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JUNE 2015


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Multiple, large scale development projects have the City looking ahead


RINCE RUPERT – The City of Prince Rupert is preparing for exponential economic growth. With the flurry of liquefied natural gas and resource-related updates hitting the news, some of the significant changes going on outside of the energy sector have been getting overlooked. “We’ve been seeing a lot of g row t h up here,” says Paul Ven d it tel l i , E c o n o m i c D evelopment Officer for the City. “There’s a lot more going on than just LNG, we’re certainly excited about the prospect of Petronas’ Pacific NorthWest project, but so much more has been happening. “Our airport is in the process of an overhaul. The Port has just completed a major project and announced another, and our focus now is on how to manage the population and workforce growth that’s coming.” The build-out of the projects most likely to be approved for the area will have significant implications. At peak construction, an additional 5,000 people are expected to come to the City, which currently has 13,000 residents.

With vessels at anchor in Prince Rupert harbour, Fairview Container Terminal is shown in the foreground. CREDIT: PRINCE RUPERT PORT AUTHORITY

“ We’re p re p a r i n g fo r t h e growth as much as possible,” says Vendittelli. “We want to be a strong host community, and doing that requires a lot of planning. “Learning how a City of our size

to look at where the ‘holes’ are, and how can we fill them. The goal is to be ahead of the curve.” Momentum from major energy projects and their proponents has SEE PRINCE RUPERT  |  PAGE 19

SpeeDee ‘Earns’ their way to longevity


RINCE GEORGE – Deeply rooted in Northern BC for more than half a century, SpeeDee – Your Office Experts is dedicated to keeping customers happy. They are the largest locally owned company of their kind in Northern BC, and provide offset and digital printing, signage, office supplies and furniture, and promotional materials through

six locations. 3 are based in Prince George, with 1 each in Terrace, Smithers and Fort. St. John. In total, the company employs more than 100 staff. “We are headquartered in the North, live here, and invest here,” says David George, President of SpeeDee. “We’ve been successful over the years because the focus for our staff is to earn our




can have mutually beneficial relationships with ‘big industry’ has been a process. We’ve focused on doing what we can, like completing an airport master plan, and working with the federal and provincial governments

customer’s business. “Every client coming through the door is someone we ca n help, they’re not just a number or transaction.” SpeeDee’s longevity in a competitive industry has been rooted in a high level of customer service, and willingness to adapt. T hey have developed a sophisticated E-commerce solution that has grown to represent


Structural Steel Piping (Interior/exterior) Field joints/touch ups Tanks Equipment etc.

Servicing BC and Alberta

approximately 30 per cent of overall sales. “Our mantra is ‘to earn your business every day, with every order,’” says George. “Our employees pride themselves in fostering strong partnerships with our customers. “They provide high energy, personalized service, and deliver SEE SPEEDEE  |  PAGE 5



PRINCE RUPERT Oil And Gas Customers ‘King’ In Prince Rupert Expansion AAL has expanded the ‘Pacific Service’ route to include the Port of Prince Rupert. The inaugural sailing into the Canadian port on May 10 2015 featured the AAL Brisbane, with a cargo of process units for a major new oil sands project in Alberta. The Port, with its newly established road and rail links, has emerged as an important new gateway for project cargo imports to the oil-rich mining area of Alberta and the wider Pacific North West. The monthly Pacific Service will now be making regular, scheduled calls at the Port, placing AAL in a strong position to best serve major mining, energy and other projects in the region. Felix Schoeller, General Manager of the Pacific Service, commented: “This expansion provides our oil & gas customers with far greater access to Northern Alberta mining projects. By expanding this liner route and port network across the Pacific North West, we multiply our customers’ options and choice – ultimately impacting on the efficiency, delivery and overall competitiveness of their projects.”

QUESNEL Quesnel City Council Restructures City Hall Quesnel Council announced that they are restructuring City Hall in order to more effectively serve the public and to achieve operational savings. The restructuring primarily involves reductions to management staff and the creation of new positions to address skills

gaps and succession needs. In order to maintain its commitment to reduce operating costs and once again tax only to address the City’s infrastructure deficit, Council must find $525,000 in operational savings in its 2016 budget. This is in addition to the $600,000 in operating cost reductions Council achieved in its 2015 budget. The $1.125 million in combined annual savings means Council can avoid imposing an 8.2% tax increase simply to maintain programs and services at 2014 levels. “While Council must reduce operating costs in order to achieve its budget objectives for 2016, the focus of our City Hall restructuring was on improving the delivery of public services and on succession planning,” said Mayor Bob Simpson. “This restructuring enables us to create positions that address critical skills gaps at City Hall while also addressing a time sensitive succession issue in our Public Works Department.” The restructuring involves: •the permanent elimination of the Communications Supervisor, Corporate Services Supervisor, and GIS Technician positions at City Hall; •the conversion of an Information Technologist contract position to a part-time unionized position; •the conversion of a management staff Purchasing Agent position to a union function in 2016 as part of a re-organization of Public Works; •the creation of a new Senior Accounting Clerk position at City Hall without adding an additional FTE; and, •the conversion of the Airport Manager position to a Senior Clerk within the union, enabling the current Airport Manager to return to the Public Works Department as Operations Manager. The restructuring results in a net reduction of three permanent positions and cost saving

JUNE 2015

of approximately $250,000 per year starting in 2016. The maximum one-time severance costs associated with the immediate elimination of these three positions is $200,000.

NORTHERN BC BC Northern home sales shoot to best April in eight years The number of homes sold through the MLS System of the BC Northern Real Estate Board came in above year-ago levels in April 2015. According to the Board’s statistics, home sales totaled 428 units in April 2015. This was up 5.7 per cent from April 2014. “Following a softening trend to start the year, home sales rebounded sharply in April,” said David Black, President of the BC Northern Real Estate Board. “For some historical perspective, back when the market was at its peak around a decade ago a typical April would see about 450 homes trade hands, so this April’s 428 sales came pretty close to historical records for the month.” On a year-to date basis home sales in the first four months of 2015 were down 8.6 per cent from the same period in 2014. The average price of homes sold in April 2015 was $258,069, up 3.9 per cent from April 2014. The year-to-date average sale price was $257,049, an increase of 2.9 per cent from 2014. The Board cautions that the average residential price is a useful figure only for establishing trends and comparisons over a period of time. It does not indicate an actual price for a home due to the wide selection of housing available over a vast geographic area (the Board serves an area covering over 600,000 square kilometers or 72 per cent of the province). The dollar value of all home sales in April 2015 was $110.5 million, up 9.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis, and the highest level for any April on record. There were 902 new listings on the Board’s MLS System in April 2015, up 8.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis. Active residential listings on the Board’s MLS System numbered 2,793 units at the end of April, up 13.5 per cent from the end of April 2014. There were 6.5 months of inventory at the end of April 2015, up from 6.1 months at the end of April 2014 but below the long-run average for this time of year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity. Sales of all property types numbered 478 units in April, a decline of 3.4 per cent from April 2014. The total value of all properties sold was $117.8 million, up 5.3 per cent from April 2014.

PRINCE GEORGE Fisher receives Industry Partner Award from CNC


Jason Fisher has been presented with CNC’s 2014-2015 Industry Partner Award. Jason is celebrated for his role at Dunkley Lumber, where he was a driving force behind the development of the CNC-Dunkley partnership. The first CNC Industry Partner Awards were presented in April 2005. The award is presented annually to individuals, and occasionally to organizations, that have a history of providing the college with support that goes above and beyond. The award recognizes those who have given additional supports to CNC industry-related projects or programs, those who have been particularly creative in supporting the college’s industry-related training and those who have willingly shared their knowledge and skills to support student

success. Jason has also been instrumental in supporting CNC’s natural resource and forestry programming and has demonstrated a true commitment to the enhancement of student learning and activities. Students have benefitted directly from Jason’s guidance in many ways, including Dunkley scholarships and bursaries, on-site mill tours, participation in research projects, and summer work opportunities at Dunkley Lumber. Jason recently left his position at Dunkley and is now practicing law in Prince George with DLA Piper (Canada) LLP.

PRINCE GEORGE Veterans Report To Rogers Arena September 17th The Vancouver Canucks announced that their 2015 Training Camp will be held in Prince George from September 17-20, 2015. Players will report to Rogers Arena on September 17th for medicals and testing before travelling to Prince George for on-ice training from the 18-20th. “This is the first time the Vancouver Canucks will host Training Camp in Northern British Columbia and the great city of Prince George,” said President, Hockey Operations Trevor Linden. “We are fortunate to have the passionate support of fans around the province and are committed to holding future Training Camps in communities throughout BC This is a perfect opportunity to connect and express our gratitude for the support of the Prince George community. It will be a special visit for the players and team.” With the generosity and support of the Prince George Cougars WHL team, all Training Camp on-ice practice sessions will take place at the CN Centre and be open to the public. A complete schedule including details on how fans can access training camp will be announced soon. “It truly is a New Ice Age in Prince George,” said Greg Pocock, President, Prince George Cougars. “Dan Hamhuis, Eric Brewer and the rest of our ownership group are proud to partner with Trevor Linden and Mayor Lyn Hall to bring hockey at its highest level to CN Centre. Welcoming the Vancouver Canuck’s Main Training Camp to Northern BC for the first time is a proud moment for us all. The Cougars are committed to ensuring that this event is a huge success and the first of many. WE ARE ALL CANUCKS (even if we are Cougars).” During the Canucks first four years in the National Hockey League the club held Training Camp in Calgary, Alberta. Since then, Training Camp has moved throughout the province of BC to Victoria, Courtney, Powell River, Duncan, Parksville, Kamloops, Vernon, Penticton and Whistler.

TERRACE Air Canada Launches CalgaryTerrace Service The departure of Air Canada flight AC8593 from Calgary marked the start of non-stop service to Terrace in northwestern BC. “We are pleased to launch our newest nonstop service between Calgary and Terrace,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines. “Air Canada continues to strategically add new services to meet demand and our new, non-stop flights connecting two resource and energy centers saves time and offers convenience to the Calgary and Terrace/ Kitimat business markets.” Daily Air Canada Express flights between Calgary and Terrace are operated by Jazz Aviation LP with 50-seat Bombardier CRJ jets.


JUNE 2015


Pacific NorthWest LNG Announces Final Investment Decision


RINCE RUPERT – Pacific Nor t hWest L NG ( P N W LNG) announced today that the required technical and commercial components of the project have been satisfied. Consequently, PNW LNG has resolved to move forward with a positive Final Investment Decision, subject to two conditions. The Final Investment Decision will be confirmed by the partners of PNW LNG once two outstanding foundational conditions have been resolved. The first condition is approval of the Project Development Agreement by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, and the second is a positive regulatory decision on Pacific NorthWest LNG’s environmental assessment by t he G overnment of Canada. “ I n p a ra l l e l w i t h wo rk to support the Final Investment Decision, Pacific NorthWest LNG will continue constructive engagement with area First Nations, local communities, stakeholders and regulators,” said Michael Culbert, President of Pacific NorthWest LNG. “The integrated project is poised to create thousands of construction and operational careers in the midst of the current energy sector slowdown.” Progress Energy Canada and the North Montney Joint

Michael Culbert, President of Pacific NorthWest LNG Venture partners will continue to invest in its North Montney natural gas resources. The investment to date has proved and probable natural gas reserves of over 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with $2 billion-plus invested annually, representing approximately 4,000 sustainable jobs in northeast British Columbia. “A Fi na l I nvestment Decision is a cr ucia l step to ensure that the project stays on t rack to ser v ice cont racted LNG customers,” Culbert conti nued. “Paci f ic Nor thWest LNG is poised to make a substantial investment that will

This labeled image shows how the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG facility could look CREDIT: PACIFIC NORTHWEST LNG

benefit Canada for generations to come.” Paci f ic Nor t hWest L NG i s planning to build a world-scale LNG export facility on Lelu Island in the District of Port Edward, British Columbia. The proposed facility will comprise an initial development of two LNG trains of approximately 6 m i l l ion ton nes per a n nu m

(MTPA) each, and a subsequent development of a third train of approximately 6 MTPA. T he proposed facility would liquefy and export natural gas produced by Progress Energy Canada in northeastern British Columbia. Pacific NorthWest LNG is committed to generating new economic and social benefits for the local community and

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First Nations, British Columbia and Canada in an environmentally safe and sustainable manner. Pacific NorthWest LNG is majority-owned by PETRONAS. JAPEX, Sinopec/Huadian, Indian Oil and PetroleumBRUNEI are also partners in Pacific NorthWest LNG and its associated natural gas supply.



