Business Examiner Victoria - January 2015

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Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic combines high tech with care and compassion

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Women in Construction is a dynamic new group in Victoria Women are coming together to celebrate and promote careers in construction

LANGFORD Advantage Crane owns the largest all terrain crane on Vancouver Island



hen women are thinking about jobs or careers, not enough of them think about construction – and they should, said Katy Fairley, business development manager at Kinetic Construction Ltd. in Victoria and chair of Women in Construction (WIC). For her efforts in promoting women working in construction, Fairley recently was named Outstanding Woman in Construction at the October 14 Vancouver Regional Construction Association annual awards banquet. Fairley said that her initial reaction to winning the award was shock. “It was an honour and a surprise, first to just be nominated and then to actually win it. And really, I just felt humbled. I’ve only been in the industry four years.” However, in those four years, she has left her mark. She co-founded WIC, which

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Libby Rowe, president of the Canadian Construction Women and Larry Gibson, president of Super Save Disposal present Katy Fairley with the Outstanding Woman in Construction award

Judging process underway for Business Excellence Awards


ICTOR I A – Judges are busy poring over a near record number of nomi n at ion s for t he 15 t h A n nu a l Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards, set for Thursday, January 22 at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort. Astrid Braunschmidt of CTV Vancouver Island will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event, which will highlight and celebrate the best of the best in

a wide variety of categories of business conducted on Vancouver Island. “It never ceases to amaze us the scope and diversity of the companies that are nominated for these prestigious awards,” says Business Examiner Victoria Publisher Mark MacDonald. “There are simply a large number of outstanding businesses on the island, and this event provides a platform to

celebrate their innovations and successes.” Hayes, Stewart Little & Company Chartered Accountants and RBC Royal Bank are Gold Sponsors of the event, coordinated by Invest Northwest Publishing Ltd., which publishes Business Examiner Victoria and Business Examiner Vancouver Island newspapers. There are 18 categories in the awards this year: Automotive,

Over 300 years of experience. Vancouver Island’s largest independent copier and MFP dealer. Reliability, serviceability and affordability. We are Unity Business. Unity575 Business Systems, Victoria, BC T: V8T 250 384 Bay Street 1P57243 575 Bay Street F: 250 385 7732 250.384.7243 | Victoria, BC V8T 1P5 E:

Business of the Year (over 50 employees), Construction/Development, Entrepreneur, Forestry/Wood Products, Health Company, Hospitality/Tourism, Small Business of the Year (under 50 employees), Insurance/Financial Services, Professional, Real Estate, Retailer, Manufacturer, Technology, Green, Trades and Ocean Products. SEE JUDGING PROCESS   |  PAGE 4



UAE Tops the List of Potential Markets for Greater Victoria The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Gulf region top the list of potential markets for Greater Victoria exporters. The UAE along with Brazil, Australia, Germany, Mexico and the UK were identified as potential key markets by Greater Victoria export businesses. These findings were released with the Greater Victoria Development Agency’s (GVDA) export study Developing Greater Victoria’s Export Capacity. The report also identifies key markets that Greater Victoria businesses currently export to including the US, Europe, China and Australia. In addition, the report identifies major barriers to export growth that local businesses are facing as well as vital ways to enhance export capacity. “This study, spearheaded by the GVDA, is the first of its kind in the region. Before now, we didn’t have a sense of the exporting environment in the region,” said Bruce Carter, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “This sector has massive potential for creating jobs in our region. Identifying barriers that local exporters are facing is important to overcoming them in order to further develop our export sector. This is the first step towards growing exports in our economy.” The research was conducted as part of the Trade and Investment Program launched in April 2014, in response to stagnant economic growth in the region. The program was announced by Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. Partners also contributed $600,000 to the $900,000 federal government investment

to launch this $1.5 million program. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, with over 1,500 members, is the voice of business for the Greater Victoria region and has received Accreditation with Distinction from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Island Construction Industry Develops Labour Force with Scholarships Two new construction scholarships were announced recently. “We understand the need to build a workforce to sustain our industry - now and for the future,” explained Greg Baynton, CEO of VICA - Vancouver Island Construction Association. “VICA members understand we must meet the labour needs of today and tomorrow. The result of that strategic thinking is introducing two new industry scholarships - Gold Seal Management and Women in Construction. The association is offering over a thousand dollars in immediate financial aid for deserving candidates.” VICA Chair Don Cameron believes the industry has to actively support career choices and professional growth in order to stay competitive. “As an association representing over 500 corporate members we appreciate the value of working towards a common goal of a vibrant workforce.” NEW Gold Seal Management: The Canadian Construction Association national program accredits industry professional achievement in five categories: Superintendent, Estimator, Project Manager, Owner’s Construction Manager or

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Construction Safety Coordinator. In 2015 VICA will award one individual enrolled as an Intern in Gold Seal one GS course delivered by VICA up to the value of $545.00. NEW Women in Construction: To a woman registered in a Foundations program or Level 1, 2 or 3 of an Apprenticeship program in construction and continuing her studies. T he recipient receives $500 to be applied to tuition fees. In addition VICA also offers apprentice scholarships: SuperStar Apprentice: To anyone registered in Foundations program or Level 1, 2 or 3 of an Apprenticeship program in construction and continuing his/her studies. The recipient receives $500 to be applied to tuition fees. Secondary School Apprentice: The top Level 1 construction apprentice on Vancouver Island who has completed a training program through the South Island partnership, Central Island partnership or North Island partnership. Each receives $500 to be applied to tuition fees.

