning for success means planning for succession

Person of the Year

Peace Cariboo Skeena WWW.BUSINESSEXAMINER.CA PAGE 5

TERRACE Brewhouse CoOwners Winners of

Fort St. John | Prince George | Terrace | Vanderhoof

Northern Lights Winery Secures Top Honour at Business Excellence Awards The Prince George Chamber Of Commerce Has Named The Winery Business Of The Year And Its Ceo Entrepreneur And Business Person Of The Year

Executive Award

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INDEX News Update

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HR

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Prince George

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Succession Planning 6 Movers and Shakers 16 Sales

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Opinion

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Law

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OUR 7TH YEAR

RINCE GEORGE—Northern Lights Winery collected multiple honours at the Prince George Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Business Excellence Awards. CEO Doug Bell was on hand to receive the winery’s Business of the Year and Tourism and Hospitality honours, as well as his Entrepreneur and Business Person of the Year award. Reflecting on the October 22 nd gala, Bell is elated and grateful. “The way the awards work is that you are nominated by peers, the judges select four finalists, and then the Cha mber membership—drawn from all different industries—votes. “So it means a lot that we were chosen for these awards. We recognize the fact that it’s an honour

SEE LIGHTS WINERY | PAGE 7

The Northern Lights Winery team

Redesign Rupert, A Conversation About Economic Diversification and Community Resilience in Prince Rupert The Civic Engagement Project Was Initiated By The City Of Prince Rupert And Community Futures, In Partnership With The Community Development Institute

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RINCE RUPERT—For the past few years, the City of Prince Rupert and its citizens have been th i n k i ng about the future—deeply. And Krystin St Jean, the Community Development Institute Senior Facilitator who is hard at work on the city’s Redesign Rupert project, is listening closely. “Redesign Rupert was initiated as a pillar to the Hays 2.0

Vision Plan with a goal of developing a community led vision for community resiliency and economic development in Prince Rupert,” she explains. Last year, Mayor Lee Brain shared his “Hays 2.0 Vision” of Prince Rupert becoming the world-class port city Charles Hays envisioned in the early 20th century. “Hays 2.0” earned kudos from Premier Christy

Clark and started a conversation about what the city could become in a radically different future. The City of Prince Rupert and Community Futures wanted to keep the civic conversation going—and capture the creative strategies that might emerge from it. They partnered with the Community Development Institute, a research institute

from the University of Northern BC with experience supporting rural and small towns as they adjust to the new economy. So how has the Community Development Institute been faci l itat i ng t h i s a mbit ious, citywide conversation about the future? “To bring as many people to the Redesign Rupert SEE PRINCE RUPERT | PAGE 18

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2 PRINCE GEORGE Optimism High Among Local Businesses – Study Business operators in Prince G eorge conti nue to be bu l lish about the city’s economic prospects according to a study recently released by the City of Prince George. The 65 businesspersons interviewed as part of the City’s Business Outreach Program for 2016 reflect a generally optimistic outlook, with only a few caveats relating to provincial and international politics. This is the first year the City of Prince George has conducted the Program, which involves surveys and interviews with i ndu s t r i a l a nd c om m erc i a l business operators from across the local economic spectrum. Mayor Lyn Hall and the City of Prince George’s Manager of Economic Development Melissa Barcellos presented the findings of the report during a luncheon today at the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. Participating companies were selected to represent diverse b u s i n e s s s e c to rs i n P r i n c e George, including retail, construction, manufacturing, and food services. Organizations based mostly or entirely in the public sector were excluded. The optimistic outlook among business is consistent with other recent independent rep or ts i nd ic at i n g t h at Prince George’s economy remains robust and diversified, particularly when measured aga i nst si m i la r-si zed cities across Canada. A report produced by the Conference Board of Canada in July ranked Prince George’s economic outlook as first among the mid-sized Canadian cities studied. Earlier this month, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business released its annual list of cities ranked according to their appeal as a place to start and develop a business. Prince George placed 25th out of the 121 cities from across the country and first in the province in the area of municipal policies that favour business development. Respondents also provided useful feedback that will be explored by the City, such as ways of making the development approval process more efficient and reducing red tape. Other suggestions included focusing on population growth, increasing the number of events and festivals, improving the image of the City and fostering community pride, enhancing nightlife and recreational activities, and continuing to revitalize the downtown area. The City will be conducting its nex t B u si ness O ut re ach Program in the spring of 2017. Businesses interested in participating are asked to contact

NEWS UPDATE the City’s Economic Development Division at 250.561.7633.

CANADA Industry Predicts Minor Rebound for Well Drilling The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) rele a se d it s 2017 Ca n a d i a n D r i l l i n g A c t iv it y Fore c a s t. PSAC expects a total of 4,175 wells (rig releases) to be drilled in Canada in 2017. For 2016, the Association’s final revised forecast predicts a yearly total of 3,950 wells. PSAC bases its 2017 forecast on average natural gas prices of $2.50 CDN/mcf (A E CO), crude oil prices of US$52/barrel (WTI), and the Canadian dollar averaging $0.76USD. PSAC President, Mark Salkeld commented, “T he Canadian oi l f ield ser v ice, supply a nd manufacturing sector is a leader in providing innovation and technological support for Canada’s responsibly-developed oil and gas resources and like our customers, the producers, we are limited in our growth here in Canada as long as we only have one customer, the US, a customer that has quickly become our biggest competitor”. “The world needs more Canad ian oil and gas and it also needs more of t he lead i ng edge technology and expertise that comes from the Canadian oilfield services, supply and m a nu factu r i ng sector, now more than ever while we have surplus capacity.” On a provincial basis for 2017, PSAC estimates 1,900 wells to be drilled in Alberta, and 1,940 wells for Saskatchewan, yearover-year increases of 53 and 240 wells, respectively. Drilling activity in Manitoba is expected to decline by 68 per cent yearover-year, from 74 wells in 2016 to 50 wells in 2017. Activity in British Columbia is also projected to decline from 320 wells in 2016 to 280 wells in 2017. A lt hou g h t he A sso ci at ion expected 2017’s activity to be better than 2016, the projected total of 4,175 wells is still 63 per cent lower than the number of wells drilled in 2014.

BC Public Engagement Open for New ‘Stop of Interest’ Signs The Province has unveiled its plan to rejuvenate and add to the Stop of Interest signs located on highways across British Columbia. BC’s Stop of I nterest sig ns were first planted in 1958 to commemorate the Colony of BC’s centenary and recognize significant historical places, people and events. An inventory of the province’s existing signs was taken in fall 2015. 139

signs were catalogued, with 75 per cent requiring repairs, reinstallation and, in some cases, replacement because the content and language is out of date. In addition to replacing missing and outdated signs, the P rov i nce i s add i ng up to 75 add it ion a l S top of I ntere s t sig ns. British Colu mbia ns a re i nv ited to subm it ide a s for where new signs could be located and what interesting stories could be told to people travelling BC’s highways. The public engagement period is open through Jan. 31, 2017. Submissions will be evaluated based on criteria including the impact the place, person or event has had on the lives of Br it i sh Colu mbi a n s. T he M i n istr y of T ra nspor tation and Infrastructure will begin installing new Stop of Interest signs in late spring/early summer 2017.

DAWSON CREEK Northern Lights College Breaks Ground on New Trades Centre Nor ther n L ights College recently marked an important milestone with the official ground breaking of a new $33-million t r a de s t r ai n i ng fa ci l it y at it s Dawson Creek campus. The trades training facility is supported by the Government of Canada through the PostSecondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, which will enhance and modernize facilities on Canadian campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities. The new $33-million training centre will replace the Second World War-era structure current ly i n use by t rades students and instructors. Trades programs at the Dawson Creek c a mp u s a re s pre ad out i n a number of separate buildings a nd sites, w ith prog ra ms i n buildings not originally designed for trades training. The Government of Canada is contributing $14.57 million and the Province of British Columbia is providing $15.06 million toward the $33-million cost of the project. Northern Lights College and private partners will contribute an additional $3.39 million. T he project w i l l see a new 3,995 square-metre facility and the demolition of 4,000 square metres of existing facilities. The construction contract was awarded to Ledcor Group. The ground-breaking event was also an occasion to recognize the donors who will help make up the difference in the cost of the new trades building. Private partners include Canbriam Energy Inc., Encana Services Company, Shell Canada, Black Swan Energy, Continental

NOVEMBER 2016

P ip el i ne a n d T ra n s Ca n ad a Pipeline. The new trades centre is expected to be ready for occupancy in early 2018. The project will generate approximately 133 direct and 102 indirect jobs during development. Nearly one million jobs openings are expected throughout the province by 2025, due to retirements and economic development, and nearly eight out of 10 of those openings will require post-secondary education and/or skilled trades training.

the majority of available jobs will be camp service positions. This includes front desk clerks, housekeeping, cooks, general kitchen help and dishwashers. ATCO Two Rivers Lodging has a nd w i l l conti nue to recru it locally for these positions.

FORT ST. JOHN

For the second consecutive year the University of Northern British Columbia is the top university in its category according to rankings released by Maclean’s magazine. UNBC placed first in the Primarily Undergraduate category that includes 19 universities. “ T h i s f i rs t-pl a c e ra n k i n g ref lects the strengths of our community. From UNBC’s outstanding students, talented faculty, dedicated staff, successful alumni, generous donors and tireless supporters, everyone involved in our institution has helped us become Canada’s top small university,” says UNBC P resident Dr. Daniel Weeks. “This recognition again confirms that UNBC continues to educate future leaders who will serve to strengthen our region, our province, and our country.” Strong scores in the research dollars, library acquisitions, student awards and student/ faculty ratio categories propel led U N BC to a nother top ranking. U NBC tied for first place with Acadia in the student awards category, which measures the number of students per 1,000 who have won national awards. UNBC also finished in the top five in faculty awards a nd l ibra r y i nvestment as a proportion of the University’s budget. Current students, who were surveyed as part of the ranki n g s, g ave U N B C e xc el lent g rades i n the menta l hea lth services and student life staff categories.