JUNE 2015




R I NCE GEORGE - Bi ke lanes in Prince George were busy recently, as commuters with rolled up pant legs and bulging saddle-bags took to the streets for the annual week-long “Bike to Work Week” challenge. It’s great to see so much support for an initiative that aims to promote physical activity, healthy workplaces, and environmental responsibility. A growing number

People are looking for businesses that demonstrate leadership in addressing climate change, and that are taking action to reduce their carbon emissions and energy consumptions

of businesses are embracing biking and other forms of alternative transportation, as they recognize the importance of financial, social and environmental responsibility in today’s world. People are looking for businesses that demonstrate leadership in addressing climate change,

and that are taking action to reduce their carbon emissions and energy consumption. These are essential values for socially conscious consumers. This year, the Prince George Ch a m b er of Com m erce h a s partnered with the University of Northern BC on an innovative project that seeks to help businesses reduce their carbon footprints. Eight local businesses sig ned up for the i nau g u ra l “Ca rb on Fo ot pr i nt Reduction Project.” Students in UNBC’s “Carbon Management: The Intersection of Business and Environmentalism” course completed internationally-recognized carbon footprint analysis for each participating business. The students’ reports also included recommendations on how the businesses could reduce emissions, the rate of consumption, and energy expenses. The experience was mutually beneficial for the students and

the businesses. While the businesses gained valuable information on how to improve their environmental performance, the students were able to experience hands-on learning through real and current case studies. The project has now entered its third phase, as businesses look at implementing the recommendations that are economically appealing, and take steps towards becoming lower carbon companies. Some participants, like P.S. Piano Service, are not far off from reaching carbon neutrality. P.S. Piano Services owner Peter Stevenson can be seen riding his bike around Prince George from one piano tuning appointment to the next. “P.S. Piano Service has always worked diligently to run our business with as small a carbon footprint as possible. This program was an opportunity for us to have our emissions quantified so that we can see both how we are doing, and how far we still

need to go,” says Stevenson. “As our business expands, we will be using this information to monitor and minimize carbon emissions. We will also be using this information for marketing purposes. Who else can say that their business produces only 4.4 tonnes of carbon per year?” The Chamber is proud to be able to work with UNBC to help businesses like P.S. Piano Services reach their goals of becoming more environmentally responsible. As more and more businesses recognize the benefits of reducing their carbon footprint, perhaps the bustling bike lanes seen during “Bike to Work Week” will soon be a normal feature of the daily commute in Prince George. Christie Ray is the CEO of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at christie.ray@

LIGHT INDUSTRIAL UNITS ARRIVE ON PRINCE GEORGE MARKET “One of the things we found over the years was that light industrial land was very limited.”



RINCE GEORGE - Phase 1 of the Prince George Global Logistics Park now on the market. It has been a long time coming, but the Phase 1 light industrial lots of the Prince George Global Logistics Park will hit the market in June for the first time. Harry Backlin of Team Powerhouse Realty has been the realtor involved in the project from the very beginning. For over 10 years, he has worked with developer Henry Rempel to ease the project through its numerous stages, from virgin forest land to 3,000 acres of prime light industrial property. The development’s centrepiece is Boundary Road, the bypass connecting Highways 16 and 97. As Backlin explains, “the city had for many years talked about the dangerous goods route. The dangerous goods route was to bypass the city. It would be from highway 16, to hook it up at highway 97, and from there hook it up on the other side of College Heights to highway 16 going west. That is the area that the

city designated for light industrial development.” Indeed, there has been steadily increasing demand for light industrial development over the last decades in Prince George. “One of the things we found over the years was that light industrial land was very limited. Mainly these were in the Carter Industrial, the Hart Highway and off of Queensway. These three areas became in shortened supply over the years to the point that the city had to take a look at what they could do to expand their light industrial land area,” Backlin recalls. The Global Logistics Park was their answer. The entire project stretches across 3,000 acres of land alongside Boundary Road and adjacent to Prince George’s international airport, making it a prime location for this type of development. The lots of Phase 1, which will go officially on sale in early June, comprise 25 acres of serviced property, and range between 1.5 and 2 acres each.

Layout of the Prince George Global Logistics Park As Backlin notes, “Everything they need is there: underground services are in there, the lights are in there, the hydro as well. Anything you need for industrial development is all there

underground. It’s ready to go.” Phase 2, which includes roughly 75 acres, is currently being developed and will be ready for sale and construction in the summer of 2016. Neil O’Farrell is with Initiatives Prince George. He can be contacted at O’


JUNE 2015


BC Chamber AGM develops recipe for economic growth Annual gathering unites businesses from across province

SpeeDee – Your Office Experts staff, from left to right: Kathy Ellis, Corrin Peet, David George, Sherry Jamison, Brian Battersby, and Charlie Hampton


Brent Hasanen, Chair of the BC Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors


he BC Chamber of Commerce A n nua l G enera l M e e t i n g i s a ra l l y i n g point for the provincial business community to establish its priorities. “ E v e r y y e a r t h e d i s c u ssions trend i n a certa i n d i rection,” said Brant Hasanen, the incoming Chair of the BC Chamber Board of Directors, following the recent AGM in P r i nce G eorge. “T he d i rection this year was the tall list of major resource projects, and what Chambers can do to help them move forward. “This has become a priority because it’s ou r feeling that if the project proponents and government wait too long, the prov i nce a nd the rest of the country are going to miss out on a big opportunity.” Hasanen and the board are prepa re d for t he up c om i n g y e a r, a n d h a v e fo u r c l e a rl y d e f i n e d p o i n t s o f fo c u s for thei r term, one of wh ich speaks specifically to the potentia l to m iss out on these opportunities. “One of ou r pri ma r y goa ls - and while this may seem cliché - is that we’re interested in building a better future here,” he says. “We have a habit of being complacent in BC, and not col lectively focusi ng on what it is that we’re capable of doing as a province. “During the next year, we’ll be focused on identifying who the movers and shakers and leaders are. We want to gather and align them to enable other businesses and communities to take advantage of the potential here.” Complementing the visionary focus of the board is its advocacy strategy. “We’re continu ing to work hard to discover issues that are important to our membership and effectively bring them to government,” he said.

John Winter, President & CEO, Director at the BC Chamber of Commerce

Patrick Giesbrecht, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors

L ead i ng up to t he AGM, m e m b e r c h a m b e rs p re p a re policies and advocacy points to debate and promote. “T his year we noticed that a high number of really good p ol i c i e s w e re b ro u g h t fo rwa rd,” says H a sa nen. “T he chambers are becoming very advanced in their policy prepa rat ion, i n t h at t hey’re doi ng the proper lobby i ng a nd collaboration work amongst themselves before they get to open debate. “ M a n y p o l i c i e s a re w e l lprepared and viable for us as a board to work with. Each year this event gets better, and so does the content.” After the AGM, the BC Chamber Board and staff refine and amend the policies that have been passed, and begin their advocacy efforts. “Advocacy and lobbying isn’t a science, it’s an art,” says BC Chamber President and CEO John Winter, who will retire after 18 years at the helm on June 30. “It becomes effective when a number of interested sta keholders come together and agree on common ground.” Winter’s tenure at the Chamber began in the late 90s during challenging economic times, and he knows first hand about the power of a unified voice. “W hen we were going through a difficult time as a province, businesses from 66 different associations, totali ng 800 busi nessma n, ca me together for the BC Business Summit,” he says. “T he Cha mber was able to market the recommendations that ca me out of that event, and ultimately we developed a recipe for economic growth. That’s the power of collaboration, and that’s what happens at events like our AGM.” W h i le t here’s l it t le doubt about t he role t he Cha mber

played in positively impacting the economic output of BC after the iconic Summit. Today, some regional chambers face competition for membership dues a nd revenue f rom networking groups and industry associations. Hasa nen a nd h is boa rd a re working to address this. “One of our four focus points is on enhancing the Chamber brand,” he says. “We want to build on the similarities and strengths of our members, and help them to remain successful and effective.” Patrick Giesbrecht, incoming Vice-Chair, added, “Northern BC cha mbers have been g row i ng at a rapid pace, the h igh va lue projects up there have really increased business interest. “It’s excit i ng for u s at t he board level to look at how those chambers are being successful, a nd use some of those sa me strategies to help other areas of the province.” Giving its members the ability to engage with the major i n frastructu re a nd resou rce project proponents will be a focus for the board as well. “Right now we’re in a business environment that we’ve n e v e r s e e n b e f o r e ,” s a y s H a sa nen. “I n ord er to t a ke adva nta ge of t he up com i ng economic activity that we expect here, businesses need be educated about how to grow their companies.” Some of the professional development topics covered will include leadership and business development training. “We want to be able to go to these big businesses who are investing in the province, and let them know that there are capable companies here that can support and add value to their projects.”

on their promises. ‘Earning the business’ comes from meeting client needs, wherever they choose to engage with us.” Being a local company doesn’t mean that SpeeDee’s clients pay more for their products and services. “To keep our prices competitive, we’ve become a partner in the national buying group CIS/ Basics,” he says. “They negotiate contracts with all of our suppliers from ‘A’very to ‘Z’ebra to ensure we have the ability to offer our clients a strong value proposition.” Through its 57-year history, the company has evolved from a small commercial printing facility, to a one-stop-shop for many different business needs. Maurice and Phyllis George, David’s parents, opened up the first SpeeDee Printer and Stationers in 1958. In 1964, the company expanded into Terrace. In 1960, they moved into 490 Brunswick Street in Prince George, a location that now occupies one of their retail stationary outlets, a promotional department and digital copy center. David took over the role as President in 1985, and has continued to grow the company every since. “Our origins are in commercial printing, but we’ve become so much more,” he says. “My focus since the beginning was on expansion. “Whether it was a new product offering, additional services, or the addition of new territory, the goal has been to improve.” 1991 was a year of change for SpeeDee, as they expanded on their core competencies with the acquisition of Interior Stationary in Smithers. In 1995 the company opened a new Prince George location at 215 1st Avenue. 2001 marked expansion to 219 1st Avenue, home of a furniture showroom, and sales and administration offices. L a s t ye a r t h ey p u rc h a s e d Hamilton Stationary i n Fort St. John, and launched a new

8,000-square-foot office products distribution center and order desk. Their furniture division offers a unique, comprehensive client experience. “E ach loc at ion h a s h ig h ly trained office furniture consultants that will measure your offices, provide space planning services and deliver an efficient, ergonomically sound office furniture solution. “We’ve had clients of all sizes, from single location small businesses to large corporations with multiple offices. With all of the proposed LNG projects coming through, we’re well positioned to support the proponents along each step of their projects.” Day-to-d ay bu si ness isn’t SpeeDee’s only focus, they also reinvest into the communities that they operate in. They’re members of Chambers of Commerce throughout the region, sponsors of minor hockey prog ra m s a nd t he 2015 Canada Winter Games, where they were named an Official Supplier for the Host Society. “We wanted to be a part of all the excitement that comes through this partnership,” says George. “We’re proud to be from Northern BC and we were proud to partner with the 2015 Canada Winter Games!” “The outfitting of our office with furniture and amenities was an incredible example of the high quality and contemporary style that is available in Prince George,” said 2015 Games’ CEO, Stuart Ballantyne. “We’re proud of the partnership with a great local business.” Sustainability has been a significant component of the company’s business model. They have developed recycling programs for their products, and are the only printer in Northern BC that is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified. The FSC guarantees that certified companies are using wood and paper products that come from healthy forests and strong communities.