Steady Real Estate Market in Victoria Continues as 2014 Sales Surpass 2013 Numbers The Victoria Real Estate Board released its report on real estate activity in the Victoria area for November 2014. 465 properties sold in the Victoria region this November, an increase of 12.9% when compared to the 412 properties sold in November last year. “This year has been great for Victoria real estate, we’ve seen a friendly market for buyers and sellers thanks to steady pricing and low mortgage rates,” Victoria Real Estate Board President says Tim Ayres. “By early last month sales in the Victoria area met the number of total sales we saw for the entire year of 2013, and now we are 5.18% over last year’s sales with another month to go before year end.” The Multiple Listing Service Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core this time last year was $482,300. This month the benchmark value increased 1.4% to $489,000. “Another statistic to watch is the number of active and new listings,” adds President Ayres. “682 properties were listed this November, and the total number of properties listed for sale including those newly listed was 3,631. That’s 9.6% fewer properties for sale than November last year.”

Black Refinery Takes Another Step Forward David Black’s proposal for an oil refinery in Kitimat, BC is a small step closer to being realized. Engineering firm Hatch Ltd. spent seven months laying out plans for the proposed Kitimat Clean complex. Black believes that such a refinery would both boost the BC economy and combat environmental risks. According to the 270page study, the refinery would employ about 3,000 people, and be one of the 10 largest refineries on earth. The refinery would be able to process 460,000 barrels of refined fuel from 550,000 barrels of bitumen each day. One of the remaining obstacles for the project is the Canadian petroleum industry.

City of Langford Acquires Bear Mountain Westin Bear Mountain resort’s Mountainside Athletic Club is to become a new recreation centre for the City of Langford.

The project will become the North Langford Adventure Centre, and will be transformed into a hub for mountain-biking and tennis by the summer. Mayor Stew Young commented that the purchase was a good deal for the city. Instead of spending $7 million to $8 million on such a property, the city purchased the site for $2.4 Million after Bear Mountain Master Partnership’s financial collapse. Existing employees are expected to keep their jobs and Westin is continuing to run the site during the transition phase. The site will offer discounted rates for Langford residents.

Victoria International Airport approaches record year With more than 6,000 passengers per day expected this holiday season, the Victoria International Airport should finish the year with more than 1.64 Million passengers. This is a six per cent increase from 2013. Starting with November 2013, the airport has been setting records each month. President and CEO Geoff Dickson says WestJet Encore regional airline service is largely responsible for the increase. Arriving in 2013, the Encore offers many new services including year-round flights to Law Vegas. Due to this increase in traffic, the parking lots are reaching their capacity and the airport’s shuttle services are often used. This November, the airport installed a Nexus card line to help speed up the travel process. The parking lots will be expanding in an upcoming five-year, multi-phase expansion plan.

Black Press makes big purchase Black Press has purchased the Vancouver Island Newspaper Group from Glacier Media. VING publishes eight weekly and daily newspapers on Vancouver Island. The Times Colonist will be Glacier Media’s only newspaper on Vancouver Island. Included in the purchase are: the Cambell River Courier Islander, the Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News, the Comox Valley Echo, the Parksville Oceanside Star, the Cowichan Valley Citizen, the Alberni Valley Times, the Harbour City Star, and the Nanaimo Daily News. Black Press already runs several newspapers on the Island, including: the Sooke News Mirror, Monday Magazine, the Victoria, Oak Bay, and Saanich News, the Alberni Valley News, and the Nanaimo News Bulletin. Courtenay-Comox, Ucluelet/Tofino and Parksville publications will begin operating under Black Press on January 1, with the remaining publications changing hands on March 2. David Black, founder of Black Press, said talks of consolidating newspapers in communities where his company will have more than one title are “premature.” Black says that he hopes to keep the newly acquired publications’ titles alive in many of the markets. He is considering several options going forward, but describes his ultimate goal as ending up with newspapers “everybody in town wants to read.”

Esquimalt Drydock wins ferry contract Esquimalt shipyard Esquimalt Drydock Co. has won a $12 Million contract with BC Ferries. Though they have had other jobs with the crown corporation, this is the firm’s largest contract with BC Ferries to date. From Jan. 5 to May 5 SEE JUDGING PROCESS   |  PAGE 3




of 2015, they will be in charge of a midlife upgrade on the Queen of Capilano. The job will provide work for about 75 employees, possibly rising to 150 at the job’s peak. The Queen of Capilano runs between Horseshoe bay and Bowen Island. Improvements to the vessel include a new entrance and exit area for walk-on passengers, a new evacuation system and rescue boat, new decks to increase the capacity to 100 vehicles, and a pet area. The project should give 20 more years of life to the 23-year-old vessel. Esquimalt Drydock’s general Manager, Joe Sansalone believes the job will help the 16-year-old company become more competitive with other shipyards.