Site C Worker Accommodation Lodge Complete BC Hydro and its contractor, ATCO Two Rivers Lodging Group, are pleased to celebrate the completion of the worker accommodation lodge, a significant project milestone for the Site C Clean Energy Project. T he lodge – wh ich i ncludes 1,600 rooms and a wide variety of on-site amenities – has been completed on time and on budget. Providing innovative, highqu a l ity accom mod at ion for workers is a key component of the project’s labour approach to attract and retain a skilled workforce. This approach provides workers from all over BC the opportunity to participate in building this legacy project while enjoying a comfortable lodge with amenities that promote health, wellness and social interaction. The Site C lodge features single-occupancy bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, television and Wi-Fi services. Now that the lodge is complete, workers have access to a movie theatre, spi ritua l centre, ha i r sa lon, coffee shop, games room, convenience store, a full gym with fitness classes and personal training programs, a registered massage therapist and a managed lounge. In addition, the lodge has its own health clinic which provides Site C workers with access to primary and preventative health care, along with workrelated injury evaluation and treatment. ATCO Two R ivers Lodging Group was awarded the eightyear $470-million contract to complete the design, construction, partial financing, operation and maintenance of the worker accommodation lodge in fall 2015. At the peak of lodge construction (June 2016), there were 117 carpenters, labourers and foremen on site, represented by the CMAW-BC union, and 143 camp services employees, represented by the Teamsters union. T he ca mp has now entered the full operations phase and

PRINCE GEORGE UNBC Repeats at Top of Maclean’s Rankings

PRINCE GEORGE City Adds New Welcome Signs Two new welcome signs were officia l ly recently u nveiled, welcoming residents and visitors alike into Prince George’s downtown core. The project was part of a $1 million Placemaking Enhancement Initiative by the Prince G eorge Dow ntow n Business I m p r ove m e nt A s s o ci at i o n , w h i c h i n c l u d e d $ 2 5 0, 0 0 0 i n f u nd i ng f rom Northern Development. The project began in 2014 as part of the preparations for the 2015 Canada Winter Games, the


NEWS UPDATE

NOVEMBER 2016

city’s 100th Anniversary and UNBC’s 25th Anniversary. The project included the installation of way finding signs, landscaping, public art and façade improvements for a number of downtown businesses. The two new welcome signs, placed in strategic downtown entrance locations at Queensway and 5th Avenue, increase the visibility and identity of Prince George’s downtown. The signs demonstrate continuity of a wider way finding strategy for the city’s downtown, link into existing downtown signage infrastructure and utilize wood to create a connection with the surrounding environment and a long-term resilient finished product. T he sig n s were created by Northern Capital Wood Products, with site selection and preparation completed by the City of Prince George.

PRINCE RUPERT Search and Rescue Society Renews Equipment Through Investment from Rupert Port People exploring Prince Rupert’s pristine wilderness can feel even safer knowing local responders are better equipped than ever before in the event of an emergency.

T he Prince Rupert Ground Search & Rescue Society (PRGSAR) is the latest beneficiary of the Port of Prince Rupert’s Community Investment Fund, receiving $52,500 towards its comprehensive revitalization project. The project centred around the purchase of new training and response equipment that will allow PRGSAR to establish a proper Incident Command Post and outfit each of the organization’s 16 dedicated volunteers with required response gear. PRGSA R is a volu nteer organization with the mission of providing professional emergency management for terrain and inland waters in the Prince Rupert area.  Started in 2013 and officially registered as a society in May 2014, PRGSAR currently has 30 active members that conduct over 2,500 hours of annual training and have provided rescue response to multiple incidents in the past two years. In addition to mobilizing an initial response team and attending emergency call-outs, P RG S A R m e m b e r s p ro v i d e safety education and training sessions for local youth through engagement with School District 52. PRGSA R h as a n act ive Facebook page that community members are encouraged to follow for more information on

society activities and volunteer opportunities.

BC Business Confidence Grows in BC, Drops Across Nation C a n a d a ’s s m a l l b u s i n e s s confidence dropped another point in October, falling for the second straight month to 57.7 according to the Canadian Fe d e rat i o n of I n d e p e n d e nt Business’s Business Barometer Index. O n a sc a le b et we en 0 a nd 100, an index above 50 means owners expecting their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. One normally sees an index level of between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential. Br it ish Colu mbia bou nced back from September, gaining two full points to reach 65.5. Alberta dropped six points to 41.5, while Saskatchewan picked up one point to hit 55.1. Manitoba and Ontario held steady at 55.6 and 60.4 respectively. Quebec took a step back this month, falling two points to 64.8. New Bru nsw ick d ropped a nother three points to 56.1, while Nova Scotia climbed four points to reach 65.5. Prince Edward Island held steady at 65.8, and

Newfoundland and Labrador saw a second straight month of improved optimism, gaining three points to reach 44.4. Businesses in the information, arts and recreation sectors were the most upbeat, followed by financial services and real estate. The transportation, hospitality and professional services sectors were among the weakest. The general state of business health remained stable, as did price and wage expectations. October 2016 f i nd i ngs a re based on 651 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through October 17. Findings are statistically accurate to +/3.8 per cent 19 times in 20.

BC New Report Indicates Importance of Small Business to Province BC - There’s nothing small about the continued growth of BC’s small business sector as outlined in the Small Business Profile 2016: A profile of small business in British Columbia. The 2016 Small Business Profile includes updated key economic indicators such as job growth (including self-employment) and exports, trends by industry, regional breakdowns

3 and cross- jurisdictional comparisons to report out on the health of the sector throughout the province. The report outlines how small businesses continue to make up a sizeable part of BC’s gross domestic product (GDP). At 35 per cent of GDP, BC was well ahead of the Canadian national average of 32%, and ahead of BC’s level of 34 per cent in 2014. Additional BC small business sector highlights from the 2016 profile include: Small businesses continue to employ over one million British Columbians, which is 55 per cent of all private sector jobs in BC and 45 per cent of all employment in BC; both figures are an increase compared to the 2015 profile. The accommodation and food services industry was the largest provider of new small business jobs with over 11,000 jobs created from 2010 until 2015. Small businesses exports from BC total approximately $12.9 billion— over 36 per cent of BC’s total exports with 53 per cent of exports destined for the U.S.A. Small businesses per capita in BC continue to rank first in in Canada with 83 small businesses per 1,000 people, far above the national average of 70.3. There were 9,905 high tech businesses with employees in British Colu mbia i n 2015, of those 96 per cent were small businesses.


HR/PRINCE GEORGE

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NOVEMBER 2016

KEEPING LONG TERM STAFF ENGAGED

HR CHRISTINE WILLOW

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t Chemistry Consulting Group we are fortunate to have worked with some of our team for ten, fifteen and in some cases as long as 20 years. However Chemistry, like many

organizations, has to ensure that our long-term staff does not get into a what feels like a bit of a rut and that they stay engage and motivated. The following are some practical steps to ensure your team stays engaged for the long run. Be clear about your performance expectations. Job descriptions ensure your employees clearly understand the requirements of their role. Once employed, regular face-to- face performance discussions in addition to annual reviews are critical to ensure that everyone knows where they stand in regards to performance.

Involve your team in discussions regarding company strategy and financial targets, and how they relate to the individual. When your team is informed and invested in what you do, they will be more engaged. Ensure your salary, benefits and incentive programs are competitive and actually incentivizing the behaviours and outcomes that you want to see. Solicit feedback daily from as many staff as you can in regards to their challenges and frustrations and how those can best be overcome. Review their career aspirations and how you may be able

Bullying in construction It’s not part of the job

to support them in achieving their goals. Consider changing their job functions or offering more diversity in their work. Challenge them to come up with ideas and special projects that will benefit the organization and make their work more interesting. If appropriate delegate more responsibility for some areas of their work so that they can take ownership of their work. Be visible, manage by walking around – seeing you regularly and not just when giving directions or reviews builds a rapport that will make your staff feel comfortable coming to you with ideas and frustrations. We cannot manage by email.

CHRISTIE RAY

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• Verbal aggression or insults • Harmful hazing or initiation practices • Vandalizing personal belongings • Spreading malicious rumours Help prevent workplace bullying and harassment. Find resources and view our video series at worksafebc.com/preventbullying.

Christine is with Chemistry Consulting and can be reached at c.willow@chemistryconsulting.ca

‘LUNCH AMONG THE TREES’ AN ANNUAL COMMUNITY AFFAIR

PRINCE GEORGE

Bullying and harassment can take many forms. Know what to look for.