JUNE 2015


Mechanical services firm celebrates 35 years in business


RINCE GEORGE – For Chad Kinsley, President of R.H. Jones and Son Mechanical, it’s all about keeping it simple. “Our customers don’t want to overcomplicate their projects,” he says. “They come to us because we have the internal capacity to manage big jobs under one roof.” The company specializes in providing mechanical solutions to commercial and industrial construction projects. Their offer plumbing, heating, HVAC, fire protection, sheet metal fabrication and design-build services. It employs approximately 30 staff throughout the year, increasing to around 50 during peak periods. “If it’s related to the mechanical side of a project, we have the ability to do it in house,” says Kinsley. “There’s no need to track down and manage multiple sub-trades. “That’s a major headache for a lot of builders. Taking that away for them and doing a good job well has kept us in business for so long.” This year the company is celebrating its 35 th anniversary, a milestone made possible through

Chad Kinsley, President of R.H. Jones and Son Mechanical a commitment to excellence. “Our focus has been on quality, not quantity,” he says. “We have a very high standard of workmanship that’s been maintained because we’ve grown responsibly. “Sticking with what we know how to do best has really helped us. We haven’t grown too big, and that’s allowed us to maintain the quality of work that we do. Our rate of repeat business is very high, often after we’ve completed an install, we’re the ones getting the call to do the maintenance.” R.H. Jones’ longevity wouldn’t be possible without a competent team behind it.

A view inside a Prince George sawmill. CREDIT: CANFOR

“I’ve been off the tools for 7 years,” says Kinsley. “The staff I have working for me do a great job, it’s been really important to me to surround myself with people who are known for a great work ethic and the commitment to seeing a project through to completion. “It’s allowed me to step back into the office, and focus on growing

You’ve really outdone yourselves Congratulations to R.H. Jones on their 35th year! It is always a pleasure doing business with you.

Phone: (250) 562.5505 1027 A Eastern Street, Prince George, BC


the business.” Bigger isn’t always better, and keeping that in mind has helped the company’s performance. “Knowing what jobs to get involved with, and which ones to stay away from has been really important,” he says. “Quite often, the margins are better on small projects, we can get in and out quickly and move on to the next thing. “Sometimes the large ones can eat up a lot of your time, and even though the payout is high, profitability can be low.” Part of the company’s success has come from the fact that it’s a ‘union shop’. Both the Plumbers Pipefitters & Steamfitters Local 170 and the Sheet Metal Worker’s Local 280 represent employees at R.H. Jones and Son. “Being a union shop gives us a competitive advantage in many of the different tenders that we’re after,’ says Kinsley. “It gives us a nice foot in the door with some significant projects.” The company counts forestry mills like the Northwest Pulp Mill and Prince George Sawmill among their clients. They’ve also worked

Congratulations on your



Chelsey McDermot-Fouts Commercial Account Manager

Congratulations on your continued success



Prince George, BC



Shelley Padalec Associate Account Manager

on the Spruceland Elementary School for School District 57, major retailers in the Pine Centre Mall, and the College of New Caledonia Trade School. They’ve also completed projects in throughout Northern BC and Alberta, and with all of the economic excitement happening in the Prince Rupert area, Kinsley is looking to capitalize. “Prince George has been good to us,” he says. “But as a business you have to be looking in all directions to grow. There’s a lot of excitement in the northwest, and a lot of need with the energy projects that should be coming through. “We’ve looking now at how to capitalize for the past year or so. There’s the possibility of us working on a hotel in Smithers, which is the halfway point to Prince Rupert, there are number of other mixed-use projects that we’re hoping to be a part of.” Robert Hughes Jones launched the business back in 1979, and later sold it to his son Andy in the year 2000. Andy tragically passed away in 2006, and the company was left to his wife Coleen. Kinsley is Coleen’s brother, and was working for the company before Andy’s passing, since then he has taken over the reigns and bought in to support his sister. Together they are partners. He began working in the industry in 1997 after obtaining his journeyman’s ticket as a plumber. Since becoming involved in company leadership he has grown the business to expand its services. “Five years ago we purchased Haise Mechanical,” says Kinsley. “They’re focused on HVAC, that’s something we had been sub contracting out beforehand. The acquisition really added value to the service offering we had at the time.”


JUNE 2015


Dealership celebrates new renovation and success


00 M I L E HOUSE – L eon Chretien, Dealer Principal at Sunrise Ford, has seen a high level of success despite a relatively short career in the auto industry. H is dea lersh ip has a lot to celebrate, as they’ve doubled t hei r sa les volu me si nce he took over in 2011, and they’ve recently completed a $1.5 million renovation. “People thought I was crazy when I told them what my goals were,” he says. “The plan was to get 50 units on the lot right away. Before I came there were only a handful of cars available for customers to view. “T he rea l ity is that people aren’t going to buy what they can’t see, but Ford Corporate believed in me and supported the plan, and the results speak for themselves. Our location is great, we’re the first Ford store on your journey north, and the last one head i ng south, a nd that’s really helped.” Saskatchewan-native Chretien’s bold strategy has paid off, and while it appears to be the calculated move of an industry veteran, the reality is a little different. “In late 2007 I started thinki ng, ‘wh at ca n I do to m a ke good money and not work in t he oi l f ield s?’” he says. “I sta r ted lo ok i n g at c a rs a nd approached a Ford dea ler i n town to see if there were opportunities available. “My first contact with them t u r ne d i nto a 4 hou r me eti n g . T h e re w a s a g re a t f utu re ava i lable there, a nd we mapped out a 5-7 year plan that worked toward me purchasing a dealership.” He rose t h roug h t he ra n ks quickly, and that original plan ended up coming to fruition much quicker than expected. “I worked i n sa les for 3 months. After that an opening came up for Sales Manager,” says Chretien. “The dealership decided to hire me because of my experience in leadership in other companies. “In 2010 I started thinking about purchasing a dealership, it took a while to make a decision, but my boss at the time was very encouraging. When I f i n a l ly a sked h i m wh at he thought, his answer was ‘why did it take you so long to ask?’” Approximately 2.5 years after starting a new career, he was getting ready to move to a phase that takes some people 20. “There were a few different dealerships that were available, but when my w i fe a nd

External view of the Sunrise Ford dealership

Leon Chretien, Dealer Principal at Sunrise Ford, in front of the dealership I visited 100 Mile, we felt at home r i g ht away,” he says. “T he process of putti ng the deal together took a year and a half, and it was officially completed in June of 2011. “I noticed another local auto dealer had taken a chance by expanding in town, and I thought, ‘if he can do it, so can I.’ This town has built a lot of momentu m from businesses making investments like our renovation, and we’ve done it w ithout the money from big industry projects that other Northern BC com mu n ities have.’ Chretien was born and raised on a fa rm i n Saskatchewa n, and his career leading up to his time with Ford has helped him to develop the skills needed to make the Sunrise dealership successful. “I’m a fa r m boy,” he says. “ O n e o f t h e t h i n g s t h a t ’s helped me the most is the work ethic I learned early on. T he job isn’t done until it’s done. “The other side of that c oi n i s t h at when you h ave

the opportunity to relax and enjoy l i fe, you ta ke adva ntage. Work-l i fe ba la nce a nd time with your family is really important” Along the path to his current role have been jobs in retail, a brief time with Chevrolet in 1994, a return to agriculture that lasted until 2001, and a

250.706.8349 | 100 Mile House, BC

Proud to be a partner of Sunrise Ford. Congratulations Leon!

m a n a gement p o sit ion w it h an Tolko Industries Oriented Strand Board (OSB) plant that lead him to walk into the Ford dealership back in 2007. His time at the OSB plant was an opportunity to sharpen his management skills. “I lea rned about my wea kpoints and limitations there,”

he says. “My bosses worked with me on how to engage with my staff appropriately. “My expectations of myself a nd sta ff were rea l ly h igh, I wa s f r u st rated when i ssues weren’t f i xed i m med i ately, and that they weren’t operating at exactly the same level that I was.” T h at e x p er ienc e h a s b e en vital to managing a successful team and dealership. “Over time I’ve learned that every employee is different,” says Chretien. “Each person is at a different level, they have d i fferent ski l ls, weaknesses and habits, and they all need to be treated accordingly. “ Per fe c t ion d o e s n’t c om e overnight, I’ve really had to focus on bei ng patient w ith my team. The result has been enhanced relationships with staff; I work beside my people to help them realize their potential. Everyone benefits.” Looking forward, Sunrise is focused on growth. “We’re not satisfied with being a small dealer, size doesn’t have to be a limiting factor,” says Chretien. “We feel we can be a poster child for the company and industry, and to do that we’re always improving processes and trying to get to the next level.”

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JUNE 2015


Fort St. John company’s expertise is in pumps, air compressors and much more


ORT ST. JOHN – Service on Site i n Fort St. Joh n has been providing solutions for pumps and compression repair, services, rentals a nd products i n Nor t her n British Columbia since 1997. Compa ny co-ow ner (w it h h is w ife Laura Babcock) and president Chris Babcock said that Service On Site stays on the leading edge of pump solutions with the newest service technology that includes cutting edge laser alignment systems and new products such as packing, plungers, skid packages and mechanical seal innovations. The company has the largest industrial pump, pa r ts a nd mech a n ic a l sea l s inventory in the area. He also noted that because Service on Site does such a large volume of business, its buying power is equal to much larger companies, and that price advantage is passed on to customers. Ser v ice on Site h a s ex per t millwrights on staff who repa i r a nd rebu i ld pu mps a nd air compressors. The company also offers rental pumps and reg u la r pla nt m a i ntena nce, m a i n ly for t h e oi l , g a s a nd mining industries. However, t he compa ny a l so work s on civil water and sewer projects a nd across a w ide va riety of industries. Babcock fou nded the company in 1997 when his employers chose to divest themselves from field work, which, at the time, was Babcock’s particular area of expertise. His new company was successf u l a l most i m med iately a nd it wasn’t long before he hired his first apprentice, A.J. Everton, who is now the manager. As he travelled farther afield to service more customers, he conti nued to ex pa nd

The Service on Site team includes expert millwrights and professional support staff

“We’re not restricted at all. What I tell everybody, is that if it doesn’t burn fuel and it turns, we can fix it.” CHRIS BABCOCK PRESIDENT AND CO-OWNER, SERVICE ON SITE

Laura and Chris Babcock like to keep their company on the leading edge of pump solutions the company. Asked about his formula for success, Babcock said, “I’m honest and I try to do a good job. I treat everybody as a friend. And I was always out there and built a good reputation. And we always did good

work. We’d go out w it h ou r ser v ic e t r u ck a nd we h a d a picker on it, we had welding equipment, we had the torches – we could basically give the customer a full package. They didn’t have to hire a welder or anyone else. We could do it all and that made a huge difference when they had to change out a pump. They only had to hire one guy.” Because the pumps Service on Site work on genera l ly run round the clock, regular maintenance is essential and somet h i ng most compa n ies opt for. Babcock sa id that a six month service schedule is a good idea. Most companies also have to change out their pumps every five or six years. Service On Site also works on ga s t u rbi ne ge a r b oxe s a nd machine alignments. To d a y, t h e c o m p a n y h a s g row n to 20 employees a nd covers an area from the Northw e s t Te r r i to r i e s to P r i n c e George and even into Alberta. It has also recently completed construction of a new 10,000 sq. ft. shop to accommodate growing demands. And those

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demands could become quite large. Babcock said that due to his ex tensive ex perience working on projects like the WAC Bennett Dam, he is optimistic about working on the Site C da m when it gets sta r ted. Babcock est i m ated t h at t he Site C project would give his company 10 years work. At the same time, Service on Site is also right in line to work in the L NG f ield, a n i ndust r y t hat uses large amounts of pumps and compressors. “We’re right on the edge of re a l ly ta k i ng of f,” Bab cock s a i d . “ H o w e v e r, w e r e a l l y don’t know when it’s going to happen. But I’m really excited about it.” In preparation for the future, Service on Site is currently training seven apprent ices. Babcock sa id t he training program is important to the company. “It’s the way to get the young people going. I was fortunate t h at I h ad some rea l ly good mentors – they taught me the value in having apprentices. They’re often loyal and they’re look i ng at the f utu re of being a journeyman.” He added that because of the diversity of projects the company works on, the future is very bright. “We’re not restricted at all. What I tell everybody, is that i f it doesn’t bu rn fuel a nd it turns, we can fix it.” Serv ice on Site a lso boasts a pa rtnersh ip w ith Xylem, a large global water technology provider and is a distributor for Viking Pumps. “We have an excellent repair facility here,” Babcock said, add i ng t h at t he compa ny is a lso sti l l a n ex per t at doi ng repairs in the field as well as in its expanded shop. Service on Site is at 7806 100 Avenue in Fort St. John.