LandLord BC releases study


andLordBC released the study entitled “Economic Impact Assessment Study – British Columbia’s Rental Housing Sector” conducted by KPMG LLP. The study provides estimates of the 2013 economic impact of BC’s rental housing industry on the economies of BC and the economies of the rest of Canada. Highlights of the study estimates indicate that BC’s rental housing industry: -Contributed $12.25 billion to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), of which $10.60 billion was generated in BC. -Generated Labour Income of $5.82 billion in Canada of which $4.87 billion

was generated in BC, and 98,937 FullTime Equivalent (FTE) jobs in Canada, of which 82,851 FTEs were generated in BC. -Created $2.99 billion in government revenues in Canada of which $2.56 billion accrued in BC. -Generated Gross Output of $22.04 billion in Canada of which $18.76 billion was generated in BC. The rental housing industry in British Columbia is a dynamic component of the economy generating total revenues estimated at $7.08 billion and capital expenditures estimated at $4.65 billion including capitalized renovations of existing rental housing and the construction

of new rental housing in 2013. Of note, 45% of all new rental dwellings constructed in 2013 were condominiums (data from CMCH’s Residential Building Activity Report). By comparison, only 15% of new rental dwellings completed in 2013 were purpose-built rental units. The study states that condos are not a good substitute for traditional, purpose-built rental housing highlighting several disadvantages with a lack of rental tenure security and, a narrower interest in the building’s life cycle negatively impacting long-term building operating costs and construction standards as the most notable.

QUICK AND DIRTY PATENT APPLICATIONS If properly drafted, a provisional will truly provide you with the protection that you need






his article could alternatively be entitled “T he Often Maligned US Provisional Patent Application”. A provisional is an application that can be filed with anything that appears to describe an invention. This could be a title with a few diagrams and a brief explanation, a research paper, or a PowerPoint presentation, or it could be a complete patent application with sections for field, background, summary, figure descriptions, description, claims and abstract. Once filed, the provisional provides i nter i m, essent i a l ly worldwide protection for one year (depending upon what steps are taken before the expiry date). It is never made public and simply disappears after a year. If properly drafted, a provisional will truly provide you with the protection that you need. It can be very useful if the technology is in the early stages of development and there is a probability that changes will be made. T hose changes can be entered in either a non-provisional filing or a second or subsequent provisional....keeping in mind that the relevant deadline is the expiry date for the f i rst prov isiona l. It ca n also be very useful if you are wanting to keep costs down. If you are an early stage company, a provisional is one way to keep control of expenditures, while getting the protection in

place. It can also provide an opportunity to determine market size, market acceptance, or perhaps work out a licensing deal, or sale. This all sounds great, but only if the provisional is well drafted and complete. A quick and dirty provisional will not provide you with adequate protection, and if there are no claims, could result in a lack of patentability in Europe. Is there a place for a qu ick and dirty provisional, and if so, what steps do you need to take to mitigate risk? About the only time that it makes sense is when there is no time to do anything else. For example, a researcher suddenly remembers they are disclosing at a conference the next day. A provisional is filed based on whatever is going to be disclosed. As soon after as possible, another application is filed that fully and properly discloses and claims the invention. T he bottom l i ne i s don’t equate a US provisional patent application with a quick and dirty patent application. They are different! Anne Flanagan is the principal at Alliance Patents. She can be reached at anne.flanagan@

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ARE YOU REAPING THE BENEFITS OF NETWORKING? When we analyze our event attendance statistics we find that our strongest members continue to be the ones who participate most



etworking is the most often cited reason for joi n i ng a Chamber of Commerce yet many members don’t reap all the benefits that connecting with other business owners has to offer. The Saanich Peninsula prov id e s a ho s t of net work i n g oppor tu n ities ra ng i ng from simple events like regular coffee mornings to major functions l i ke t he M ayor’s Brea k fa st. These outings bring together business people from small, medium and large companies covering all sectors of the economy as well as local, provincial

and federal politicians. Networking opportunities abound but if you want to benefit from this ‘target rich’ environment you must do one simple thing – show up! When we analyze our event attendance statistics we find that ou r strongest members continue to be the ones who

participate most. This is not to say that participation in a Chamber event guarantees success – far from it – but it does follow that those who are successful view networking as an important part of their overall business development strategy. We all lead busy lives and most of us don’t need another lunch/dinner/breakfast but we make time for these networking events for one simple reason – people do business with people they know, like and trust …. A nd there’s no better way to develop that type of connection than meeting face to face. This is particularly important in our digital age where face to face contact is increasingly scarce, so much is being done on-l i ne a nd pick i n g up t he phone and actually talking to your customer seems to be going the way of the dinosaurs. Building a network of people who know, like and trust you is a very simple process but it’s not easy – it takes time and it takes effort – and participating in the events put on by your local Chamber is one of the best ways to get started. Here are five tips on how to do it. Don’t attend the same event over and over again – mix it


up. A ny one event attracts a particular ty pe of person so once you’ve made as much of one type of event as you can move on. Fo c u s yo u r m e s s a ge . T h e conversation will inevitably come around to ‘what do you do’. Practice answering in 30 or 60 seconds and include a little humour. Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. If you agree to set a meeting or arrange lunch – make the call. Stay ‘top of mind not ‘on top of’ your customer. Find valid reasons to stay i n touch but don’t be a pest. Be you rself. Open, honest, sincere communication is the best way to get people to know, like and trust you. And if you’re just not likeable, stay and home and send someone who is. Net work i n g i s a p ower f u l b u s i ne s s d evelopm ent to ol a nd at tend i n g you r Ch a mber’s events is an effective and efficient way to tap into that power. So next time you receive a Chamber event notice make a ‘networking plan’ and show up.