Offer simple Thank Yous! Taking the time talking to and motivating your staff, being aware of how they see their work place has many positive results to the business from bottom line to just being a happier place to come to everyday. Your staff are often the front line of your business and main interaction with your clients and customers and therefore critical to your success. Treating your employees well will foster loyalty and increase your retention and with many industries experiencing recruitment challenges, well worth it.

ou can definitely feel the change from fall to winter in the crisp Prince George weather these days. With Christmas just around the corner, many businesses are already preparing for staff holiday coverage, secret Santa gift-giving events and festive staff Christmas parties. Fitting a staff Christmas party into an already busy schedule near Christmas may feel more like an item on the ‘to-do’ list rather than a true holiday celebration. But it is so important to make time for out-of-office celebrations with employees and their families that many businesses wrestle with the best way to create these casual connections and build relationships with their team. A unique and convenient option for both Chamber members and other businesses in Prince George is our Chamber’s ‘Lunch Among the Trees’ that takes place during the Festival of the Trees on Wednesday, November 30 th at the Civic Centre. With just under 300 seats at this lunch, it sells out year after year as one of our most popular events. For the affordable price of $40 per member or $50 for future Cha mber members, you ca n treat your staff to a delicious

“Your guests will also be inspired by an RBC Olympian keynote speaker and then finish the experience with an opportunity to wander and enjoy the lights and décor of the Festival of the Trees.” traditional turkey luncheon while enjoying carols sung by the Bel Canto Choir. Your guests will also be inspired by an RBC Olympian keynote speaker and then finish the experience with an opportunity to wander and enjoy the lights and décor of the Festival of the Trees. We’ll be spreading the spirit of giving by encouraging our guests to bring a donation of non-perishable food items for the St. Vincent de Paul Society.  All donors will be entered to win a Kobo eReader & gift card.  If you’ve never been to Festival of the Trees before, or even if you make a point of going annually, be sure to share this festive experience with those in your office of place of work. And if treating your staff isn’t in the budget or you have other holiday party ideas, join us by organizing a lunch date with co-workers and join us on November 30 at Lunch Among the Trees. T ickets m ay be pu rch ased by contacting the Chamber by phone at 250-562-2454 or online at www.pgchamber.bc.ca under the ‘Events’ tab. Hope to see you at the event! 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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NOVEMBER 2016

Gilbert Schotel Named Business Person Of The Year Quesnel Chamber Of Commerce Awards Local Print Shop Owner

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UESNEL – The Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce has awarded Gilbert Schotel, the owner of Big Country Printers Ltd., with its prestigious Business Person of the Year Award. Schotel, who has essentially grown up in the printing business, was recognized at the Business Excellence Awards dinner October 22 at the Quesnel Seniors Centre. “Winning an award like this is a very humbling thing, as it’s not all about one person but about the work of everybody involved,” Schotel explained. “I have a great team of employees behind me and that’s a big part of it. I also think what has made us successful over the years is selling the customer what works best for them, not necessarily selling them what makes us the most money. What works best for my customers in the long term is what is going to be the best for me and the business.” If it had not been for a trip to the barber, Schotel might never have received his honour, or even visited the Cariboo at all. His parents Gary and Alida Schotel

This iconic local business can trace its origins back to 1908, becoming a stand-alone business in the 1960s’

“I have a great team of employees behind me and that’s a big part of it.” GILBERT SCHOTEL OWNER, BIG COUNTRY PRINTERS LTD.

terms of technology,” he stated. “Right from the beginning it’s always been about providing the best in customer service. That’s never changed and is probably one of the only things that will not change as we move forward. Craftsmanship, quality and doing the job right – that’s the way it’s always been.” To learn more, visit the company’s website at: www.bigcountryprinters.com

Schotel received his award at a special ceremony October 22 QUESNEL CARIBOO OBSERVER PHOTO

immigrated to Canada from their native Holland in 1974. A printer by trade the elder Schotel had settled on Prince Albert, Saskatchewan as his potential Canadian destination. As that prairie community was essentially located in the middle of the country it seemed like the right place to settle for a pair of new arrivals. “Why did they settle in Quesnel? It all came down to Dad going to the barber,” Gilbert good naturedly explained. Before immigrating to Canada the senior Schotel stopped off at a barbershop in Rotterdam in the Netherlands for some tonsorial updating when an ad in a newspaper caught his eye. In an example of pure serendipity the Dutch newspaper, as unlikely as it seems, had a classified ad announcing the need for a printer in far off Quesnel, BC. That chance viewing of an advertisement saw him readjust his plans, and reset the stage for Gilbert Schotel’s future career and chamber accolades. “They were in the process of acquiring immigration status at that point, so for him to have a job to go to went a long way toward them settling in Canada. I was actually born here in Quesnel in 1975, so if he hadn’t gone to the barber things would

have been totally different for me,” he said. Beginning work at Big Country Printers in 1974, Gary Schotel bought out the firm in 1976, with Gilbert taking over the reins of the family business in 2010. Big Country Printers’ origins are as interesting as the present owner’s family history. Originally launched as a companion print shop to the Quesnel Cariboo Observer newspaper in 1908, the firm became a separate corporate entity in the 1960s’. A full service commercial printer, Big Country Printers is also heavily involved in a number of business related services including selling office furniture, stationery products, art supplies and even marketing trophies and engraving services. “Essentially if it’s ink or toner on paper we can provide it. We still run offset printing, digital printing and provide other services such as selling stationery,” he said. For the future Schotel expects to continue to provide the services and products his customers have come to rely on. “Over the past 15 years printing has really evolved and we continue to adapt new systems to ensure we don’t fall behind in

75%

of employers rate workers with intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder as GOOD TO VERY GOOD on performance Inclusive Hiring Works www.readywillingable.ca


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SUCCESSION PLANNING

NOVEMBER 2016

PLANNING FOR LIFE AFTER BUSINESS STARTS WITH A CLEAR VISION

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ow does your business fit into your overall retirement plan? That’s the question Andrew Adams thinks more business owners need to ask themselves – and the sooner the better. “If you’re always working head down in the business, you can quickly reach the point when you decide you want to retire – only to realize you’re not in a position to do so. That’s a terrible place to be,” Adams says. Based in Prince George, Adams is a business advisor with MNP LLP, a national accounting and business consulting firm. He is also involved in a small family business and understands first-hand the challenge of balancing daily demands with long-term planning. Adams notes it’s often the spouse of a successful business owner – not the business owner themselves – who starts the conversation about when and how to begin stepping back from the business. “T he key i s to con sider wh at you want your life to look like as you start to transition into retirement,” he advises. “Then you can work backwards to where you are today and start making decisions that take you closer to where you want to go.” As an example, Adams notes some business owners pay themselves dividends instead of a salary because it’s beneficial from a tax perspective. However, this could have unintended consequences on your retirement by reducing your RRSP contribution room and CPP benefits. “Either option can work,” he clarifies, “but it depends on how much you are relying on your business to fund your retirement.” In some cases, the business may not have enough value to meet the owner’s ongoing financial needs in retirement. In other cases it may not even be saleable. “I n genera l, t he more va lu able a n ow ner is to thei r busi ness, the less valuable the business is to a potential buyer,” Adams cautions. “In order to sell, we need to take the owner out of the equation so the buyer can step in and successfully run the company on their own.” To determine if your business is ready to tra nsition, Adams suggests asking one simple question: Am I so vital to the operation of my business that I can’t step away? “If the answer is yes, then you have some planning to do,” he advises.

“To determine if your business is ready to transition, ask yourself one simple question: ‘Am I so vital to the operation of my business that I can’t step away?’ If the answer is yes, you have some planning to do.”

Andrew Adams, MNP Prince George

Michael Johnson, MNP Terrace

“If you’re always working head down in the business, you can quickly reach the point when you decide you want to retire – only to realize you’re not in a position to do so. That’s a terrible place to be.”

Whether your goal is to sell the business to a third party, transfer it to a family member or sell to an employee group, there are many steps that need to be taken to prepare the business for a transfer of ownership. T hat’s why Adams recommends you start planning now. Tax considerations are another important consideration. “Depending on how your business is structured and exactly what you sell, taxes could account for upwards of 40 per cent of the value you have built,” explains Michael Johnson, a business advisor with MNP in Terrace. “There are often ways to reduce this with some up-front tax planning, but you need to start early as some rules require your company to be onside for a few years prior to exiting the business.” Johnson offers these questions as a starting point: When you look at your company, are there assets such as a building or an investment portfolio that you do not want to sell with the business? If so, there is some tax planning to be done. Is your company able to sell its shares rather than its assets? Accessing the capital gains exemption on the sale of qualifying business shares can provide up to $824,176 of value for each shareholder tax-free – if you meet the criteria. Do you need your money out all at once or can you fund your retirement over time? There may be options to use multiple years of marginal personal tax rates

to save taxes. Adams says the key is to plan for how and when you will exit your business within the larger context of your overall retirement plan. Your plan should be flexible enough to deal with uncertainties, while providing you with a clear path to your desired lifestyle in retirement. “If you’ve done a good job of planning and made yourself less central to the day-to-day operations, and you’ve determined how your business fits into your retirement plan, you may even find you can take the time off your spouse really wants and still have a business that is building in value and working for you,” Adams concludes. “That’s a much better place to be because then you’ve got options.”

Succession planning isn’t just about what you’re leaving behind — it’s about what lies ahead. An ExitSMART™ succession plan can help you take care of your family, finances and stakeholders when you’re ready to move on from your business. MNP’s succession professionals work closely with you to create the peace of mind and financial security you need to enjoy the next phase of your life. Fort St. John Julie Ziebart, CPA, CA T: 250.794.5104

Prince George & Vanderhoof Andrew Adams, CPA, CA T: 250.596.4900

Terrace Michael Johnson, CPA, CA T: 250.635.4925


OFF THE COVER

NOVEMBER 2016

7

The Northern Lights Winery’s four Business Excellence Awards

The Northern Lights Winery, situated by the iconic Nechako River cutbanks

LIGHTS WINERY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

coming from our peers.” If 2016 has been a good year for Northern Lights Winery on the awards front, the past few have been, unsurprisingly, excellent in terms of business. According to Bell, Northern Lights (a division of Family Fast Foods Ltd.) has essentially developed in alignment with the vision they set out for it

in their business plan. Before they broke ground in 2013, Bell and his team knew they wanted Northern Lights to be a “community winery.” He says, “We wanted it to be high end and high quality, a beautiful place on the river that could facilitate more events and instill a sense of pride in the people of Prince George.” To realize this vision of a winery the community would take

ownership of, Northern Lights followed a two-pronged strategy for success. They worked hard to make the winery accessible to all groups, and also invested heavily into “giving back.” And when Bell lists a few of the creative and charitable initiatives Northern Lights has spearheaded, it becomes clear “giving back” is more than sentiment. The winery has engaged in everything from major fundraising to