JUNE 2015


Industrial Transformers is well-known for repairs of heavy-duty equipment and trucks but also goes far beyond


U R NS L A K E – Industrial Transformers Inc. in Burns Lake is, above a l l, a d iverse compa ny. It is well-know n as a heav y duty equ ipment a nd tr uck repa i r and maintenance facility. It a l s o p e r fo r m s c o m m e rc i a l vehicle inspections and does construction work, and project management. Industrial Transformers is a family company, formed by the amalgamation of four existing compa n ies, each w ith ma ny years of experience in the resource and construction sectors. The companies came together through a common desire to expand and diversify their business while filling an important role in an under-serviced sector of the local economy. Administrator and co-owner, Kathy Waters, noted that although Industrial Transformers has only been in operation since October 2013, the company principals have decades of experience behind them. The industries that Industrial Transformers works in are as diverse as the company itself. It works for companies of all sizes, repairing logging trucks for single truck owners as well companies that own large fleets. It works in the mining industry, notably Red Chris and Huckleberry Mines and the First Nations. It also works with Arrow Transportation. At the Lake Babine First Nation, Industrial Transformers has put its construction expertise to good use in residential projects. The company has also worked with the Cheslatta Carrier First Nation on an extensive boat rehabilitation and on other marine equipment. Waters said that diversification

“Our mechanics are highly skilled professionals with diverse experience, which provides us with the flexibility to manage the most challenging projects.” KATHY WATERS ADMINISTRATOR AND CO-OWNER, INDUSTRIAL TRANSFORMERS INC.

has served the company well. “Even with our other company, we have been very diverse over the years and have worked on quite a few different projects with different kinds of construction and road building. You learn that it’s always nice to have one aspect of the business that’s going well if the other areas are not so busy.” Waters’ husband, Doug Waters, has a history of construction that goes back to building homes in the Northwest Territories. He also put in many years of owning and running a logging operation. The family members who are partners include Matthew and Richard Wainwright and Ron Waters, all with strong expertise in various aspects of mechanical repairs and all holding their Red Seal certificates. Waters said that the move to Burns Lake more than 34 years ago was a good one. “We were pleasantly surprised at the need and the demand in the area. We knew there was a need but it was even greater than we had expected.” That said, she added that the biggest challenge the company has run into is finding qualified heavy-duty repair people. “That’s a very hard need to fill,” she said, adding that industries like hers in the province are all experiencing the same challenge. What it means SEE BURNS LAKE COMPANY  |  PAGE 11

Industrial Transformers is family-owned (l to r) Ron and Heather Waters, Doug and Kathy Waters, Richard and Wendy Wainwright, Matt and Amy Wainwright

Industrial Transformers recently took on the challenge of rehabilitating an old tugboat

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JUNE 2015


KITIMAT TRISH PARSONS Industrial Transformers runs a busy shop as well as a well-stocked parts department


for Industrial Transformers is long hours and hard work by the owners. However, Waters added that the company is presently training and developing eight apprentices who are all at different levels of progress. “Our employees are valued members of our team, which is dedicated to serving our customers with quality and value,” she said. “Our mechanics are h igh ly sk i l led professiona ls with diverse experience, which provides us with the flexibility to manage the most challenging projects. T hey’ve got tools, skills, and a desire to help.” She added that so far, when the calls for help come in, she hasn’t had to turn anyone away. Still, with crew working steadily at the mines and with other regular customers, the search for great mechanics is still on. Industrial Transformers has several customers on a regular maintenance plan. As the company grows it is also continuing to diversify, most recently into another new company called Autobot Sales, which will handle automobile sales. One of the owners is well-versed in cars and the lot is being stocked and is almost ready to open to the public.

Industrial Transformers literally “transformed” the old tugboat into a brand new boat Waters said that the company has big plans for the future. “We definitely want to establish more mechanics in the yard so that the owners don’t have to work six days a week – but that will come with time. One of the things we have realized is that home-grown mechanics are the best. So that’s one of the things we’re really focussed on and that’s why we have eight apprentices.” Industrial Transformers essentially has many divisions: construction, transport trucks,

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mines, equipment and marine, plus the machine shop. Waters pointed out that the machine shop boasts a CNC plasma cutter as well as every other machine needed to do custom work. In the short time Industrial Transformers has been operating out of Burns Lake, it has built a strong reputation. Waters noted that customers come back again and again. “ We’re c o n s id e re d a ve r y credible repair shop,” she said. “People know they can trust us and that we’ll get the job done. If we don’t find it, we will fabricate it. If a mistake is made, we’ll rectify it.” She added that as the company grows into new areas, the owners want to make sure that its reputation grows along with it. “This is a going concern and a positive thing for the community. Right now, we have 21 people on our payroll and we have a parts department that does really well and our parts manager has had many years of experience. That department, like every other area of the business, is doing very well.” Industrial Transformers Inc. is at 135 Roumieu Drive in Burns Lake.


ITIMAT - Gaby Poirier of Rio Tinto Alcan BC Operations answered Chamber Members questions at the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce dinner meeting May 21, 2015. With attention grabbing news headlines like “Rio Tinto skips air scrubbers to cut costs at Kitimat smelter” the dinner meeting was the perfect opportunity to get the “rest of the story”. Mr. Poirier explained that by modernizing Rio Tinto Alcan’s Kitimat smelter, overall emissions would be reduced by nearly 50 per cent. “That’s good news for our employees, their families and our community,” he said Why not install dry scrubbers? Poirier reported that dry scrubbing is not a proven technology for aluminum smelting, in the way it is needed for the new smelter, and for every one ton of SO2 treated the result would be two tons of solid waste. With no market for the solid waste this would create environmental land fill challenges that will build over the life of the plant. Why not install wet scrubbers? Poirier stated that for every one ton of SO2 treated 42,000 tons of water would be required. The intake and outtake of that volume of water from the Douglas Channel would impact marine habitat. Other countries use sea water disposal/wet scrubbers why not

Kitimat? Poirier noted that only about 5 per cent of aluminium smelters in the world use sea water scrubbers. Every smelter and its operations are different. Location, climate, natural setting and regulations may be different in other countries and jurisdictions. It is not a simple answer. Why air dispersion? Poi r ier i nd ic ated t h at t he STAR (SO2 Technical Assessment Report) report compiled over 18 months by Health and Environmental experts in their fields studied the emissions impacts at 42 tons per day and determined air dispersion has no significant impacts and no change to health risks related to SO2 compared to the existing smelter. The STAR was a very conservative study that modelled for worst case scenarios and accounted for projected long term coke availability and meteorological conditions. In addition RTA will actually be emitting between 33 and 35 tons of SO2 with plans to continually improve operating conditions. What is EEM? Poirier explained that EEM is the Environmental Effect Management Program, a very comprehensive plan to monitor potential SO2 impacts and is the first of its kind in BC for industry. The program has already started and the EEM early detection will avoid any significant impacts and it implements a precautionary approach. There are sensitive indicators and thresholds that trigger concrete actions by RTA emissions reductions. RTA has been encouraging people to learn more about the plan, how it is being implemented and how the results will be aassessed and how actions will be followed. Trish Parsons is Executive Director of the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at

An aerial photograph of Rio Tinto’s Kitimat operations



JUNE 2015



The goal of the program is to drive economic development and job creation in the province of BC by accelerating the commercialization of technology, resulting in the rapid growth of technology ventures


MIT HERS - The Smithers Chamber of Commerce t h a n k s P ri nce G eorge Chamber of Commerce for once aga i n showcasi ng the north by hosting the BC Chamber of Commerce AGM, Conference and Policy Session May 24-26. G e o r ge W h i te h e a d o f t h e Smithers Scotiabank is a director of the BC Chamber and the past-president of the Smithers Chamber and represented our area in both capacities. The AGM and Conference featured i n for m at ive presentat ion s, learning sessions, gala dinners and events. Rod Cox of the Terrace Chamber of Commerce served as the Chair of the BC Chamber for 2014-2015, so it was great to have our northern chambers represented at this high level. The Chamber is a positive, progressive business organization a nd blossomed u nder Rod’s governance realizing one of its most successful financial years. The incoming chair is Brant Hasanen of t he Kamloops Chamber. At the AGM, John Winter, President and CEO of

the Chamber, was showered with praise for the work he has done on behalf of business over his 18 years. He is retiring from this position on June 30. The AGM provides chamber staff and directors the opportunity to talk with government m i n isters, lead i ng BC businesspeople and other chamber

representatives. At the hosting chamber’s reception the Prince George Chamber’s theme was Pickups and Plaid at the Railroad Museum, a fun evening that displayed the cosmopolita n blend of what northern communities offer, combined with our hands-on, get the job done approach. Com ments f rom m a ny attending the AGM showed the high regard many have for the shopping experience offered in Smithers. Regional chamber directors and staff talked about coming to Smithers for various reasons. They said they drive down, go out for a great dinner (with lots of restaurants to choose from), stay in excellent accommodations and then enjoy Smithers’ shopping. They mentioned that in most places, including their towns and cities, there’s considerable sprawl and a vehicle is needed to get from one place to the next, but that Smithers has a walkable tow n and a contained shopping area. Congratulations, Sm ithers Merchants for being so appreciated and for your stores and shops to be held in such high esteem. Northwest Community College (NWCC) is the proud owner of a new TransCanada-sponsored driver-training car. T ra nsCa nada is helpi ng to supply an important need for t he Nor t her n BC work force w it h suppor t for t he creation of a new NWCC Class 5 Driver Training program for r u ra l a nd remote com mu nities. The funding, provided to Northwest Community College, will be used to establish a

new graduated driver’s license training program, and the purchase of this specialized vehicle will be provided for the training. Students in remote communities have long indicated that not having a driver’s license has created a significant barrier to employment. Through this support, Northwest Com mu n ity Col lege is investing in students and programs that meet this need in the communities it serves. School District #5 4 held a public forum June 3 to discuss the proposed “Sportsplex” being considered as an addition to SD54’s athletic and innovative learning spaces in the district. The Board has been exploring the project and produced a conceptual rendering of the proposed facility, and has earmarked a portion of the capital surplus to show their commitment. However, a project such as needs significant community, corporate and private sponsorship so the Board hosted the Education Forum to provide an overview of the proposed sponsor/partner plan for the “Sportplex” . The Bulkley Valley Economic Development Association contract with the BV Innovation Council to deliver the Venture Acceleration Program was recently renewed. The VAP is a paid, structured venture growth program designed to guide, coach and grow ambitious early stage technology entrepreneurs and effectively g row thei r tech nolog y ventures. The Venture Acceleration Program helps entrepreneurs accelerate the process of defining a proven business

model based on a set methodology and set of best practices for growing technology companies. The goal of the program is to drive economic development and job creation in the province of BC by accelerating the commercialization of technology, resulting in the rapid growth of technology ventures. T he VAP is delivered by a team of Executives in Residence (EIRs) and supported by a province wide network of partners and entrepreneurs. Together, they make up the BC Acceleration Network, an alliance of regional partners, EiRs and executivelevel mentors. As the Mayor of Smithers is away at t he G over nor G eneral’s Leadership Conference and Councillor Goodacre is at Minerals North, I had the privilege of occupying the Mayor’s chair at a recent council meeting, where many issues were discussed. The cafe/food service at the airport commanded a lot of discussion. A proposal for a private sector replacement for the Bugwood Bean was rejected, and the subject will return to a committee of the whole meeting June 11. Business facade improvement grants were approved: SpeeDee Printers $5,000; 1323 Main St the former Crazy Mikes Video for $5,000; Chatters $4,500; BC Web $4,500. The final two are $500 to HBH Land Surveyors and $500 to Kitchen Works. 
 Heather Gallagher is Manager of the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce. She can be contacted at