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Ian Brown is President of Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

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onk Office Supply Ltd. has all the newest technology, including the latest in mobile devices. IT Category manager Frank Baker noted that mobile technology is changing the way people work – and Monk Office is on the forefront of keeping people connected reliably and securely. Baker said that more and more business people are integrating mobile devices and strategy into their systems and tools. “As everything moves to the cloud, you don’t need as much hardware to run your productivity,” he said. “So business people are coming in and saying they want to do all their Word, Excel and PowerPoint and access all their databases, but they don’t want to carry around a big chunk of steel, metal and plastic. They’re looking for a lighter, more portable way to do that.” Because software has moved to the cloud, it has largely become app based, meaning the machinery doesn’t need as much power to run programs.

“This allows you to do what you need for your customers and for yourself to run your business well.” That doesn’t mean business people have replaced laptops with tablets, Baker added – they use them in addition to laptops. A business person may work on a desktop in the office, a laptop in a hotel room and a tablet on site when visiting clients or when doing presentations. But because data can be accessed through cloud type services, all the devices work seamlessly together. “The tablet is the input device that allows you to share information with your other devices,” he said, adding that the availability of Wi-Fi allows for presentations without cumbersome set-up times. “It’s far more sleek and quick,” he said. “You’re able to be more mobile and present yourself as more innovative. If we, as business people don’t evolve, we stagnate. And at Monk Office we have the hardware, from a $20,000 server all the way to a Samsung tablet for everybody to walk around with. In between, we have the services to make sure that we get you up and running and we keep you up and running.” Monk Office Supply Ltd. is at 800 Viewfield Rd. in Victoria.







n paper it seems like a n o b ra i n e r, re d u c i n g t he nu mb er of mu n icipalities in the CRD from 13 to a reasonable number would surely save taxpayers money. But what if the tax regimes in some municipalities are more effective than others? Whose tax regime would win? In Victoria the bu reaucratic maze

churns out some $100 million plus in annual wages. Yet the City of Langford’s falling wages sit at $8.1 million (Victoria has three times the population but more than ten times the salary expenses). In a surprising study out of Ontario that looked back at Ontario’s amalgamations over the years, they found while there were less governments, the costs of operating these new larger governments had risen steadily and taxpayers were now paying more for less. Is this what we want here in the CRD? We have to be careful about forming policies based on our gut reactions to things. Sure 13 local governments here in the CRD are hard to comprehend, but what does research suggest might occur if the CRD did amalgamate?

According to Timothy Cobban, political science professor at Western University, from 1981 to 1996, Ontario’s municipal governments grew by 23.9 percent overall, adding 39,191 jobs. During the 15 years post-amalgamation, from 1996 to 2011, t hey g rew by 38.8 p erc ent, adding 104,200 jobs. In total, about 270,000 people work in the municipal public sector in Ontario today, compared with 160,000 people in 1995. That has translated into a sizeable spending spike: in 1981, Ontario spent just under $200 million on local government salaries and wages. By 2011, that number had increased to $750 million. T h e We s t S h o r e C h a m b e r doesn’t have policy in favour or against amalgamation, but we do want to ensure that the proper research is conducted

to see what might best suit taxpayers. The Province is wise to not make any rash decisions, despite calls from many people to do so. In the most recent municipal elections there were a variety of different questions about amalgamation and the public over whel m i ng ly voted to at least start to look at reducing the nu mber of govern ments here in the CRD. It’s just tough to say where you’d s ta r t re-d raw i n g t he lines on the map. In the CRD there are micro neighbourhoods within neighbourhoods within municipalities. There are lean municipal governments such as the District of Highlands, Metchosin and Langford, that run relatively small operations. Or you can go with the Victoria and Saan ich models of local

government that seem to have layer upon layer of bureaucracies. Interesting to note that most returning Mayors on the WestShore were voted back into office, but in Victoria and Saanich – the taxpayers apparently had enough. As we move forward and begin to seriously examine what the future of local governments in the CR D might look like, we need to ensure what is best for taxpayers remains front and centre of mind. For now, the more collaboration and sharing of services/ best practices amongst municipalities, the better for all of us.

and activities our Chamber has engaged in over the past few years, we have developed a proven track record of successful service provision to Sooke’s business community; of economic development expertise and innovation to our local government; and of social

benefit to the community at large. It is very comforting to know that legacy will be maintained and built upon by the incoming President and Board of Directors. In closing, I wish to thank everyone for their support over the past few years and encourage all businesses

and organizations to put serious considerations towards your own succession planning.