“I appreciate the fact that this winery brings the community together and inspires people with a new vision for what Prince George has to offer.” DOUG BELL CEO

bear conflict reduction. What Bell seems most proud of, however, is the “Climb for Cancer” event Northern Lights organized to raise over $30,000

for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Kordyban Lodge. The Lodge provides accommodation for out-oftown residents receiving medical treatment at the Cancer Agency Centre for the North in Prince George.  In addition to raising tens of thousands of dollars, the event showcased the iconic Nechako River cutbanks the winery is proud to call home. Participants climbed the cutbanks as many times as they wished and then returned to the winery for food, drink, and entertainment. “We’re looking forward to hosting that event again,” says Bell. “Those are the sorts of gatherings that make people say, ‘This is my winery.’” northernlightswinery.ca

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CONSTRUCTION Provincial Construction Industry Sees Bright Future Provincial Major Projects Inventory Pegged At More Than $320 Billion

Industry experts say the future of the provincial construction sector is bright and getting even better

In the coming years as many as 40,000 jobs may open up as the Baby Boom generation retire BY DAVID HOLMES

F

iguratively and quite litera l ly the construction industry has built British Columbia. From the smallest one and two person carpentry business to the largest commercial construction company, the impact of this expanding and increasingly vital industry can be felt all across the province - an impact that is expected to continue to grow in the years ahead. BuildForce Canada (a n entity originally established in

2001 as the Construction Sector Council), was created solely to provide the construction industry with the information and resources it needs to manage its workforce. The group has suggested that a significant expansion of the BC construction industry workforce will have to occu r over t he nex t few years to meet an expected demand for skilled labor. Cont i ngent on t he i n it i at ion of the prov i nce’s long pla n ned Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) SEE CONSTRUCTION | PAGE 10


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NOVEMBER 2016

The home building sector is also experiencing energized growth in all regions of the province

CONSTRUCTION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8

projects, as many as 17,000 new workers will be needed to meet the skilled labor demand in the next few years alone. In its published report: Const r u ct i o n a n d Ma i n t e n a n c e Looking Forward (2016–2025) BuildForce forecast that nonresidential construction is expected to generate more than 1 2,000 new jobs, wh i le t he gradual retirement of the Baby Boomer generation will free up another 40,000 positions. Advocating on behalf of the

construction industry in the province for nearly 50 years is the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA), a profession a l orga n i zat ion representi ng the prov i nce’s industrial, commercial, and i n s t i t u t io n a l c o n s t r u c t io n companies. “T he BC Construction Association is an employer’s association. Currently more than 1,600 construction employers are members of the BCCA and our Regional Associations across British Columbia,” explained association President SEE CONSTRUCTION | PAGE 11

Building of pipelines to carry Liquefied Natural Gas will become major construction projects in BC

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CONSTRUCTION

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^ŝƚĞͲ/ŶŝƟĂů^ƚĂŐĞƐ The amount of work on tap over the next ten years will require a continual flow of new workers into the industry

CONSTRUCTION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

Manley McLachlan. “ T h ro u g h o u r p ro vincial services like BidCentral and the Skilled Trades Employ ment P ro g r a m , w e s u p p o r t

thousands of additional companies. We’re very proud of ou r membership and of the services we provide to the sector at large.” T he BCCA’s integrated memb ersh ip comes t h rou g h fou r reg ion a l

con st r uct ion a sso ci at i o n s : t h e Va n c o u ve r Island Construction Ass o c i a t i o n ( V IC A ), t h e Va n c o u v e r R e g i o n a l Construction Association ( V RC A), t he Nor t her n SEE CONSTRUCTION | PAGE 12

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NOVEMBER 2016

CONSTRUCTION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

Regional Construction Association (NRCA) and the Southern Interior Construction Association (SICA). The BCCA also works closely with the industry’s national body, the Canadian Construction Association (CCA). “Advocacy on behalf of industr y is a la rge pa r t of the work we do. We are supported by the membership and operate with a volunteer Board of Directors. We have collaborated with other industry associations on many projects, including the creation of the Council of Construction Associations (COCA), which we also support financially. The sole focus of COCA is Worksafe BC and advocacy around safety issues,” he explained. According to McLachlan one of the top issues facing the industry today is a general agi ng of the work force a nd a n increased need to encourage young people to consider the construction industry as a career option. “We did a recent survey with our membership and the top three issues they expressed were the availability of skilled workers, profitability, and competition at every level.” The challenge of attracting SEE CONSTRUCTION | PAGE 13

One area of concern for the industry is replacing skilled workers as the Baby Boomers retire

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the nex t generation into the construction trades is just as great a concern for the residential construction industry – a sector of the economy that is busy all across the province. Sherri Paiement is the

13 Executive Officer of the Cana d i a n Hom e B u i ld e rs A ssociation Central Okanagan (CHBA-CO), an organization representi ng more tha n 220 companies which employ approx i m ately 5,000 workers t h rou g hout t he reg ion. For her the need to showcase the SEE CONSTRUCTION | PAGE 14

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CONSTRUCTION

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13

benefits of a construction industry career is essential for the continued health of her industry. “The home building industry here in the Okanagan is really busy at this time with no sign of it slowing down any time soon,” she said. “We’re so busy in fact there are delays in permits, the contractors are delaying jobs because they’re just too busy so the whole construction industry is getting pushed because of the demand. There isn’t really a manpower shortage at present but the contractors are so busy they are straining to be able to meet the orders, everyone is working to capacity.” To ease this pressure her organization works with local educational institutions in the form of bursaries and other incentives to encourage students to embark on careers in the trades. “We’re finding young people are more interested in the trades now than ever. On a societal level I think we view the trades differently today, recognizing that these are not menial but skilled and well paying jobs. For the country to grow and prosper we need to encourage new arrivals to the industry, they’re the ones who are going to build tomorrow,” she said. For McLachlan the future for the construction industry is very bright, especially considering how much work is forecast to occur in the coming years. “There is a very positive future for construction here in British Columbia, the major projects inventory list is now

“There is a very positive future for construction here in British Columbia.” MANLEY MCLACHLAN PRESIDENT, BC CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION

sitting at nearly $320 billion,” he said. “Those are projects we’re going to see over the next 10 years. That to me is the weathervane that says clearly that there is a very strong future for the industry in BC.” To v iew the associations websites please v isit: w w w.bccassn.com a nd www.chbaco.com

CUSTOM SOFTWARE PACKAGE A BOON FOR CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY Key Business Solutions BC Provider Of The Spectrum® Software System

“This software was created specifically for the construction industry.” KENA CAMPBELL

B

C – The work carried out by the construction industry can be complex – with project management, change management, payroll, equipment maintenance, accounting needs and a host of other factors to be considered on a daily basis. Simplifying that process, freeing industry operators to focus on their jobs rather than administrative duties, was the catalyst that lead to the creation of the innovative Spectrum® Construction Software package, being marketed in BC by Coquitlam’s Key Business Solutions Ltd. (KBS). “We are the reseller of a construction accounting software developed by the Seattle based sof twa re compa ny Dexter + Chaney called Spectrum®,” explained Kena Campbell, a coowner of KBS. “This software was created specifically for the construction industry and is a cloud based system that includes modules tailored for individual accounting needs, such as inventory, equipment, payroll, purchasing, materials and more.”

CO-OWNER, KEY BUSINESS SOLUTIONS

K BS, which was founded in 2013, is the exclusive British Columbia distributor of the software. Dexter + Chaney has been in the construction software development industry since 1981, but only with this latest version of Spectrum® has the end user had the ability to access the system from a cloud-based source, providing user flexibility never before available. “Spect r u m® is a complete software platform for construction accounting, including job costing, project management, equipment management, operations management and more. To date Dexter + Chaney have more than 1,200 companies using the system across North America,” Campbell said. T h e s t re n g t h of t h e s of tware, aside from its all-in-one

One advantage of the Spectrum® software is that is can be accessed remotely with any device

The Spectrum® package was designed for industry by the Seattle-based firm of Dexter + Chaney accounting functionality, is that it can be accessed online from anywhere that has an Internet

connection, with any type of device. Cloud based not systembased, Spectrum® offers real

time instant access to information, even from remote locations in the field. Once the user purchases Spectrum® and installs it on their server, they will have ready access to the package wherever the jobsite is located. “This software is designed for mid to larger sized companies, it is a very scalable software and adaptable for just about any sized company. One of our clients for example is Stone Pacific Contracting of Duncan,” she explained. Current users of the software include excavating companies, general contractors, developers, civil contractors, electrical contractors and more. Cloud based, user friendly, adaptable and noted for its seamless integration of data, Spectrum® increasingly has proven itself as the right choice for users of construction industry accounting software. “In British Columbia there are over 80 companies currently using this unique web-based software, but we obviously see where this could be the solution for any number of companies. It’s a great product and we’re very exciting about marketing it,” Campbell explained. For more information visit the firm’s website at: www.constructionsoftware.ca


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NOVEMBER 2016

15

Company An Industry Leader In Site Development Coast Industrial Construction: Specialists In Civil Construction Assignments

Coast Industrial Construction specializes in heavy construction projects, often in remote locations

CiC has a staff count of more than 50 and is a partnership venture with the Gitxaala First Nation

P

RINCE RUPERT – A heavy civil construction firm specializing in site and infrastructure development in Northwest British Columbia, often in remote or isolated locations. Coast Industrial Construction (CiC) was created as a joi nt ventu re between the

Gitxaala First Nation (majority owner) and CiC. With a team totaling more than 50, an extensive f leet of construction and transportation equipment, the company provides turnkey construction solutions for a wide range of industrial, municipal and resource and energy

sector clients. “Proficient in the niche discipline of drilling and blasting (urban, industrial and quarrying), and combined with CiC’s crushing, screening and mass material movement capacity we are able to able to provide our clients with project specific

“We are able to provide our clients with project specific aggregates efficiently and effectively.” MICHELLE WATSON EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT, COAST INDUSTRIAL CONSTRUCTION

aggregates efficiently and effectively.” explained Executive Assistant Michelle Watson.