CHRETIEN REPRESENTS SOUTH CARIBOO AT BC CHAMBER GATHERING The unique grass roots policy-building forum brought together Chambers from all corners of the province



00 MILE HOUSE - Prince George hosted the BC Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting May 2426 and we were represented by our Chair, Leon Chretien. Business leaders from across the province met to set an agg ressive new pol icy agend a for the BC Chamber’s advocacy efforts to the province, calling for a more transparent

approach to taxation in BC, innovation in regional solid waste management, community and local government policies on rebalancing municipalities and regional districts, and for the prov incial role in mu n icipal restructuring, amongst others. T he u n ique g rass roots policy-building forum brought together Cha mbers from a l l c o r n e r s o f t h e p ro v i n c e to vigorously debate and adopt new policies affecting business operations th roug hout the province. Policies that are adopted become part of the BC Chamber’s advocacy agenda. This year nearly 50 proposed policies were voted on by the delegates. Due to the ever changing govern ment pol icies, the South C a r i b o o C h a m b e r o f C o mmerce w i l l set aside ti me at the monthly board meetings to review and discuss our own policies to keep up to date. Our

monthly meetings are open to all members and are held the first Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the Cha mber office. Social media is a trend that keeps growing, and we are now promoting our members on our Facebook page with our new “Business of the Day” feature. Views, l i kes a nd sh a res of the South Ca riboo Cha mber of Commerce face book page is growing daily and the “Business of the Day” feature has become very popular since we have started. Every member will be featured at least once during the year. Visit our page to view the “Business of the Day” and other events that are happening in the area! https:// South-Cariboo-Chamber-ofCommerce/427934560589209 You can also visit the website to view our business directory with a full list of our members: The 50 th Anniversary of 100 Mile House Celebration is only six weeks away! The celebration events will start July 18 a nd r u n t h roug h to Ju ly 26. Visit the page for the events calendar. anniversary2015 Shelly Morton is Executive Director of the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce, which covers from Clinton to Lac La Hache, including 100 Mile House. She can be contacted at manager@


JUNE 2015


Logistics company prepares to launch new location


RINCE GEORGE – Papason Trucking is preparing to more than triple the size of their location. Since 1978, the company has provided refrigerated truck services to Northern BC’s food and beverage industry. They serve a wide range of clients, from restaurants and eateries to forestry and mining camps. “I f it needs to stay cool or frozen, we have a truck for it,” says Howard A rp, t he company’s Vice-President and CEO. “Temperature sensitive product transportation is our specialty. “We’ve become well known t h rou g hout ou r a re a of t he province, and have been fortunate enough to grow the business to where we are today.” Pap a s on i s t h e pro c e s s of b u i ld i n g a n e w, f i rs t of it s kind, fully-refrigerated location, which they’re expecting to be completed this fall. The innovative concept is designed to give their client’s products the highest quality storage and transportation environment possible. “We’re going to be expanding from the 5 loading docks that we have right now, to 18 in the new building,” says Arp. “For the past while we’ve been dealing with too much product for the size of location we have. “It’s going to give us a lot more flexibility for loading and unload i ng, a nd t he add it ion a l room will give us the ability to store products on site, allowing the flexibility to accommodate client needs to a larger degree.” A d a p t i n g to t h e c o n s t a n t changes in customer requirements is a point of pride for Operations Manager Troy Loth. “We l itera l ly ‘go the ex tra mile’ for our clients,” he says. “Our company mandate is focused around serving the customer, and working with them to accomplish their goals.” “We truly believe that, and push ourselves towards solving challenging logistics issues at every opportunity. A phrase that often gets used here is that we’re responsible for ‘taking o u r c u s to m e r ’s h e a d a c h e s away.’ We’ll even work outside our service area to make sure a job gets done correctly.” T h e c om p a ny ’s g row t h wouldn’t be possible without the team it has behind it. “Our staff have been vital to our success so far,” says Jack Law, company General Manager. “Many members of our team have been with us for decades, that’s a point of pride for the management team.

“We’ve grown steadily since the beginning,” says Howard. “Our reputation has been strong, and we’ve grown with our customers as they’ve developed and matured.”

(from left to right) Papason Trucking Vice-President and CEO Howard Arp, and President Bill Arp

“It speaks to the quality of the work env i ron ment here, they believe in what we do, and where the company is headed. I find that really validating.” Back in 1978 the company was started by Bill Arp, Howard’s father. Since then it’s grown from a si ng le tr uck serv ice, to an operation that employs 65, a nd boasts 120 pieces of equipment. “We’ve grown steadily since t he b eg i n n i n g,” says Howard. “Our reputation has been strong, and we’ve grown with our customers and suppliers as they’ve developed and matured. “The long-term relationships that we have with them speak to the quality we provide, and it’s been exciting to grow hand-inhand with so many great companies in BC.”

A Papason Trucking unit on its way to make a delivery


Part of that steady success has come from learning from others. “ I n b u s i n e s s yo u w a n t to learn as much from others as you can,” he says. “You don’t want to try and re-write the rulebook. I’ve followed in the footsteps of other successful people and haven’t tried to reinvent the wheel. D e s p ite t h e c omp a ny ’s growth, they haven’t lost the fa m i l ia rity that comes w ith working in smaller company. “We’re not small any more, but I like to think we have that ‘mom and pop’ feel,” says Arp. “Management is approachable, and they’re willing to work hard and fill in when necessary. “There have been recent situations where I have gone out on the road making deliveries because there was so much going on.” The future is bright for Papason as they move towards completion of their new location. “The new building and equipment is going to take us to the next level,” says Law. “As we move forwa rd as a compa ny we’re looking to become more involved in the communities we operate in.” “We want to make sure we’re giving back to those who have supported us for so long”




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JUNE 2015




UESNEL - The Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce ho s te d t he 2015 Quesnel Home & Outdoor Adventure Show May 8-10th at Quesnel Twin Arenas. The main goal of this event was to highlight our local business community and help business owners engage with consumers, and to provide a well-organized, professional trade show featuring a wide variety of products and services. 2,168 people attended the trade show between Friday and Sunday evenings, coming from Quesnel, Williams Lake, Prince George and 100 Mile House. Guests were given a grand prize entry with their admission, and we were able to use that information to get a sense of who attended. While it was expected that the

Trade show guests spin the wheel and answer business-related questions at the booth of major sponsor Community Futures

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson, MLA Coralee Oakes, and Billy Barker draw names for three prizes from the show



Cariboo Chilcotin region would be the highest for attendance, we were pleased to have representation from many other regions across BC. 98.1 per cent of attendees were from the Cariboo Chilcotin area and the remaining 1.9 per cent hailed from Northern BC, the Thompson Okanagan, Vancouver Island and Alberta. There were 60 exhibitors registered for the show, offering a range of products and services. Exhibitors were impressed by the quality and professionalism of the show and that it was very well advertised and promoted. Many exhibitors have responded that since the trade

show, they have seen an increase in business and customer awareness. The trade show was such a wonderful event, that not only benefited the business level, but the social/quality of life level of our city, as well. The first level to mention was the community level. It brought the community together. The more events we have, the better the community knows each other, not only business-wise, but on that personal level. It solidifies us and brings us together as a whole and builds that foundation. When we have a solid foundation, we can help each other, we create a safer environment in which people

can live and play, we raise better children. Such a foundation has positive effects throughout our people, population, community, province and nation. The second level was at the business level. We are in such a competitive environment in today’s society, with internet shopping being one of our biggest opponents, so to bring the faces and families behind these local businesses out for all to meet and greet really anchors the importance of shopping locally and supporting each other. It also gave the business owners a chance to not only increase their customer base, but to meet other

businesses and suppliers in the community so we can bring that ‘shop local’ component to a deeper, business-to-business level, as well. This ‘Business to Business’ level is where we have an opportunity to really increase the profitability of our local businesses. This trade show will truly have far-reaching benefits throughout our wonderful city and will become a yearly anchor event to support and grow Quesnel. William Lacy is President and Chair of the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached through

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JUNE 2015


Vanderhoof area company does it all


A N D E R H O O F – Pa u l Manwaring, president and owner of M4 Enterprises Ltd. in Vanderhoof compares his company to a Swiss army knife – exceptionally versatile and able to handle just about any problem that comes its way. “We’re basically a construction company in the central interior that does pretty much a little bit of everything when it comes to earthworks and trucking. If you need fibre hauled for making pellets or pulp, we do that. If you need heavy equipment hauled, we have those capabilities. We haul and install aggregates of many shapes and sizes for projects like parking lots, subdivisions, bridge installations and even small driveways. We even haul dirt for your garden. We do underground works, water, sewer, civil installations, site preparations, land clearing, road building and yard maintenance for the local sawmill.” It all adds up to being the go-to company in the area for infrastructure work of all kinds – and more. Manwaring, who owns the company with his wife, Shelly Manwaring, sa id that about 50 per cent of M4’s business is transportation of goods ranging from fibre to freight, aggregates and heavy equipment. The Manwarings established the company in 2008, but Paul had been working in the industry for decades before that. Prior to forming M4, (which is named after himself, his wife and his children, Taylor and Brad) he was a partner in Nechako Excavating Ltd. for more than 20 years. Nechako was originally owned by Manwaring’s father and brother, who gave him his start in the business. When Manwaring took over the family business, he took on a partner. W hen they parted ways after 20 years, Manwaring

“We have reputable operators that get the job done to the customer’s satisfaction and the word gets around. That’s probably why we do what we do and have the name that we have and why the phone keeps ringing.” PAUL MANWARING PRESIDENT AND OWNER, M4 ENTERPRISES LTD.

created M4. “I’ve been doing this since I was a kid,” he said. “This was a family business from way back in the early 70s and I’ve been in construction all my life.” He added that although the business has its challenges, it’s the rewards that have kept him in it for so long. “I like the diversity – being able to do so many things and wear so many different hats. Ever since I was a young guy, playing in the sandbox with my Tonka trucks, I’ve always loved equipment and basically grew up around it and on it. That’s been one of the things I enjoy. I like to be hands-on. I want to be out digging something or hauling something. I also enjoy the satisfaction on the customers’ faces and their comments when a job is done right.” During the past eight years, Manwaring has built an impressive organization with upwards of 30 employees, and operating 17 trucks including seven on the fibre side, two on the heavy haul side as well as various aggregate haulers, an articulated rock truck, two road packers and even a couple of water trucks. M4 boasts five excavators, three bulldozers, two wheel loaders, a grader and a couple of road backers. But it isn’t the size of the company that sets it apart in