Craig Sorochan is manager at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. Reach him at 250-478-1130 or

PASSING THE TORCH Succession planning is a process and not just an event

Michael Nyikes is the retiring president of the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce.



am pleased to say this will be my last article as President of the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce, as I am passing the torch to a tremendously intelligent visionary who possesses very strong organizational and strategic planning skills. Our Chamber’s new President will be Sean Dyble and his face will grace these covers as of the next edition. So why am I so exuberant? Well because Sean and the other talented board of directors who will lead our Chamber in 2015 are shining examples of what good succession planning creates. Succession planning is a process and not just an event. Yet many organizations that operate with a board of directors simply look towards their AGM as being the time of natural ascension for people to rise through the ranks. That’s the wrong approach, as it is critical to plan that “those people are the right people” and who are capable of achieving the organization’s strategic goals! My process started when I was still Vice President of the Chamber. I wanted to know that the time and effort I was going to put in during my upcoming term as President wouldn’t be in vain once I was gone. It was at that time when I began a targeted recruitment of candidates with the right skill-set to join the board. This would allow

me opportunities during my term as President to develop new leadership from within, and feel confident the organization would continue to effectively achieve necessary results on a go-forward basis. Regardless what type of business or organization is at stake, succession planning has five fundamental steps; understand your short and long term needs, develop a strategic plan to address those needs, build a framework with necessary resources to meet those needs, recruit the right people to work towards those needs, and provide a support structure to those people through training and mentoring so they can successfully execute on those needs. It takes considerable thought and time. However, if done correctly, the results speak for themselves. It is also an ongoing process whereas effective succession planning goes beyond organizational charts and can be used as a comprehensive change-management tool that can help organizations identify gaps in their plans and fill them appropriately. Ultimately, good succession planning strategies help any business model to leverage the full value of their human capital in ensuring their viability and success. Through the many initiatives

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NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION FOR A NEW MUNICIPAL TERM Promoting a city as a great place to locate or conduct your business is a task that all council members should take on



he start of 2015 marks the beginning of the first fouryear municipal term for local governments. In December, we saw many new and returning mayors and councils being sworn into their respective roles across the region. The coming months will reveal new visions and directions for many of our municipalities in the Capital region. With new visions and newly invigorated councils, it is essential that local government focus on the core services they are required to provide. With growing financial pressures, such as aging infrastructure, it is increasingly important for local governments to provide these services in the most efficient and cost-effective way. Municipal financing will continue to be a challenge. While

as a priority. many will look for ways to increase revenues, hopefully by expanding the tax base, expenditures cannot be ignored. Often when it comes to municipal finance “how much do we increase the property tax?” is the question that gets answered; leaving expenditures altogether ignored. Identifying ways to reduce costs, eliminate redundancies, and provide services in more efficient ways need to be reviewed and considered with every budget. Options for reducing costs need to be given greater consideration over increasing taxes. Part of finding efficiencies should include working together. Moving forward, we look to our civic leaders to work cooperatively as regional cooperation is needed to move major projects like the sewage treatment facility forward within this term. Not an easy task; however, working

together to find the best solutions will benefit the region as a whole. W hen lo ok i n g to i ncre a se revenue, tools should include creating a “business-friendly” atmosphere. Promoting a city as a great place to locate or conduct your business is a task that all council members should take on as a priority. Streamlining processes for business is just one way that this can be achieved. Lastly, we encourage all mun icipa l cou nci ls to act ively communicate city business by providing timely information that is easy to understand and easily accessible by any resident. Creating open communication will increase the transparency and accountability that many citizens desire. The Chamber will advocate to municipal councils that they commit to focused strategies, cooperation and improved communication. Our New Year’s resolution is to have a much more vibrant and prosperous community in four-year’s time than we do today.

JANUARY CHAMBER EVENTS • Thursday, January 15 Prodigy Group January Mingle 5 – 7 pm Hosted by: Ambrosia Your Event Centre on Fisgard • Thursday, January 22 January Business Mixer 5– 7 pm Hosted by: Swans Hotel & Brewpub • Monday, February 16 Greater Victoria Business Awards Nomination Deadline

Coming in February: August: Spotlight on


Call Bruce Carter is the CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at or (250) 383-7191

Thom Klos




NEW VICTORIA VOLKSWAGEN FACILITY HIGHLIGHTS GERMAN DESIGN, ENGINEERING German Auto Import Network owners have big plans for Vancouver Island, including race track


IC T OR I A - W hen t he G e r m a n A uto I m p o r t Network (GA I N ) pu rch ased Speedway Motors i n 2012, it set its wheels in mot ion for bi g c h a n ge s at t h e dealership. Now called Victoria Volkswagen, major renovations were recent ly completed at t hei r 3329 Douglas Street location, a move which GAIN co-owner Peter Trzewik says “re-sets everything.” The new building features a design that lights up the centre-front like a picture frame, to highlight featured vehicles and displays. It’s deliberate, and striking. “The Volkwagen brand is capable of anything it wants to,” states Trzewik. “It’s a phenomenal brand that has old and new customers alike.” Volkswagen vehicles are recognized for being economical to operate, its innovation, engine dependability and for its high standards in engineering. “Each automobile we represent at Volkswagen Victoria is very much a product of today’s technology and the future is every bit as bright as its illustrious past,” says Trzewik. “We are passionate about the cars we represent and we know this is a passion shared by enthusiastic owners.” Trzewik adds that Volkswagen Victoria held a Superfan contest at its grand opening, and he marveled at some of the entries. “One person even had a Volkswagen tattoo on their arm,” he states. I nclud i ng t h is dea lersh ip, GA I N has now invested over $20 million in new facilities in Victoria. T he 20,000 square foot Volkswagen Victoria took approx i mately 18 months to