Headqu a r tered i n P ri nce R u p e r t a t 2 6 0 -1 10 1 s t Ave n u e We s t, C i C h a s a te a m approach to del iveri ng projects. P rojects i nclude a n ex tended rel at ion sh ip w it h t he City of Prince Rupert, as wel l as hav i ng worked on major projects for industrial clients such as the Prince Rupert Port Authority, K itimat L N G , Ava nt i K it s u a lt M i n e a nd BC Hydro. To learn more, visit the company’s website at: www.coastindustrialconstruction.ca

Construction Association Created To Support Industry NCRA To Introduce New Project Preview Program Early In 2017

P

RINCE GEORGE – With a geographic coverage area larger than Sweden, and representing more than 300 individual member companies, the Northern Regional Construction Association (NCRA) is in every sense the voice of Northern British Columbia’s construction industry. This multitiered, non-profit entity came into being only last Spring, the results of the merger of a number of smaller, regional construction associations. By serving as a combination advocacy group, educational resource and industry support system the NCRA can speak on behalf of its membership for legislative change, while providing a range of products and services intended to keep the regional industry energized, up to date and on the job. “By creating an umbrella group from the different associations we’re able to provide a much more focused and enhanced service to our members,” explained Scott Bone, the NRCA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “Covering a vast geographic area, from the Alberta border to Haida Gwaii, our members come from all across the region. We have a total membership right now of just over 300 member companies, but there

are no statistics about how many actual employees that involves. It’s safe to say that construction is a big employer in the region.” NRCA members would not include residential construction firms but those that focus on industrial, commercial and institutional projects. Endeavors such as this could include anything from building a factory to constructing an office building or university campus. The Association’s members would typically work with all levels of government and with major corporate clients when working on projects. “When we talk of institutional, all of the municipalities and regional districts in the north are our members. These would be examples of institutional buyers of our member’s services,” Bone said. One of the key services NRCA provides its membership is access to the innovative BidCentral online plan room. This web based resource gives member companies 24 hour access to a wide range of information, from project updates to bidding tools that allow a firm to put in a bid for a specific project. “BidCentral is an online plan room where owners can upload their bid documents so that

members can access the documents electronically. It’s extremely useful technology that has essentially become the industry standard for this process. We have become a leader in Canada in using this application for bidding programs,” he explained. Industry advocates, a centralized source for project information and bidding protocols, a resource of training support and industry information, the Northern Regional Construction Association may be new as an entity but long in experience assisting the construction industry across Northern BC. Not content to rest the NRCA has even more plans for the future. “In early 2017 we’ll be rolling out a project that we call ‘Pre-Bid’ which is a list of major projects within our region that are currently either in the conceptual or detailed designed phase,” Bone said. “What we’ll do is share that information with our members so they can become more strategic in their planning for upcoming opportunities. It’s all part of the service of supporting the construction industry in the north.” To learn more, visit the Association’s website at: www. bccanorth.ca

Northern Regional Construction Association

3851 18th Avenue Prince George, BC V2N 1B1 Phone: (250) 563-1744 Fax: (250) 563-1107

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MOVERS & SHAKERS

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NOVEMBER 2016

in September. Linda was one of the top 100 representatives from across the nation to be recognized at the event.

Terrace The federal and provincial governments have pledged $12 million to the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre in Hazelton, which is scheduled to begin construction this spring. The recreation centre will serve as the region’s main centre for activity, with plans including an ice surface with seating for 500 spectators, a gym, a fitness room, and a community rental space. The Northwest Regional Airport manager, Carman Hendry, has announced that passenger numbers are on target to meet this year’s projected estimate. This fall numbers are expected to drop, but ultimately remain on schedule to total 225,000 passengers in this fiscal year. Simultaneously, the airport’s expansion plans are underway for phase one, which will see new ticket counters and airline offices. Expanding the airport’s holding room and security areas is next on the agenda for the project. City of Terrace was recognized with an award for exceptional floral displays at the provincial Communities in Bloom competition for 2016. City councilors Brian Downie, Lynne Christiansen, and Mayor Carol Leclerc received the award with the Greater Terrace Beautification Society, which received a rating of four blooms out of five and a ranking of 79.5

per cent. A five-bloom status is 81 per cent. Trishan Fast Food, a local joint serving butter chicken, curries and other tempting dishes, has opened its doors for business at 4702 Keith Avenue.

Prince Rupert A new truck and trailer repair shop, Impact Truck Centre, has opened in Prince Rupert. Impact Truck is located at 1600A Prince Rupert Boulevard and repairs all makes and models of trucks and trailers. DP World’s expansion of their Fairview Container Terminal Phase 2 North project will draw an estimated 250 workers by its opening in July 2017. The employment boost will see the project representing 10 per cent of Prince Rupert’s labour force. Fairview’s expansion features a second berth for ships, three

New on Specialty Avenue!

additional cranes, and capacity to ship 1.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) each year. Former Prince Rupert RCMP Staff Sergeant James Vardy, was recognized by Governor General David Johnson with the Order of Merit of the Police Force, for his exceptional leadership contributions while serving in the RCMP. Staff Sergeant Vardy served for 34 years working in marine services, developing a program for a division of the BC fleet, and looking after all vessels in the RCMP’s possession. Carter’s Jewellers will be closing the doors of their 3rd Avenue West location. Local Nisga’a First Nations artist, Nakkita Trimble, was selected to participate as part of a residency program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from October 4th to November 4th. While in Santa Fe, her work was featured in the residency program art exhibit, along with another artist from Alaska.

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and returns to Xingang. The Metlakatla Nation Governing Council has sworn in their newly elected members: Councilors Karen Jeffrey, Alrita Leask, Alvin Leask, Sharon Morven, Robert Nelson, Cindy Smith, and Chief Councilor Harold Leighton.

Williams Lake The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) plans to request nearly $100,000 from the BC Rural Dividend grant program to support the Cariboo Strong Economic Development Initiative in the North Cariboo, Central Cariboo and Chilcotin areas. The CRD Board also conceded to submit an application to the CanadaBritish Columbia Clean Water and Wastewater Fund for 83 per cent of the funding necessary to improve the 103 Mile Water System. The Williams Lake Chamber of Commerce hosted a Business Walk in participation with BC’s Small Business Month. The event, supported by the BIA, the City of Williams Lake and Community Futures Cariboo-Chilcotin, sent teams of two to downtown businesses and businesses along Highway 97 to better anticipate the city’s business needs and to get a sense of how small business owners feel about the community. The Chamber plans to make it an annual event, and even hopes to host more than one event per year.

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The Pacific NorthWest LNG project was approved for a 40-year natural gas export license by the National Energy Board (NEB), which went up from the previous license for 25 years. The license takes effect beginning with the first day of export. Zim Integrated Shipping Services (ZIM), an Israeli shipping company, has added Prince Rupert as a destination on their AsiaPacific North West Trade route, which began October 25th. Prince Rupert was added to its China Express Northwest Service (CEN), which rotates from Xingang, Qingdao, Shanghai, Prince Rupert

CN will continue providing funding in partnership with the Prince George Chamber of Commerce for three more years in a project that allows local businesses the opportunity to become more energy efficient. The project runs in partnership with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), and involves businesses volunteering to provide students in UNBC’s Carbon Management class with their utility bills, employee commute information, and other related data. In turn, students offer the businesses free carbon footprint analyses. Linda Rempel, a Certified Financial Planner with Prince George’s Sun Life Financial branch, was honoured as a leading representative of the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan® at their Canada-wide conference

The Prince George Rock My Business Plan workshop, an initiative organized by Futurpreneur and made possible by a $50,000 grant from the BC Government, helped local entrepreneurs Luke Hutchison, Sydney Redpath and Kayli Vandermeer form their new business, XP Entertainment. XP offers virtual-reality experiences for festivals, parties and events. The United Way of Northern BC was presented with a $300,000 donation from Canfor during a Prince George Cougars hockey game. The money resulted from a series of workplace fundraising campaigns held across BC since October 24th. Canfor and Canfor Pulp Mill in Prince George held various events and even included an option for their employees to donate through their payroll. Twenty-three charities will benefit from the United Way funding, including the PG Brain Injured Group, the YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Hospice House. The Studio Fair, held at the Civic Centre, celebrated its 40 th anniversary in Prince George. More than 100 vendors from around the region and across the country participated in this year’s event. The City of Prince George has unveiled two new wooden welcome signs for the downtown core, one located at the corner of Upper Patricia and Queensway. The signs resulted from a partnership between Downtown Prince George, Northern Development and the City. More than 100 vendors contributed to this year’s 13 th Annual Artisans of the North Fair, hosted by the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). The event featured handmade gifts, treats and baked goods. The BC Government has announced joint funding with the federal government in the amount of $24 million to widen a 3.4 kilometer section of Highway 16 from two lanes to four. Improvements will target the Blackwater/Sykes Road intersections, in addition to Bunce Road and Haldi Road. The City of Prince George also put forward $594,000 to improve municipal roads near the highway. Ducks Unlimited celebrated 35 years in Northern BC with their annual fall banquet on November 4th. The organization has been present since 1938 and champions habitat conservation, completing nearly 10,000 projects to restore and maintain wetlands and grass lands for waterfowl and wildlife. UNBC reported a six per cent increase in enrollment this year, which they attribute to Maclean’s Magazine ranking them number


MOVERS & SHAKERS

NOVEMBER 2016

one for Primarily Undergraduate Studies for the second year.

was completed on budget and on time by contractors ATCO Two Rivers Lodging Group.