Among the M4 fleet is an articulated rock truck

M4 Enterprises is named after the four Manwarings: Paul, Shelly, Taylor and Brad Vanderhoof – it’s M4’s reputation that gives it an edge. “I tell my employees that the reason we have the reputation that we have is not because of my name or experience,” Manwaring said. “It mostly has to do with the workmanship of the people that work for me. We have reputable operators that get the job done to the customer’s satisfaction and the word gets around. That’s probably why we do what we do and have the name that we have and why the phone keeps

ringing.” In fact, the company sums it up very neatly on its hats, toques and other promotional materials: “We make s#%t happen!” That phrase succinctly sums up the company’s more longwinded (but accurate) mission statement, which reads, “M4 Enterprises Ltd. delivers highquality, cost effective projects on schedule, by employing and supporting motivated, flexible and focused people. We value the importance of our relationships

Congratulations to M4 Enterprises on all of your success in the industry! We wish you all the best. 3902 Kenworth Rd East, Prince George, BC PHONE: 250-962-6900 | TOLL FREE: 1-800-207-7756 |

and will continue to remain fair and true in our dealings with all employees, clients, vendors and partners. Our clients count on our dependability, drive, and integrity. We take great pride in our accomplishments and build on them every day.” M4 is also conscious of work safety. Its occupational health and safety objectives are to prevent any and all accidents in the workplace. M4 strongly promotes the awareness and compliance of occupational health and safety issues and safe work practices and procedures. M4 supports employees’ knowledge and involvement in all aspects of safe work, because occupationa l health and safety is a shared responsibility. “We pride ourselves on being a safe but efficient organization,” Manwaring said. “Part of our philosophy is that we are a team and it doesn’t matter if it’s the new kid in the company or someone who has been here for the last 20 years – we have each others’ backs. When you’re on the job, you’re watching out for each other and you’re making the job as safe as humanly possibly while being as efficient as possible to the customer’s satisfaction.” M4’s safety record speaks to the success of its program. At 98 per

100% Fam ily since 194Owned 7


JUNE 2015

M4 is known for its heavy hauling capabilities cent, its record is almost impeccable and there has never been a fatality on the job. Every incident that does occur, however small, is taken very seriously, Manwaring said. “Anything can be prevented and avoided if we operate in a safe manner, and that’s one of

the big reasons why we have a high safety standard. We have good, qualified people and we have a health and safety policy that supports that.” M4 works on some of the most interesting and prestigious projects in the Vanderhoof area. One of those is the ongoing Murray

M4 hauls fibre for making pellets or pulp

Creek Restoration Project where M4 is revitalizing the watersheds that flow into the Nechako and Fraser River basins. Over the years farming and ranching have caused considerable ground disturbance, which has affected the fish habitat. When funding comes in for rehabilitation of the creeks and streams, particularly Murray Creek, M4 is called on to clean up and do in-stream work. In the past year, M4 has re-aligned a creek channel that made a big difference to the habitat. “We pride ourselves on that,” Manwaring said. M4 also works closely with the local sawmill, the Nechako Group, which consists of four companies: L&M Lumber, Nechako Lumber, Nechako New Green Energy and Premium Pellet. M4 builds bush roads for the group as well as installing bridges and hauling fibre. “These are ongoing projects,” Manwaring said. “We work very closely with them. They have a very high standard for a mill in cleanliness and we’re involved

in helping them keep it clean and tidy – so that’s a feather in our cap.” M4 has also worked with the Necoslie First Nation, installing the groundworks for a new school in Fort St. James. It has also completed excavation and groundworks for a new school for the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation in Fort Fraser. Most recently M4 has built dikes to prevent flooding of the Nechako River in Vanderhoof. It has also been involved in civil works for the district. Manwaring said that he expects the company to continue thriving on the work it is doing. “I never expected the company to grow as much as it has grown in the last eight years that I have been on my own,” he said. “It has just done that naturally because of the reputation of the organization. I would like to see it maintain this consistency for the health and stability of the team that’s operating it.” He added that he also wants to continue to serve the community and the area.


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“As the area in and around Vanderhoof continues to grow and prosper, we’d like to continue to be a part of that. The safety and well-being of my crew as well as the satisfaction of our customers is my main goal.” M4 Enterprises Ltd. is at 889 Highway 16 West in Vanderhoof.

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JUNE 2015


Nominations are open until June 22 for the 2015 Business Excellence Awards.

Three run-of-river power projects along the Iskut River developed by Calgary-based energy company AltaGas have officially opened as of June 2. The largest of the three, called the Forrest Kerr facility at 195 megawatts, and the smallest, Volcano Creek, at 16 megawatts, began producing power last year while the 66-megawatt McLymont Creek facility is to be finished this year.

Rob van Adrichem, current Vice President of External Relations at the University of Northern British Columbia, will be joining the City of Prince George later this summer as its new Director of External Relations.

The University of Northern British Columbia is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Terrace’s corporate lands manager Herb Dusdal has retired from his position as of May 22 after 20 years with the city, and has taken up a position with Nechaki Northcoast Construction Services, which has the provincial government road and bridge maintenance contract for the area. The new water system in the Kitselas First Nation’s Gitaus subdivision, located east of Terrace on Highway 16, has been officially activated. City council has denied a variance permit to Seko Construction, which proposed to put a large sign on property at the corner of the Sande overpass and Keith Avenue. The second annual Northwest Innovation Challenge 2015, sponsored by the Skeena Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics, has announced its winners. Chris Barton won the Mountain Prize of $1,500 for Best Innovation, Alyson Watt and Simone Crook won the Tree Prize of $1,000 for Runner-Up Innovation, Wanita Simpson won the Bio-Produce Prize of $1,500, Peter Greene and Alfred Schaefer won the Thrive North Commercialization Prize of $1,500, Tony Walker won the Northwest Prize of $1,000, and Adon Wieve won the People’s Choice prize of $500. Terrace city officials visited China to brief officials from Qinhangdao Economic and Technological Development Zone on city permitting details for the land it purchased last year at the Skeena Industrial Development Park. The civil engineering company All North has been doing preliminary planning work preparing infrastructure for an alfalfa protein extraction plant, which is the first of several planned developments for the 1,200-acre property, purchased for $12 million last year. Literacy Terrace has celebrated the opening of its new location in the former ET Kenny Elementary School building at 4620 Leon Avenue. The Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce’s manager Carol Fielding has announced her retirement from the position. Val Gauvin has been named president of the Chamber, replacing Janice Shaben, who held the position for four years. New directors on the board include Shaun Bilodeau, Steven Smyth, Crystal Zaharchuck and Allen Kent, while returning directors include Bert Husband, Lael McKeown and Loralie Thomson. The treasurer for the board is Jeannine Knox, while the vice president position remains vacant. The full opening of the Red Chris Copper and Gold Mine north on Highway 37 has been delayed once again with an original May start pushed back to mid-June because of continued scrutiny by the Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the Tahltan First Nation environmental Review Board.

Quesnel The City of Terrace will be getting a new deputy sheriff at its courthouse as one of several communities to receive the 12 graduates from the Justice Institute of BC. Other courthouses to get the new deputy sheriff’s include Prince George, Fort St. John, Quesnel, Kamloops, Williams Lake, Dawson Creek, Vernon and Cranbrook.

Construction is underway on the cargo warehouse at the north end of the Prince George Airport. The development is scheduled for completion in November, and will cover about 2,300 square metres. IDL Projects Inc. is constructing the building, which will feature 11 truck doors, three ground-level doors and one ramp accessible door.

Groundwork on the utilities portion of the arena replacement project is slated for the fall of this year, with plans to begin building the actual arena once the frost is gone in 2016.

Terrace mayor Carol Leclerc has officially retired from the Coast Mountains School District, where she previously worked for 25 years.

The University Hospital of Northern British Columbia celebrated the grand opening of the new Learning and Development Centre. The $10.5 million facility takes up 1,365 squaremetres and includes a clinical simulation centre, seminar rooms, video conference suites, group study areas and a library. NMP students will begin using the centre this fall.

The Tillicum Friendship Centre has recently completed a $300,000 rejuvination of the facility on North Fraser Drive. This completes Phase 1 of the organization’s long-range project.

BC Hydro is mulling the Site C dam as a power source for its proposed Peace Region Electrical Supply Project; a high-voltage line to increase transmission capacity in northeast BC. If done, natural gas drillers between Dawson Creek and Chetwynd could plug directly into the dam. BC Hydro expects that the project won’t be operational until 2022.

Four Cariboo conservation projects and two programs were among the list of grant recipients announced by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF). Included in the recipients, was an $88,000 grant for the Quesnel Lake Angler Exploitation study.

After 22 years in the building on the western edge of Terrace, the Skeena Valley Baptist Church has put its building up for sale, with plans to move into town. City council has voted in variance permits that will provide the Keith Avenue and Highway 16 Tim Hortons with a new access road that will cut over to Evergreen Street, adjacent to what will be a Great Canadian Oil Change outlet and car wash opening soon.

Smithers Hetherington and Hooper is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year, located at 1161 Main Street.

MNP LLP celebrated the grand opening of its Prince George location, at 550-400 Victoria Street.

ABC Communications is celebrating the grand opening of its Quesnel location at 101-242 Reid Street.

Cariboo Propane is celebrating its grand reopening, located at 1410 Highway 97 N.

The Quesnel Rodeo is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.


Glenwood Hall, which is celebrating its 64th anniversary, is nearing the completion of its renovations. Dr. Bob Pipars has welcomed Dr. Allan Skoronski as the new owner of his dental office at 1283 Main Street. Both Dr. Pipars and Dr. Nakagawa will be leaving the practice. City council has denied signing a five-year lease at a cost of $70,000 per year with the airport café, Bugwood Bean. A $7,350, onemonth extension was granted to keep the café open until the end of June. Kelowna-based company Prestige Hotels & Resorts took possession of Hudson Bay Lodge. This is the first Northern BC hotel for the company. Hudson Bay Mountain is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Jeremy Roth and Alexander Hildebrand will be opening Commodity Juicery on Main Street in August. Northern Fusion Curry House, under the ownership of Wendy Thornton, will be opening her business this month. The Inland Group, located at 1995 Quinn Street, has welcomed Darren Brook to its team as Territory Manager. The Bulkley Valley Outpatient Walk-In Clinic has announced that it will stop taking walk-in clients when it transitions to a family practice on July 1.

Prince George

Suite 130 – 177 Victoria Street Prince George, BC


JUNE 2015

89th anniversary this year.


City council has approved a detached accessory building of 161m2 for 246 Giesbrecht Road. Coucil has also approved a Sidewalk Food Vendor permit for the corner of Reid Street and St. Laurent Avenue to Warren Miller, owner of Golden Boy Dog. Cariboo Propane is celebrating its grand opening, located at 1410 Highway 97 N. Quesnel city council has announced that they are restructuring city hall in order to more effectively serve the public and achieve operational savings. The changes will primarily involve reductions to management staff and the creation of new positions to address skills gaps and succession needs.

Prince Rupert The provincial government’s Rural Health Services in BC policy paper has proposed changing medical service in the Northwest to move a number of services from the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital to Terrace. ICBC Claim Services has moved to a new location in Service BC at 201-3rd Avenue West. The City of Prince Rupert has awarded a contract for work for the first part of the Fraser Street Rehabilitation Project to Adventure Paving.

Projects Budget will help build the capacity of city staff involved with project coordination, planning and communications, while also helping centralize a coordinate plan through the city’s LNG “Go Plan”. The city will receive funds through Prince Rupert Legacy Inc., using a portion of the $18 million acquired through the city’s two-year Lot 444 option agreement with Exxon Mobile. Prince Rupert Community Enrichment Society’s Board of Directors has announced the Society’s new operation name, North Coast Community Services. The Society will continue to exist under the legal name of the organization, but is in the midst of a restructuring process that will increase its programming and expand the region it services.