Victoria Volkswagen’s new building at 3329 Douglas Street is attracting attention

There is plenty of space inside the dealership to display Victoria Volkswagen vehicles. renovate by one of Va ncouv e r I s l a n d ’s p r e m i e r c o nstruction companies, Superb Construction. Superb Construction, led by owner Chris Erb, has now done five projects for GAIN, including the completion of the GAIN Auto Mall in Nanaimo that is now home to Mercedes-Benz, BMW, MINI, smart and Subaru. Superb Construction also completed the first ever standalone

Porsche Centre in Victoria earlier in May, 2014. “It has been an honour working with Superb Construction once again,”” says T rzewik, who notes that each of the Superb projects have been built on time and on budget. GAIN now has eight dealersh ips, includ ing Mercedes-Benz, smart, Sprinter, BMW, MINI, Porsche and Audi Dealerships as well as Subaru

of Nanaimo. Altogether, they employ 320 people. Determined to set the pace within the industry on the island, GAIN is in the final stages of designing its very own race track just nor th of D u nca n, where customers will have an opportunity to test drive and enjoy the capabilities of their vehicles. GA I N is working with German architectural firm Tilke, the world’s top race track designer, lay out two 2.5 kilometre tracks on a 50-acre site next to the highway to Lake Cowichan. The targeted opening date is summer, 2015. “Customers w i l l be able to d r ive for hou rs w it h supervision,” notes Trzewik. “It’s the ultimate taste test, and a good educational opportunity for people to learn how to safely drive their vehicle.” T here a re close to a dozen similar facilities in the United States. T hese a l low opport u n it ies to test d r ive veh icles that can have up to 600 horsepower engines that can reach 340 kilometres per hour - much higher than allowable on standard Vancouver Island highways.

Trzewik notes German engineered vehicles navigate comfortably on their high-speed Autobahn, where cars cruise comfortably at 200 kmph. The new track “is all meant to help our customers love their cars more and drive. With these vehicles, you can drive 140 kmph and feel like you’re driving in the city.” Trzewik notes that GAIN has utilized Western Speedway for driving instructional opportu n ities i n the past. Hav i ng their own dedicated facility will give the network an edge in the Vancouver Island marketplace. Another example of GAIN’s outside-the-box thinking is staff training. “I am looking to opportunities with Disney University and R itz Carlton to train our managers,” he states. “Ethics are very important to us, and hospitality-based training is where we want to go. Ritz-Carlton service is second to none, and Disney has a great level of service also. “Business is about relationships, but new buildings will not make the only difference,” he adds. “Our staff, policies and processes, as well as our commitment to our customers’ satisfaction will make the ultimate difference.”

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ARCHITECTS Architects work with wood and new building codes Buildings of the future will be more sustainable and have a smaller carbon footprint BY GOODY NIOSI


hat’s new i n a rch itecture? How about 3 D pr i nt i ng a n entire house? And no, that’s not a space-age dream; some people have already done that. However, at the moment that’s far from a mainstream concern, said Raymond de Beeld of Raymond de Beeld Architecture in Nanaimo. However, that isn’t to say that it’s not coming, and perhaps sooner than we think. At the moment, architects in Nanaimo and around the world have other challenges they’re dealing with: one of the biggest of those is economics and doing more with less. De Beeld said that around the world there is a push for more sustainable design and building practices, but in some cases, that ideal runs into conflict with keeping costs down. In Nanaimo, there is a trend toward higher density in certain areas. De Beeld cited corridors l i ke Bowen Road where new buildings are two rather than one-storey and may ultimately reach six storeys. In larger cities mixed use buildings are gaining popularity, while in Nanaimo that is still a tough market. Most people still prefer to live in a residential only building. “But some younger people are not so concerned with that,” de Beeld said. “So we’re starting to see a little bit more of a mix of that downtown. A nd that doesn’t mean you can’t have a multi storey residential building next door to retail, office or something like that. The big word everywhere for architects is “affordability.” “Everybody is very cost conscious here,” de Beeld sa id. “ P e o p l e d o n’t h a v e a h u ge amount of confidence anywhere in the world so they don’t want to put a whole pile of money into something. They’re more tentative in everything they do.” And that, he said, makes an architect’s work more challenging. Size of buildings, particularly residential units goes handi n-h a nd w it h a f ford abi l ity. Houses are becoming smaller. Condominiums especially are tightening up on space. Certainly, architects are being asked to do more with less.