The College of New Caledonia has named Alyson Gourley-Cramer as their new Executive Director of Communications. Alyson has worked in public relations for fifteen years, including working with ICBC and the Canada Winter Games. She begins moving into the position this month part time, with a full time role beginning in March. Three new pieces of MRI equipment are on their way to Northern Health. One piece of equipment will replace the outdated machinery at University Hospital of Northern BC, while the other two will be installed in Terrace and Fort St. John. Each piece costs slightly under $3 million, and the cost was largely covered by a funding grant from the provincial government. Northern Lights Estate Winery took top honours in four out of the five categories it was nominated for at the Prince George Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. Titles included Business of the Year, and its Operating Partner, Doug Bell, was named as the Entrepreneur of the Year in addition to being selected for Business Person of the Year.

Dawson Creek Val Napoleon, a scholar and

The Dawson Creek Dental Centre practice, belonging to Drs. Mark Sevier, Cheryl Walker, and Cung Nguyen, is now accepting new patients at their 103rd Avenue location.

Quesnel

Above: Val Napoleon, appointed to Indigenous Peoples’ Council lawyer with roots in Saulteau First Nations, was recently honoured with the title of Indigenous Peoples’ Counsel by the Indigenous Bar Association. Val worked to inform the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s proposal that Canada enact law institutes to better grasp the unique legal traditions in Indigenous societies. A grand opening was held for the worker camp located at Site C dam, on October 19 th. The camp can host up to 1,600 workers, and features a movie theatre, hair salon, spiritual centre, games room, a full gym, coffee shop, a convenience store, a licensed lounge, and a massage therapist. The project, totaling $470 million,

Quesnel City Mayor Bob Simpson and Council have been working for some time on plans for a streamlined, strategic and targeted economic development plan for the North Cariboo area. City Council has already been working with the Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Beetle Action Coalition, and the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) on an initiative that is seeing significant funding already. They have also made use of the community development initiative from UNBC to help organize a North Cariboo Economic Development Initiative. Mayor Simpson and Council will be asking local MLA Coralee Oakes to merge her provincial initiative, “Regional Opportunities� for economic development, with their own. Quesnel’s 22nd annual Business Excellence Awards took place in October at the Senior’s Centre. Winners included: Gilbert Schotel of Big Country Printers – Business Person of the Year for 2016; Darby

Apps of Darby’s Small Engine Repairs – Young Business Person of the Year; Garret Pristie from Mr. Mikes – Employee of the Year; Barkerville Brewing Company – Business of the Year Under 10 Employees; Save On Foods – Business of the Year Over 10 Employees; Bliss – Community Spirit, and Community Inclusion; Cindy Osip with Victim Services – Customer Service; Throughout Time Photography – Home Based Business of the Year; and Big Canyon Rafting – Tourism Excellence. Unionized employees at the Arts and Recreation Centre in Quesnel have negotiated a new deal with the City. The four-year deal provides wage increase of 1.5, 1.5, 2 and 2 per cent as well as moderate benefit improvements. The agreement is the same as recent deals arranged with CUPE Local 10-15 and 1050-01.

100 Mile House 100 Mile House has arranged a new “Business Walks� initiative, in partnership with the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce and provincial ministry of jobs. The event, coinciding with BC’s Small Business Month, featured survey visits to local businesses with an aim to boost the local business sector.

17 Smithers Non-profit group, the BC Council for International Cooperation, made a stop in Smithers during their first tour across BC. The tour was a quest to have towns in the province adhere to the 17 United Nations sustainable development goals, ranging from green house gas reduction to poverty elimination. The federal government agreed to the UN’s goals, and the Council’s initiative is in place to engage at the local level first to make goals a reality. The Carrier Sekani Family Services, directed by Mary Teegee, will be delivering the First Nations Driver Education Program for the Highway 16 Corridor. The program is set to start later in 2016 and will offer hands-on training to increase the number of Class 4-5 drivers in first nations communities. Smithers could be home to an affordable housing project for adults and seniors with disabilities. The Dik Tiy Housing Society, in partnership with BC Housing, is drafting plans for a 3-storey, nineteen residential unit development on Main Street at 16th Avenue. The development proposal will be the first in Smithers to meet the ‘Passive Housing’ standard, a particularly stringent standard for energy efficiency.

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NOVEMBER 2016

PRINCE RUPERT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

discussion, we have reached out in many ways,â&#x20AC;? says St Jean. For example, St Jean and her teammates conducted a community mapping process that involved visiting 18 different locations and speaking to approximately 1,200 people. On October 22, they held an event ca l led Redesig n Ruper t Recharge that allowed 150 participants to discuss strategies for making Prince Rupert a worldclass city. St Jean acknowledges that although this phase of the project will be completed in the fall of 2017, Redesign Rupert is a longterm process. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The overall goal is to identify opportunities that can lead to community resiliency and economic diversification in Prince Rupert.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;To take advantage of these opportunities,â&#x20AC;? she explains, â&#x20AC;&#x153;we are looking for actions in the short and long term that can build momentum, lead to results, and support community transformation.â&#x20AC;? In other words, Rome wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t built in a day, and Prince Rupert wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ach ieve â&#x20AC;&#x153;com mu n ity tra nsformationâ&#x20AC;? that quickly either. When St Jean reflects on what makes her team and partners well positioned to help the citizens of Prince Rupert, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quick to give the credit back to the people. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of our biggest

One of the tables of discussion during Redesign Rupert Rechargeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;standing room only assets is our Advisory Comm ittee, wh ich is f i l led w ith

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SIMON TURNER

T

he Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce held a sold-out Business Excellence Awards Dinner on 22nd October and we are delighted to announce the winners: Tourism Excellence Award, sponsored by West Park Mall: Big Canyon Rafting Community Inclusion Award, sponsored by Work BC/Dengarry Professional Services: Bliss Ultimate Grill Business of the Year, Less than 10 Employees, sponsored by Community Futures North Cariboo: Barkerville Brewing Co (fresh off winning two 1st places and one 3rd place at the BC Beer Awards). Business of the Year, 10+ Employees, sponsored by Tolko Industries Ltd: Save On Foods Quesnel

(back row, l-r) Chamber President Michelle Daniels; Acting Manager Simon Turner; Past-President William Lacy; Darby Apps; Jas Sabbarwal (Bliss); Cindy Osip; Rory Parr, Paul Hartman, and Marty McLoughlin (Save On Foods); Gilbert Schotel; Directors Sheri Coles and Morgan Ross. (Front row, l-r): VP Julia Dillabough, Bonnie Grenon, Tyler & Julie Dinsdale (Big Canyon Rafting); Justine Whittingham (Barkerville Brewing); Director Wendy Heppner, and Event Coordinator Patty Morgan (Visitor Centre) PHOTO CREDIT: QUESNEL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Home Based Business of the Year, sponsored by CJ Directory: Throughout Time Photography Customer Service Award, sponsored by The Goat/ Cariboo Country: Cindy Osip of Victim Services Community Spirit Award, sponsored by West Fraser Mills: Bliss Ultimate Grill Employee of the Year, sponsored by Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce: Garret Pristie of Mr. Mikes Steakhouse Casual Young Business Person of the Year, sponsored by

McDonalds Restaurants Quesnel: Darby Apps of Darbyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Small Engine Repairs (just back from his honeymoon!) Business Person of the Year, sponsored by Quesnel Cariboo Observer: Gilbert Schotel of Big Country Printers Ltd Simon Turner is Acting Manager for Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce while Amber Gregg is on maternity leave. He can be reached at qchamber@quesnelbc.com


19

NOVEMBER 2016

Brewhouse Co-Owners Winners Of Executive Award Darryl Tucker & Linda Parker Honoured By Chamber of Commerce BY DAVID HOLMES

T

ERRACE – Not only does Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse Ltd. produce an exceptional range of distinctive ales, pilsners, lagers and other Europeaninspired craft beers, its owners have now been honoured by the Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce, winning the coveted Executive of the Year Award at the 2016 Business Excellence Awards. Presented October 15 at a gala event held at the Terrace Sportsplex, company coowner Linda Parker was on hand to receive the accolade on behalf of her business partner Darryl Tucker. “This award isn’t just presented because of Darryl and I, it’s a collective win for the entire company. To me the fact that the foundation of the company is so strong, that the people we employ work hard to make the venture successful,” she said. “No one person makes a business a success. For it to happen it has to be the whole team who make it successful. We’re lucky to be working with some great people and that is why we won this award. It’s very much a win for all of us.” Long term friends, Parker and Tucker went into business together in 2014 following his successful completion of a Brewmaster’s course at the prestigious Versuchs - und Lehranstalt für Brauerei (VLB) in Berlin, Germany. This was an intensive six month program where Tucker learned from German Brewmasters the secrets of making world class brews.

Darryl Tucker and Linda Parker opened Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse less than two years ago

With a Mountie helping out Hatha Callis (Progressive Ventures) presented Linda Parker with her award “I was never a home brewer so it was definitely a major career change for me,” Tucker explained. Having worked in the hospitality industry for more than 25 years, including serving as the marketing manager for a local airline, becoming a Brewmaster was definitely a major career shift for Tucker, but is a move he’s never regretted. “Before opening we did our research and felt that with the increasing popularity of craft beers there was a real opportunity for us. Working with Linda and her extensive business background has been a huge asset,” he said.

Tod ay Sher wood Mou nta i n Brewhouse markets its expanding product line across Northern British Columbia and looks forward to a gradual increase of both products and markets in the years ahead. “We’ve not really been in business two years yet, so there’s plenty of room to grow. The award is a nice achievement, and certainly provides encouragement to continue. We’re very optimistic about what the future has in store for us,” Tucker explained. To learn more, visit the company’s website at: www.sherwoodmountain.beer

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20

SALES

NOVEMBER 2016

INDECISIVE PROSPECT? TRY THIS.