The Alamo is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year.

The provincial government and Pacific NorthWest LNG signed a project development agreement May 20 that moves the project closer to becoming a reality.

Design Flooring Ltd. is celebrating its grand reopening and 35th anniversary, located at 1295 Highway 97 N.

ReMax Coast Mountains will soon be moving into its new building at 519-3rd Avenue West.

The Journal of Commerce has named Prince Rupert’s Fairview Terminal at the top of its list the fastest growing container ports in North America, being named above 24 other contestants. Prince Rupert experienced a growth of 13.8 per cent in the number of loaded containers being handled.

City council has recently approved a budget that will inject more than $5 million into city operations over the next four years to address speculative growth. The Planning for Major

The Neptune Motor Inn closed its doors at the end of April, located on Chamberlain Avenue. The closure has left more than a dozen tenants to find alternative housing.

Williams Lake The Williams Lake Stampede is celebrating its


The provincial government is paying $18.5 million to buy out 61 coal mining licences in the Klappan region of northwestern BC to work with the Tahltan Nation on a management plan. The move includes a 10-year option for Fortune Minerals and POSCO Canada to buy back the permits at the same price once an agreement on mining development is reached with the Tahltan. City council has approved the rezoning of the former Baptist Church on India Avenue to allow for the creation of a multi-unit executive housing development. Greenwall Asset Management plans o convert the church into 17 single occupancy suites aimed at housing executives related to industrial development. Northwest Community College has announced spending cuts of $1.4 million, primarily affecting its university course credit program. No academic courses are to be cancelled outright. A combined $1.2 million will be invested in the Pathways to Success program through a partnership between the BC government and industry. The government, LNG Canada and Pacific NorthWest LNG are providing $600,000 apiece.


done much of the heavy lifting for attracting investment. “The focus has shifted to the north,” he says. “This area is the next wave of economic growth for the province and businesses are coming to us. “Housing prices are going up steadily, construction sub-trades are moving up here, and with that comes the need for supportive industries for a wide range of goods and services.” The torrent of commerce coming to Prince Rupert is driven by its primary competitive advantage: Location. The City is home to the world’s second deepest, natural, ice-free harbor, and is North America’s closest port to Asia. “We’re known for having a strategic geographic location,” he says. “The proximity to the rest of world, and the direct rail infrastructure connected to the United States, puts us in an enviable position. “The rail infrastructure that flows out of the City gives businesses access to the rest of Canada and the United States. Commodities and products like grain, coal and wood pellets are regularly being shipped out.” Last month the Prince Rupert Port Authority celebrated the completion of its two-year $90 million Road, Rail & Utility Corridor (RRUC) project, which consists of additional rail tracks, a roadway and a port-owned power distribution system. “The success of this project exemplifies what can be accomplished when a strategic, long-term vision is executed by a partnership of public and private investment,” said Don Krusel, President and CEO of the Port

Paul Vendittelli, Economic Development Officer for the City of Prince Rupert Authority. “The RRUC will expand the diversity of Prince Rupert’s growing port complex and further link Western Canada to a world of opportunity.” Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, added, “Reaching the development potential of Ridley Island is good news not only for communities on BC’s North Coast, but for all Canadians as we continue to open new markets, increase our export capacity, and strengthen the economies of Canada and our many trade partners across the globe.” 100 jobs were created in the construction process, which was completed by two separate joint ventures. The first, Prince Rupert Constructors consisted of Coast Tsimshian Enterprises, JJM Construction Ltd., and Emil Anderson Construction Inc., completed approximately 75 per cent of the work. Coast Industrial Construction, a partnership between ICON Construction and the Gitxaala Nation (Kitkatla), was responsible for the remainder. Complementing the RRUC’s completion is the recently annou nced ex pa nsion of the Fairview Container Terminal, which will increase the Port’s capacity by 500,000 Twenty-foot

On the dock at the current Cow Bay Marina. CREDIT: TOURISM PRINCE RUPERT

Equivalent Units (TEUs). The Terminal has grown 15 per cent year over year leading up to the announcement. These rapid advancements are part of the Port’s development plan, focused on the goal of reaching an annual capacity of 100 million tones of cargo. Much of that forecasted growth is dependent on the introduction of additional infrastructure on Ridley Island to realize its development potential, minimize use conflicts between potential terminal developments, and maximize the industrial footprint of the lands under the Port Authority’s jurisdiction. It isn’t just the Port Authority that is taking advantage of City’s strategic location, as Northern

Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) has announced a $250,000 grant for the expansion of the Cow Bay Marina. The project includes a new 51slip marina and breakwater wharf. It’s expected to increase annual spending in the local economy by as much as $3 million over the next five years. Additional funding will be coming from the City, Ridley Terminals, Gitxaala Nation, Prince Rupert Port Authority, Coast Sustainability Trust, Community Futures Pacific Northwest, Northern Savings Credit Union and the Government of Canada. “This marina expansion will attract more recreational boaters to Prince Rupert, increasing local spending and supporting

economic diversification along the North Coast,” said Evan Saugstad, Chair of NDIT. Vendittelli added “the Marina will provide greater accessibility to the waterfront and create a harbour that’s welcoming to visitors while serving the growing demand for facilities in the area. Average spending per vessel at the new marina is projected to be $279 per day, which is nearly double the provincial average, according to the BC Ocean Boating Tourism Association. In addition to all this, in July, the Prince Rupert Airport will be completing the first phase of a $10 million terminal and runway renovation project, to be undertaken by Marcan Construction.



JUNE2015 A division of Invest Northwest Publishing Ltd. Prince George Office 2871 Wildwood Cres Prince George, BC V2K3J4 Toll free: 1.866.758.2684 Fax: 1.250.758.2684 Email: Website:

PUBLISHER/EDITOR |  Lise MacDonald, SALES |  Shawn Bishop,; Josh Higgins; Joanne Iormetti, WRITERS |  Goody Niosi, Beth Hendry-Yim, John MacDonald WEBSITE | John MacDonald,




hat’s the most important thing we learned by play-

ing sports?” It’s a question a good friend and I discussed over lunch one day, musing about the benefits of having played junior hockey, and its impact on our lives, overall. Dealing with pressure, making decisions, being held accountable, handling the media, working with the public... Those were all good things, and we couldn’t disagree. My friend stopped: “You know what I think it was? Hard work.” He explained it this way: “Think about it. When we were losing, we had to work harder so we

could win. And if we were winning, we had to work harder, in case we’d lose.” Ha rd work. I had to ag ree. What we learned while playing under those pressure-packed – yet f u n – cond itions was, u lti mately, that it was good old-fashioned hard work that brought success. Not short cuts, fancy equipment, not-as-goodas-we-thought rosters. It was hard work, plain and simple. That “life lesson” holds true in business. I’ve heard the same story, from a multitude of successful business owners, over the years. July 1 will mark 25 years since I started with the Business Examiner, which we now own. Over that time, I’ve interviewed hundreds of leaders who all attribute hard work to be a key part of their success. In all my years of writing business stories, a l most u na n imously, every person who has shared their successful journey with me spoke of putting in long, long hours. They all know firsthand that there is no substitute for hard work. It’s what keeps us all pushing in order to attain the goal of every entrepreneur:

A better financial future for ourselves and our families, and independence. And let’s not forget that one of the perks a small business owner has is the right to work whichever 80 hours of the week we choose. Our willingness to do whatever it takes, however long it takes, to make things work, is essential. Of course, the goal is to work smarter, and by doing so, we avoid becoming a literal slave to our business. Efficiencies and improvements, are, hopefully, a by-product of ingenuity and longevity. But if they’re slow in arriving, there’s always an able substitute: Hard work. There is a common misconception that once a person starts a busi ness, they’re pri nti ng money. T hey simply have to go to their back yard, whenever they feel like it, and pick as many bills off “the money tree” as they desire. When we first started our company, some congratulated us like we had won the lottery. They probably didn’t know that over 50 per cent of businesses fail. Other business owners officially welcomed us to “the club”

by nodding knowingly that we would soon enjoy many long hours, most of which paid out at less than minimum wage if we bothered to count. A salesman once told me: “I know what you go through as a business owner. I was in a commission sales job.” I had to stifle a laugh, before gently responding “With all due respect, you don’t. Not even close.” Entrepreneurs need to be able to do a little bit of everything, including, of course, sales. As revenues build, business owners tend to end up doing a little bit of everything else, including marketing, maintenance, receivables, payables, dealing with suppliers, and even janitorial duties. By the time the entrepreneur reaches the point of achieving success, they’ve probably used every tool in their toolbox, and borrowed some from others. T hen there are the uncomfortable “payroll sweats”, an experience shared by business owners if cash flow and reserves are lower than the impending payment of staff wages. Now that’s pressure. Like many traits, hard work

can be both good and bad. In the formative stages of a company, it’s better and much cheaper to simply do a job by our self, rather than paying someone else to. As the business builds, entrepreneurs need to bring on others and trust them to get the job done, as opposed to doing everything, alone. If they don’t, they’ll inevitably burn out, and the success they seek will undoubtedly prove elusive. Idea l ly, a long the way, the work ethic the owner has demonstrated will be instilled in the staff, and the company gets to where it actually runs, profitably, without the owner. That’s when it ‘officially’ becomes a business. Otherwise, it’s just a job. Then the owner can slow down a bit as staff continues on with the same work ethic. Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus recognized the value of hard work. Someone once told him they were amazed at how lucky he was. His response spoke volumes: “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” There are not many short cuts in life, but there is one when it comes to success in business: Hard work.




ometimes it takes talking to an American to appreciate what is happening in Canada. I recently spoke to Uri Berliner, a journalist with National Public Radio, who was absolutely flabbergasted that Canada just became the first country in the world to legislate a cap on regulation. It is now the law that one regulation has to be removed any time a new one is added. “How can this be?” he asked. “How can this be in Canada?” Two big factors made it possible for the Red Tape Reduction Act to become law in Canada. First, the federal government had a strong model of successful regulatory reform to borrow from in B.C. — it was the first Canadian

We had hit a wall, and there was an appetite for bold solutions. The government set a goal of reducing regulations by a third within three years. To achieve the goal, a policy was put in place that for every new regulatory requirement introduced, two must be eliminated.

jurisdiction to get serious about controlling regulation starting in 2001. At the time, excessive regulation was a widely acknowledged problem in the province. Forest companies were being told what size nails to use when building bridges, restaurants were being told what size TVs they could have in their establishments, and children needed two permits to bring a tadpole to show and tell, to name just a few examples. We had hit a wall, and there was an appetite for bold solutions. The government set a goal of reducing regulations by a third within three years. To achieve the goal, a policy was put in place that for every new regulatory requirement introduced, two must be eliminated. B.C.’s “one-in-two-out” policy was culture-changing. Regulators started to see their jobs very differently. Success wasn’t defined as continuing to add more rules, but to keep the needed ones and get rid of the rest. Bureaucrats got so good at finding stuff that wasn’t needed that at one point they were eliminating five regulatory requirements for every new one introduced.