Nick Bevanda says that wood is an excellent building material even for high-rises

Uptown Place is a four-storey residential condo development in Victoria that makes use of wood

“The BC Wood Council has been very active in promoting to the architects and engineers ways to use wood we may not have thought about.” CHARLES KIERULF PRINCIPAL, DE HOOG AND KIERULF ARCHITECTS

Charles Kierulf says that new building codes will make a big difference to the profession And then there’s the future – 3D printing may still be on the fringe, but people are looking seriously at ways to incorporate the technology into architecture. “It’s on the edge,” de Beeld sa id . “B ut some p eople a re pl ay i n g a rou nd w it h it a nd some people have built an entire house with 3D printing. It’s like pouring liquid concrete and the printer keeps making all the little pieces.”

Cha rles K ier u l f, a pr i nc ipal with de Hoog and Kierulf Architects (DHK) in Victoria and Nanaimo, said that the new building codes that came into effect Dec. 19, 2014 will make a big difference to the profession. “It’s pretty significant because it’s the latest round of updates bringing the code up to a new standard for energy savings,” he said, noting that this final round particularly affects housing and small buildings. He pointed out that a small office building his firm designed five years ago that will be certified LEED gold, would, by today’s code, simply be considered standard. Certainly there will be additional costs involved, he said, but there will also be savings in terms of energy costs. Kierulf said that perhaps the most exciting change he is seeing is an increased use of wood in construction, particularly in larger buildings. In Prince George the Wood Innovation Centre a seven-storey wood building has recently completed construction. “T he government has been promoting Wood First for about five years now,” he said. “And the BC Wood Council has been very active in promoting to the architects and engineers ways to use wood we may not have thought about.” The government has mandated the use of wood in the public sector but the private sector is also jumping on board. “Wood looks great and people love wood,” Kierulf said. “it’s




Raymond de Beeld says that higher density is a trend in Vancouver Island cities

Paragon is a three storey commercial building designed to LEED Gold standards that uses wood in its construction a warm material and a friendly material. It’s local – it has all these great things about it. For us, it’s a great material to work with. It’s good to see the benefits of this program bearing fruit.” Nick B eva n d a , p a r t n e r i n charge of design at CEI Architecture with offices in Penticton, Victoria and Vancouver, agreed that wood is the next big thing – and for a number of reasons.

“T he wood industry is a huge part of our gross domestic product i n BC,” he sa id. “From an architectural point of view, wood is one of the few materials that actually sequesters carbon dioxide, so from a global warming point of view and a sustainable point of view, this is something that really interests us.” It sequesters about 1.2 – 1.5 tons of carbon per cubic

metre of wood depending on the species. Bevanda said that his firm is very much behind using wood in its designs. It’s easy to work w ith a nd looks good too. A s for t he fea r of f la m mabi l ity, he noted that the big timbers used in large structures may char on the exterior but are very slow to burn. While steel melts, wood may actually be a safer material.

That, combined with sprinkler systems, should alleviate any fears. “When you look broadly at all of our projects, you’ll see there’s a strong appreciation for wood,” Bevanda said. “I think it represents us as a region. In the Okanagan we have one of the best glue lamination production factories in North America. And we are a firm that does want to be included in the debate about tall wood buildings.” CEI Architecture designed a concept building for an international competition, where it won an honourable mention for its 40-storey wood building. The unique structural system uses four primary concrete columns that support the wood. In essence no structural wood element holds more than two storeys. “We believe the technology

is there to really advance wood construction,” Bevanda said. “The only issues that hold us back are the public perception and the codes. I think the technology is there and the engineering is there.” He added that he believes the future in architecture is definitely on the side of wood – and on the side of more sustainable building in both the public and private sectors – and that includes more prefabricated elements in building rather than building on site. “That will help with global warming as well,” he said. “I think it will also speed up the construction process. Buildings contribute a huge amount to that carbon footprint and the construction industry really needs to take responsibility for at least putting forth a plan to mitigate some of that.”

THE CONSTRUCTION COMMUNITY PUTS 2014 IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR The steady gains in building permits and construction employment reported in the VICA’s Quarter 3 Construction



eing optimistic is a mandatory attribute for those of us involved in the construction industry. When I report on the unprecedented $32B i n constr uction i nvestment projected for the island over the next ten years, I am often greeted by skepticism by some of our 500 company members. This skepticism is driven by their reality and that reality has the Vancouver Island construction industry struggling to sustain itself in the post 2008 economic world, with 2014 being the most challenging year of all. A majority of our members reported

Report signal future construction activity

a general lack of work, limited profits and disappearing skilled workers in 2014. That is not a formula for success in any industry. Although unlikely to sabre an expensive bottle of French champagne on December 31st, VICA members will be welcoming 2015 and the promise of better times with cautious optimism. T he steady ga i ns i n bu i lding permits and construction employment reported in the VICA’s Quarter 3 Construction Report signal future construction activity. It was not the major industrial and institutional projects, such as the John Hart Dam Generating Station, or the North Island Hospitals t h at triggered the upsurge in Q 3, it was the residential sector. Retirees are a key demographic driving the skills shortage and one of the factors driving the Vancouver Island residential market. The other factor is low interest rates. Much of BC’s economic future appears to hinge on LNG and our ability to pipe and ship Canadian natural resources. This month’s sudden and dramatic drop in the price of oil reminds us all that we can’t afford to pin all our hopes on one set of projects. The abruptness