SALES JOHN GLENNON

J

uanita, three months into her first sales job, was having problems with her closing numbers. Her ratio was the lowest on the team, and she was far behind her quota for the month. She asked her boss Cliff for help. At about the forty-minute mark of a productive coaching discussion – a session in which Juanita had addressed many tough questions – she found herself face to face with what Cliff called “the last difficult question of the day.” Here’s what it sounded like. “W hat a re you doi ng right now,” Cliff asked, “to clarify a prospect’s vague or indecisive response?” “What do you mean?” Juanita said. “Well,” Cliff responded, “often prospects will give an unclear

answer to a specific question. Maybe you ask them where they stand on placing the order within the next week, and they say something like, ‘You know, I’m feeling pretty good about this.’ That’s not really an answer, but it sounds like one from a distance. So, what are you doing in your discussions to get to the bottom of that kind of response – to find out what the person really means?” Juanita had to stop and think for a moment. After a long pause, she looked Cliff in the eye and said, “You know what? This is a little embarrassing, but I really can’t think of a single time that I pushed back on an answer like that. I get them all the time. I guess I’ve fallen into the habit of taking those kinds of answers at face value. Maybe that’s part of the problem.” Cliff smiled. “Could be,” he said. “Let’s talk about that.” And talk they did – for another half-hour – about reversing for indecisive statements. Clarifying Prospects’ Answers: Prospects and customers will sometimes make statements that, on the surface, sound positive, but upon closer inspection, reveal no actual commitment. They contain indecisive, playit-safe words or phrases that allow the speaker to avoid making

commitments. Here are some examples: I believe that there’s a good chance that we will award the project to your firm. Things look pretty good. We’re inclined to place the order this quarter. We will probably be ready to move forward by the end of the month. How much certainty can you attribute to the italicized words? None! David Sandler, the founder of Sandler Training, coined the term “reversing” to describe the strategy of responding with questions of our own to prospects’ questions or statements whose mea n i ng or i ntent is unclear. Reversing is an apt name because asking a question in this setting reverses the flow of information — from prospects to you, rather than from you to the prospects. A solid reversing strategy can and should be used to clarify prospects’ vague answers to your questions. Without such a strategy, you’re out of the loop! Consider this exchange: Salesperson: When will you be making your decision? Prospect: We’ll be making it very soon. Does “very soon” mean tomorrow? Next week? Next month?

Here’s one way to find out. Salesperson: I appreciate you sharing that information with me. When you say “very soon,” what exactly does that mean? Notice the “stroke” before you ask your question: You express your appreciation for the prospect’s initial answer. That’s an optional, and potentially very effective, tactic that softens what comes next. What, specifically, does the prospect mean by “very soon”? You have every right to ask that! Here are some more examples: Salesperson: Is the project funded? Prospect: Fu nd i ng is not a problem. Salesperson: I see. And by “not a problem,” you mean…? ■■■ Prospect: I believe that there’s a good chance that we will award the project to your firm. Salesperson: I appreciate you telling me that. I’m curious, however. When you say “good chance,” what does that mean? ■■■ Prospect: We’re inclined to place the order this quarter. Salesperson: Certainly, that would be appreciated. Let me ask you something. When you say “inclined,” what does that mean?

W hat’s Really Going On? Note that it may take more t h a n o n e r e v e r s i n g q u e stion (perhaps th ree or fou r) to get to the intent of the original response … and identify the prospect’s “real” answer. Remember: It’s your job to figure out what’s really happening in this business relationship! A solid, consistently applied reversing strategy can help you uncover the real meanings and intentions behind the statements you hear from indecisive prospects. It can also help you identify dead ends before you invest lots of time and energy in pursuing them. The key is to stop taking indecisive answers as positive signals. They’re not!

Reversing takes a little practice, but it’s worth it. After just thirty days of doing a better job of reversing for indecisive statements from prospects, Juanita’s closing numbers improved. Yours can, too! John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, an authorized Sandler Training Licensee. He can be reached at jglennon@sandler. com, toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit www.glennon.sandler.com. Copyright 2013 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

NEW LOOK INTERIORS HAS EXPANDED ITS PAINT LINE Retail Operation Is So Much More Than A Paint Store

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RINCE GEORGE – The best has just gotten even better. New Look Interiors recently announced that in addition to the full line of Benjamin Moore Paints it’s already known for, the company has become the authorized distributor for Devoe High Performance Coatings and International Paints. This winning duo of high quality products is specifically designed for commercial painters, light industrial, forestry, fabrication, and manufacturing industries. “The Devoe and International lines are intended more for commercial painters and industrial users,” explained company Business Development Manager, Bryan Lockhart. “We’re growing, by providing an expanded line of high quality products for a wider range of customers. As with any expansion we do, it is solely to allow us to serve our customers even better.” New Look Interiors was founded in 1990 by company owner and President, Gordon Skye. A successful contractor specializing in residential renovations, he saw an opportunity to open a full service home improvement store by offering his customers

“Our expert designers care about beautiful design for your project.” BRYAN LOCKHART BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, NEW LOOK INTERIORS

the Benjamin Moore line of paints. Currently located in a 6,000 square foot facility at 2165 South Ogilvie Street, New Look Interiors has evolved over the years to become much more than a paint store. Today, the company (with a staff of about a dozen) is a destination for all things related to paint and renovation, from kitchen makeovers and bathroom updates to its full line of ceramic tiles, window coverings and other home improvement items. “Come visit our “One-stop-Shop” showroom where you can choose from all your renovation product samples in one place,” Lockhart said. “This will save you time with less running around shopping for products. Our expert designers care about beautiful design for your project, and will virtually design the new space in our 3D software which gives you full confidence in the design, before you finalize the plan.” To learn more, visit the company’s website at: www.newlookinteriors.ca


21

NOVEMBER 2016

SELLING YOUR BUSINESS - DON’T KILL THE DEAL

T

here are a lot of great reasons to start and grow a bu si ness. Some of t he best reasons include, but are not limited to, the ability to earn an income commensurate with your hard work, flexible work arrangements and the pride to watch something you own grow and prosper. In my view, one of the best reasons for entrepreneurship is the ability to monetize your hard work at a point in your life when you either want to retire or pursue other interests. W hile businesses sell all the time, don’t make the mistake of assuming it will be quick or easy. The Pepperdine University conducts a regular survey of private market transactions and found that 35 per cent of all sale processes fail to complete. Of these failed deals, 40 per cent are due to the inability to agree on a price, 22 per cent fail because of unreasonable demands by the buyer or seller, 9 per cent fail due to financing and the balance for a variety of reasons. Another interesting point is that 70 per cent of business sale transactions take more than twelve months to complete. While it goes without saying, you will be best prepared to negotiate the highest price with the best terms if your business delivers consistent or growing profits. There are a number of

While businesses sell all the time, don’t make the mistake of assuming it will be quick or easy

Mike Berris, CPA, CA, CBV and Partner at Smythe LLP other strategies that can improve the chances of successfully completing the deal. These include: Be Prepared – Ensure you can demonstrate that the business can earn consistent profits for the buyer subsequent to the purchase. This requires that your financial records are in order. You should also be able to show that the current customers or sales will remain after you’re gone. Understa nd who the Buyer m ight be – You w ill want to target parties that are ready,

willing and able to purchase. Noth ing is more frustrating than spending several months w it h someone t h at ca n’t or won’t close. Be Rea l istic on the Price – Preferably you want to conduct an auction process where potential buyers are put in the position to competitively bid for your business. In cases where this is not practical, a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) can help you with either a pricing analysis or by preparing a valuation report. Be Flexible – While not ideal, sometimes the best deals require you accept an earn-out or even provide financing with a vendor take-back. With proper safeguards, the arrangements can help bridge the gap when there is a stalemate in the negotiations on price. Engage Professionals – Selling one’s business is a complex process involving many interconnected components. While it might appear straight-forward at first, the process can quickly lose momentum. A n experienced M&A advisor and lawyer will help you get the highest net price combined with the best terms. To put this all in context, I will speak in general terms about two deals we are currently working through. In the first, our

client is interested in buying a successful Vancouver Island business. The vendor, who arbitrarily set the price at $5 m illion, has not engaged professionals to run the process and has not been able to supply the information required to properly evaluate the quality of future earnings. Of course our client walked away. Eight months later, the vendor has not found a buyer and approached us again, still without a proper process in mind, but a lower price. We now have the upper hand, but still may advise our client to walk away. In the second deal, we are engaged to run a divestiture process where our client allowed us to properly prepare for the sale, identify numerous potential purchasers, run an auction and then assist his experienced lawyer to negotiate the share purchase agreement. In this case, our client has a strong $43 million deal on the table that we expect will close in December. The above examples are similar deals, each with different outcomes based on the management of the process. Smythe LLP is a team of dedicated professionals who provide reliable accounting, tax and advisory services to businesses and individuals. They can be reached in Nanaimo at (250) 755-2111.