Today, in order to maintain the reduction, B.C. has a “one-inone-out” policy for regulatory requirements. Uri, the NPR reporter, was even more gobsmacked to hear that there was no strong opposition to Canada’s Red Tape Reduction Act. He expected controversy and partisanship. In response, I explained the second reason regulatory reform has traction in Canada: Small businesses have put the issue on the political map. Small businesses are telling their stories and helping the public understand the negative consequences of too much regulation. They are asking business associations to make it a priority. They are filling out surveys that have helped us put a dollar figure on the cost of regulation to business ($37 billion a year). They are cheerleading progress, even when it is slower than they might like. They are telling politicians it is important to keep a lid on regulation if we want the next generation of entrepreneurs to succeed. Having small business owners — a respected, non-partisan voice — speak up for regulatory reform is making all the

difference in Canada. It is paving the way for sensible policy that creates a better, less-adversarial relationship between government and the citizens it serves. This is a sharp contrast to what is happening south of the border. Last weekend’s Wall Street Journal featured an article by author Charles Murray, amusingly titled “Fifty Shades of Red.” The article describes out-of-control regulating by the U.S. government and advocates that people deliberately refuse to comply with rules they disagree with. To protect against a regulatory agency coming after you, he suggests: “Let’s treat government as an insurable hazard, like tornadoes.” Is this really the most hopeful approach to dealing with too much regulation in the U.S.? No wonder it is big news that Canada’s government is trying to deal with the problem more constructively. Laura Jones is Executive Vice President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CFIBideas.

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JUNE 2015


Award-winning bodyshop is growing and expanding BY GOODY NIOSI


ERRACE – If there is one thing Azorcan Collision Center is known for, it is quality. Quality and then service. It is also known for its friendly atmosphere and highly trained staff. Azorcan has been repairing auto bodies in Terrace for 35 years. It has grown and evolved and built a reputation that is enviable in Northern BC. Azorcan repairs all makes and models of vehicles including compact cars, pickup trucks, big trucks and even RVs. General manager Mike Praticante noted that Azorcan has even worked on helicopters, buses, logging trucks, boats and industrial equipment. It is an ICBC C.A.R. Shop Valet and ICBC Glass Express shop. It boasts two paint booths with an enviro friendly low VOC water borne paint system. It has the capabilities to repair almost all damages from minor scratches to heavy collisions. Azorcan was founded in 1978 by Tony Macedo, who is still a part owner today along with Praticante, who began his career at

Azorcan Collision handles about 125 vehicles each month Azorcan in 1988 at the bottom of the ladder – sweeping the floor. Praticante was 19 years old at the time and working at the local sawmill when he dropped in to look at a car. “Tony was always a family




friend,� Praticante recalled. “So I was joking around with him and said, ‘Why don’t you hire someone who can do something around here?’ To my surprise he phoned me Monday morning and offered me a job.�

But Pratica nte had no idea whether he would like the work. The pay was half what he was earning at the sawmill, but he liked the friendly family atmosphere. At Azorcan, he believed he had a chance at a fulfilling career rather than just punching a time clock. So, when the mill shut down for two weeks, Praticante gave Azorcan a trial run – sweeping the floors. “I thought if I liked it, I’d stay,� he said. “If I didn’t, at least I would still have my other job. Within a week of being here, I decided I loved it.� What did he like so much about Azorcan? “It was the family atmosphere,� he said. “At the sawmill, I didn’t feel like I was part of something. Here, they were very welcoming and made me feel at home. I felt like I was somebody.� Over the years he learned every aspect of the autobody business. In 1996, Azorcan had its best year ever. And then the economy

collapsed. Terrace saw its six autobody shops dwindle to only two. Azorcan lost half its staff. But it kept going. It was a very good body shop and gradually, as the economy improved, so did business. By 2003, P ratica nte had achieved seniority and became the shop foreman, taking on more and more of the administration work, including estimating. In 2006, Macedo decided to semi-retire and pull back a bit form the business. Praticante assured him that he would operate the business efficiently. At the same time, between 2006 and 2010, the business grew again and staffed up from four to eight employees. In 2010, Macedo tore down the rental house he owned next door to the shop and expanded Azorcan to double its size. Since then, Azorcan has undergone three more expansions. SEE AZORCAN COLLISION CENTER  |  PAGE 22

Congratulations to Mike and the team at Azorcan. We are proud to work with you and we look forward to many more years. 





JUNE 2015

Azorcan has doubled in size in 2010 and continues to grow


In 2008, Macedo also offered Praticante a partnership. Today the business employs 16 people and puts through about 125 cars each month. “We still have a strong family atmosphere here,” Praticante said. “It’s a high production, busy shop and it’s very stressful. Everybody wants their vehicles back. If their vehicle is delayed by a day, they’re not happy. But this is what we do and what we love to do. We do the best we can every day.” He added that back in 2006, when he first began managing the business, he decided that he wanted Azorcan to operate as a successful business based on best practices. “I wanted it to have a professional look as much as possible,” he said. That attitude paid off. In 2008, Azorcan won an international customer service award from ICBC. In 2010, the shop

also received a customer service award from the Terrace Chamber of Commerce. “And so I made up my mind that I wanted to run the business on quality,” Praticante said. “I didn’t just want to look at the numbers and the profits. I wanted to build a reputation and it seems to work for us. We’re booking into July now. Our biggest struggle is finding staff. It’s hard to keep up with the growth.” That said, he notes that the crew the shop has is extraordinary. Azorcan has always had apprentices in the shop. Praticante said that both he and Macedo believe it is important to give back to the trades and to help new graduates enter the business. T he shop is k now n for the warm welcome it extends to its customers. Praticante said that people coming into the shop are usually stressed – being in a collision is never a pleasant experience. Staff are understanding and sympathetic to

“We thrive on making people feel welcome. We’ve heard so many times that dealing with us is a good experience.” MIKE PRATICANTE GENERAL MANAGER, AZORCAN COLLISION CENTER

the situation and do everything they can to make the experience easier, including courtesy cars and helping with a rental car if the insurance doesn’t cover a courtesy car. “We thrive on making people feel welcome,” Praticante said. “We’ve heard so many times that dealing with us is a good experience.” He added that his future goals include adding multiple locations for the business, whether

Mike Praticante says he wants to grow the business to include multiple locations in Terrace or in other communities – wherever the opportunity presents itself. He also wants to continue doing the good work that has built such a stellar reputation for Azorcan. “I’m very passionate about

what I do. I’m proud of what we’ve done here and of the staff that we have – without them, we can’t be what we are.” Azorcan Collision Center is at 4188 Highway 16 East in Terrace.

CASH MOBSTERS INJECT CASH INTO PRINCE RUPERT BUSINESSES For mobsters, half the fun is discovering the Cash Mob target, which is kept secret until the Cash Mob arrives on location to shop



RINCE RUPERT - What do a local antique store, art shop, newsstand, and fabric store all have in common? In Prince Rupert, these stores have all become targets of a

trend that is sweeping the local business scene known as Cash Mobs. Under the banner of Rupert Reigns, Community Futures Pacific Northwest, and the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce have organized four Cash Mobs to mobilize consumers towards putting their money where their hearts are: At home. Cash Mobs are a branch of the more mainstream Flash Mob, but rather than random acts of singing and dancing, Cash Mobsters participate through a random act of shopping with a commitment to spend no less than $20 on products or services at the target business. For mobsters, half the fun is discovering the Cash Mob target, which is kept secret until the Cash Mob arrives on location to shop. For target businesses, it provides an opportunity to win over new customers who have never been to their store and showcase what goods and

services they provide. The thousand dollar hour is a bonus. In order to be chosen, the community nominates businesses the month before the scheduled Cash Mob. Companies engage their customers by logging on to Facebook or Twitter to nominate them using the hashtag #Spend20. If chosen, the work of getting nominations rewards itself. Cash Mob target Frances Riley, co-owner of The Argosy, says “We had not only 22 individual transactions in just one hour, but additional in-store traffic generated by the event from curious passersby wanting to know what was going on.” Cash Mobster Dave McKeever sums up his experience: “It was fun. (There was) camaraderie and connecting with people! It was like opening a gift [and] discovering interesting new stuff that I would never think of looking

for. I also really enjoyed getting together for lunch after.” Organizers Jasper Nolos and Simone Clark believe that the success of Cash Mob is not only about the dollars spent at local businesses, but also about the opportunity for participants to discover local stores or rediscover old favourites. John Farrell, General Manager of Community Futures Pacific Northwest, put it best: “For Mobsters it’s a chance to experience shopping in a different way and for retailers it’s a chance to earn $1,000 in 45 minutes. Who wouldn’t love that?” Jasper Nolos is Economic Development Projects Coordinator with Community Futures of the Pacific Northwest. He can be contacted at


JUNE 2015


Geothermal and mechanical design firm began by solving problems at home


RINCE GEORGE – “I’m a problem solver at heart,” says Bret Hutchinson, P. Eng., President of Earth Fire Energy. His company provides mechanical system design services for commercial, industrial, and geothermal projects in Northern BC, including work for projects at Canfor and Westfraser pulp mills. Earth Fire specializes in finding solutions to client challenges, and that focus comes naturally to Hutchinson. “I became an engineer because I’ve always been fascinated with the way that things work,” he says. “I really enjoy diving into the details and bettering the world around me. “That mentality has helped me throughout my career. Customers now choose to work with my company because we’re good at getting to the root of a problem, and they know we’re going to work to develop the most efficient solution possible.” The path to running his own business came through solving a problem at home. “My wife and I had started looking at using renewable energy as our primary heat source,” he says. “We began the process of preparing the house for a geothermal system, I was really interested in learning about the technology behind it.” “We hired a contractor to do some preliminary work, but the quality was not up to the standard I had in mind. My thought process was, ‘if I want this done right, I might as well do it myself.” To complete the project, specialized equipment and training were required, and that’s how the business began. “We purchased the software and tools we needed, I took the necessary training, created a company and wrote it off,’ says Hutchinson. “This was back in 2008, the company as it stands today was officially created in 2010. “This past October I made the decision to work on Earth Fire full-time, up until then it was something I had been doing on the side.” Since then the company has expanded its service offerings considerably. “We’ve evolved to offer mechanical system design,” he says. “There’s been an evolution from working mostly on residential geothermal projects to now focusing on the system design for commercial and industrial jobs. “A lot of our work is centered a rou nd d iag nosi ng complex issues with existing equipment

Bret Hutchinson, P. Eng., President of Earth Fire Energy and systems. One of our clients had a pump that wasn’t working properly, we found the problem, and were able to deliver a more efficient alternative that reduced power consumption by nearly 50 per cent.” Com ing up in the nex t few months, his company will be showcasing its full capabilities with a 7-plex residential project. Hutchinson and his team will be designing all mechanical services related to the building, in addition to an innovative geothermal system. “This project is ‘open-loop’,” he says. “The system will use ground water pumped from supply wells for heating and cooling of the building before being discharged into return wells.” “Conventional geothermal projects are ‘closed-loop’, and the liquid is continually reused by circulating an antifreeze solution through piping. The complexity of these renewable energy solutions means that customers who choose to install them aren’t strictly motivated by reducing their heating bill. “The economics of geothermal isn’t usually the primary driver,’ says Hutchinson. “Choosing to use renewable energy is a lifestyle decision, the focus is on reducing your carbon footprint and doing your part to enhance the environment.” Earth Fire’s success to date has come from a willingness to go the extra mile, and a commitment to excellence. “If I tell you I’m going to do something, I’m going to follow


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Bret Hutchinson, P. Eng. installing ground exchanging piping for a geothermal system through,” he says. “I connect really well with people, and that flows into how we treat clients, we’re very hands-on. “We want to make sure they’re well informed through every step of a project. They get treated like a human being, not just a purchase order or another contract.” Going into business for himself wasn’t strictly driven by his family venture into renewable energy. “My goal is to help people unlock their potential,” he says. “I’ve been in this industry for a while, and worked for big players on both sides of consulting and construction. For example, it’s quite normal to see separate engineering and technician silos, and those divisions don’t allow people to use all of their abilities. “Over the years I’ve seen people underutilized, where only a portion of their skillsets have been taken advantage of. As the company grows and hires new staff, I want to make sure that the people we take on have every opportunity to grow and be challenged.” This fall the company is preparing to hire a new staff member and expand out of its home office.

A hybrid geothermal system’s wiring for one of Earth Fire Energy’s projects

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Business Examiner Peace Cariboo Skeena - June 2015  

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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