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OPINION

22 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

NOVEMBER 2016

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

IT’S NOT RIGHT VERSUS LEFT ECONOMICS; IT’S RIGHT VERSUS WRONG

MARK MACDONALD

I

t would be difficult to trace exactly back to the poi nt where someone decided to transform the terms “right and wrong” into “right and left”. W henever it was, and by whomever, it was a fundamental shift that paved the way to many of the major discussions and controversies we deal with today. We know that there are differences of opinion, and there are plenty of areas where decisions made aren’t necessarily right or wrong. It’s what people want. But that didn’t stop the pronouncement from becoming a launching pad for moral relativism – a topic that isn’t best suited for the pages of a business publication. It became a major political tool, positioning “the right” and “the left” on equal-butopposite footing, one that politicians and parties manipulate to t hei r adva ntage. A s we

observe North American democracy evolve – or devolve – intelligent discussion of issues is reduced to the point where victory goes to the side that shouts the loudest and longest, about almost any topic. Truth? That’s been cast to the wayside, in favour of tactics summarized by the line: “if a lie is repeated often enough, it becomes the truth.” introduced by Joseph G oebbels, the i n fa mous Nazi M i n ister of Propaganda during World War II. Thus we are inundated with profou nd ly i ncor re c t, w i ld declarations that have no basis in fact, but resonate– simply because they’re repeated over and over. T hey make lasting impressions that people cling to as if they are in fact, correct. It’s fascinating to watch, in politics, at least. When it comes to economics, however, the placing of “right” and “left” on what appears to b e equ a l foot i ng hold s d i re consequences for any economy. Without debating the merits/ demerits of Milton Friedman a nd John May nard Key nes, there are some un-debatable truths that affect how we conduct business. I have long appreciated the work of the Fraser Institute, a nd Bu si ness E x a m i ner h a s p u bl i s he d op-e d s f rom t he h i g h ly re s p e c te d e c onom ic

t h i n k ta n k for m a ny, m a ny years. The Institute provides well thought out viewpoints on a number of topics, and are worthy of consideration. They do their homework. T hose who don’t subscribe to their conclusions and recom mend at ion s t r y to pa i nt the Fraser Institute as “conservative”, or “right wing” as if they’re a political entity – when in reality, they are right, as in “correct”. It is not a political organization. If certain politicians subscribe to their t ra i n of t hou g ht a nd sou nd similar, that’s their decision. But it doesn’t pol iticize the work of the Institute. On the other hand, the Canadian Cent re for Polic y A lt er n at ive s cropped up a couple of decades ago, trying to position itsel f as a n economic entity from the left. It is commonly known as an NDP think-tank. It’s policies and statements reek of pol itica l expediency and ideology, and appears to exist solely for the pu r pose of cou nteri ng positions developed by the Fraser Institute. Charles Dickens summed up economics rather succinctly when he stated: “A nnual income 20 pounds, annual exp e n d i t u r e 1 9 [ p o u n d s] 1 9 [shillings] and 6 [pence], result happiness. Annual income 20 pounds, annual expenditure

20 pounds ought and 6, result misery.” That’s something any businessperson understands quite well. I n rega rds to ta xation, the “left” believes that more taxation benefits the government, a l low i ng the govern ment to redistribute wealth as they see fit. Right wing economic thinkers k now t h at less ta x at ion provides incentives for entrepreneurs and investors to take steps forward and take risks in order to get ahead, in hopes of rewards – or profits. They try to provide an environment where individuals and corporations are encouraged to start companies and as a result, jobs are created. Left wing economics is incorrect th i n k i ng. It doesn’t work. It’s not “ lef t”, a s i n, equal to “right”. It is wrong. T hey a ren’t d i f f icu lt to i d e n t i f y. T h e y o v e r- t a x , over-regulate and redistribute wealth. Just watch what’s happening in Alberta, where the economy is crumbling. The NDP can’t seem to help itself whenever it obtains power. It’s as if they are collectively stuck in Marxist i d e ol o g y. O r p e rh a p s t h e i r union roots and backers compel them to punish and “pay back” business, which represents, in their minds, former

bosses and owners that didn’t pay them what they thought they were worth. They refuse to acknowledge that the people who start businesses are the very ones that create the jobs that the economy needs to survive and thrive. Left wing economic theorists fails to realize this fact: T hat if government taxation becomes too onerous, investments are cut back and/or curtailed completely. I t’s n o t t h a t b u s i n e s s e s don’t i nvest or re-i nvest i n N DP ju risd ictions for pol itical reasons – just to show the NDP their economic ideas are w rong. It’s that there aren’t opp or t u n it ie s to p ut h a rdearned capital at risk in hopes of reasonable reward. T h a t’s w h a t h a p p e n s i n “Robi n Hood Econom ics” – where governments take from the so-called rich and redistribute that wea lth. We had that in BC in the 1990’s. Yes, ta xes are necessary in our economy, to run government, ma inta in and bu ild infrastructure and public services, and look after those who cannot look after themselves. But when the people in ch a rge of sett i ng ta x level s and regulations have punitive ideological mindsets, everyone pays. That’s not “left”. That’s just wrong.

BC PROVINCIAL SCHOOL TAX: PROVINCE FAILING SMALL BUSINESSES

CFIB AARON AERTS

B

usi nesses i n 20 la rgest municipalities pay over t h ree t i mes more t h a n residents. T h e Ca n a d i a n Fe d e ra t io n of Independent Business (C F I B ) r e l e a s e d a n e w r e port on the property tax system i n B C, fo c u si n g on t he

provincially-controlled school tax. The report, “BC’s Provincial School Tax: Province Failing Small Business”, provides a decade-long review of school tax rates in 161 municipalities across BC, with a particular focus on the 20 largest cities. The school property tax levy is charged by the province on all properties. The tax rate is the same across the province for a l l busi nesses. For residents, the rate is variable based on the tota l nu mber of residences and assessed property values. The report illustrates a disproportionate amount of the tax bill is placed on BC business, particularly in municipalities with high real estate values. The report analyzes the disparity between what resident i a l a n d b u s i n e s s p rop e r t y owners pay in school property t a x ( ba se d on t he sa me a ssessed value of property) for

161 municipalities. The ratio between the commercial and residential school tax rates is known as the “school tax gap” and is an indicator of tax fairness (not ta x levels). For instance, a tax gap of 3.0 means a commercial property owner pays th ree ti mes the school taxes of a residential property owner. The findings show entrepreneurs in the 20 largest cities (population over 50,000) across BC pay over three times more than residents (3.19 times; see table below for details). Province wide, the average is 2.47. Some of t he worst ta x gaps are in the most populous cities, like Vancouver (4.40). For illustration what this means in dollar terms, a resident of Vancouver paid $2,020 in school property taxes in 2015, while a business paid $8,891 (based on Vancouver’s 2015 average property value).

“CFIB has long tracked the inequity in municipal property taxes. However, this report shows the problem is just as bad in the provincial school tax system,” notes Aaron Aerts, BC Econom ist. “T his report provides clear evidence businesses are on the hook for an unreasonable amount of the school ta x bi l l. T he prov i ncial government needs to take a close look at how it sets tax rates, as the cu rrent system pl aces a n u n fa i r bu rden on many small businesses.” T he a n a lysi s a l so look s at historical trends of the school tax gap for BC municipalities, a nd f i nd s it h a s f lu c t u ate d considerably over the past 10 years. The largest 20 municipalities’ tax gap has fallen in recent years, down from a peak of 3.73 in 2007. However, it’s only slightly below where it was in 2005 (3.39). The school tax gap for all BC municipalities

was 2.47 in 2015, down from a high of 2.90 in 2007 and 2.60 in 2005. “It is promising to see some progress towards a fairer school property tax system for small businesses. T hat being said, significant work remains, as some businesses continue to pay over three or four times more t h a n residents on t he same property value,” added Aerts. In a recent CFIB survey, 61 per cent of busi ness ow ners ranked property taxes as the mos t h a r m f u l t a x for t hei r operations. As this is such a negative form of taxation, British Colu mbia needs to emul ate prov i nc e s l i ke A lb er t a and Saskatchewan, where the school tax gap is much more equitable (roughly 1.5 and 1.65 respectively). Aaron Aerts is a BC CFIB economist.

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LAW

NOVEMBER 2016

23

2016 ANNUAL MEETING OF THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY INSTITUTE OF CANADA (IPIC) LAW

However, the presentation of “Futurist” Jeremy de Beer was of general application and may be useful to the reader

Futurist presentation of interest

O

ne can gai n a n u nderstanding of issues that the profession is wrestling with by reviewing the titles of the presentations from the 2016 I PIC a n nu a l me et i n g. Continuing Professional Development: “The Skill Set of the IP Practitioner of the Future – Where will IP be in 20 years?” Trademarks: “Trademarks in Metatags and Key words – A summary of the Current State of the Law in Canada as Contrasted with the U.S. and Europe”, “Brand Boot Camp”, “Best Practices before the Trademark Office”. Patent Issues: “Patent Issues that Keep In-House Counsel Up at Night”, “Patentability: Dealing with Challenges in IT and Life Sciences”, “Best Practices before the Patent Office”. Online Issues: “Managing Online Content: Tips, Traps, and Tariffs for IP Practitioners”. Rights Issues: “Publicity R ig hts: Gu idel i nes for Giving Clients Practical Risk Assessments”. Litigation Issues: “Remed ies – Q u ick Resu lts in Trademark Cases: Myth or Reality”, “Top IP Cases of the

Michael Cooper and Doug Thompson of ThompsonCooper LLP Year”, “Appellate Advocacy in Specialized Area of the Law”. Many of the above issues I deal with on a regular basis and have written articles about over the past year. However, the presentation of “Futurist” Jeremy de Beer was of general application and may be useful to the reader. Mr. de Beer described an approach to predicting the future using a “grid”. He creates this grid by placing a first line that represents a trend that one can see today, such as automation (self driving cars, smart homes with remotely controlled appliances). One end of the line represents the present and the other end of the line represents the future,

if the trend continues. He then places a second line crossing the first line at 90 degrees to create his “grid” having four qu ad ra nts. T he second l i ne represents a second trend that one can see today, such as the increasing capability of smart phones. Again, one end of the line represents the present and the other end of the line represents the future, if the trend continues. A first quadrant will predict what happens if neither trend continues, a second quadrant will predict what happens if the first trend continues and the second does not progress, a third quadrant will predict what happens i f the second trend

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continues and the second trend does not prog ress, a fou r t h quadrant will predict what happens if both trends progress. Mr. de Beer indicates when you extrapolate what may happen some of your “predictions” (especially in the fourth quadrant) should appear to be ridiculous. I f t h i s d o e s not o c c u r, you are not pushing the trend far enough. Self driving cars and everyone carrying miniature computers that connect to the internet would have sounded ridiculous 20 years ago. It is not viewed as being ridiculous today.

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Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena - November 2016  

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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