and magnitude of the drop in cost of oil will have tremendous impacts on sector revenue and the oil producing regions of Canada. Resource pundits are predicting a $40-60 a barrel oil price for a sustained period of time measured in years. Other observers note the pricing is a reflection of the geo-political climate we live in today and not surprising. They predict the pricing will stabilize during the coming months. Like construction, the price of oil is a key economic performance indicator. T he issues behind the current pricing collapse are complex; however the implications on the broader economy are more obvious and witnessed in the stock market indexes. T hese recent events add a n element of uncertainty going forward. That is not welcome news. These kinds of challenges are not new. Despite them we must find ways to meet our infrastructure needs to ensure our economic growth. On January 14th the Construction Council of Vancouver Island is bringing all the key players of the construction community together in a collaborative forum of public entities, consultants and contractors. As a new initiative,

the Construction Council sets the stage for monthly sector round-table sessions up and down the island. Consultants, public sector owners and agencies are encouraged to attend the January 14th forum and join in the conversation. T he Vancouver Island Construction Association, (VICA) represents more than 500 construction related businesses on Vancouver Island. As one of Ca n ad a’s oldest not-forprofit Construction Associations, VICA has been serving the construction community si nce 1912. We’re ded icated to providing support and services crucial to contractors, manufacturers, suppliers and the purchasers of construction services throughout Vancouver Island from our Victoria and Nanaimo offices. See Greg Baynton is CEO of Vancouver Island Construction Association.



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AccountAbility Plus offers a training facility for hands-on education other accounting software. AccountAbility Plus offers customized training and one-on-one tutoring. Durham’s daughter, Drew Cameron, wrote Excel Level I and Level II manuals, which she uses in her training. Durham, calls Excel, an imperative business tool.” Durham’s eco-courier impressive background includes a stint as an auditor and operating a computer training centre. She has done extensive bookkeeping for a variety of businesses. When computer accounting programs were new, she taught herself to eco-courier use them with a high degree of expertise – so much so that she

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was asked to set up a training centre to teach the software. She worked for Price Waterhouse and for other chartered accounting firms. For a time, she moved between bookkeeping and teaching the programs. “In the beginning, I was the only person around who knew these programs and would teach them from an accountant’s point of view as opposed to a technical point of view,” she said. “People could ask me anything about accounting and I could answer it. And I would help them set their business up so they could grow into it. Getting the right amount of detail from your financial statements is critical to the business’s well being.” In 2012 she and her husband decided to set up the company they operate today. They extensively renovated their office on Fort Street to present a welcoming and highly efficient environment that allows for an optimum workflow. “Both Duncan and I have 35 November 25, 2011 years of business experience; our qualified staff is also a great resource,” Durham said. “We have a solid reputation and a great location for conducting business. We invite people to drop by and see us – we plan on being here a long time.” The company has picked up a wide variety of clients, some of whom came to the firm with

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serious accounting issues. Durham cited one client whose books had not been kept properly and who faced serious tax issues. Once AccountAbility Plus had sorted through and re-done the books, the company was in the clear and didn’t owe a thing. AccountAbility Plus works with law firms, dental practices, retailers, a publisher and the Best Western and Smitty’s in Sidney. Businesses have compelling reasons to choose AccountAbility Plus. Most importantly, client data is securely and confidentially stored off site through the company’s partnership with the local Technology Guys IT Solutions. “If you want to do your own bookkeeping, then we teach you how to do it properly,” Durham said. “We do it from an accounting point of view and people love it – and it’s hands-on.” She added that when she does customized training, she looks at how the client’s system is set up and works from their own data. “Whatever questions they have and whatever I tell them, it relates 100 percent to their business. We can talk taxes, start-up companies or related companies – because I understand it all. Working with businesses rather than for businesses creates a great relationship.” When Durham and Hollows built the office, they built it to integrate all aspects of the business. The centre pod houses the bookkeeping, a large office houses the principals’’ work stations while the classroom and training centre flows off the pod. Other nooks were created to allow space for other bookkeepers working on contract. “Everything is interrelated between the training, the bookkeeping and the consulting,” Durham said. “All three revenue streams fit seamlessly with each other. We’re very, very different. There is no one else like us around.” AccountAbility Plus Business Centre Ltd. is at 100 – 888 Fort Street in Victoria.

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held its first meeting in May 2013. “When I entered the industry, I almost immediately felt that it fit my personality,� she said. “From there, over the course of a couple of years, I thought that I really wanted to meet other women who are just as passionate about the industry as I am.� Her second reason for founding WIC was to encourage more women to enter a field that is predicted to suffer a labour shortage. “Construction isn’t just for men, it’s also for women,� she said. “You’re not going to solve a labour shortage looking at 50 percent of the population.� Greg Baynton, CEO of VICA agreed. He said that women’s roles in construction are changing as people like Fairley are leading the way. “Our board and our members see women as a very vital part of the industry.� He added that the award presented to Fairley was very appropriate and was particularly significant because it came from the Vancouver Regional Construction Association, which recognized her for her leadership on Vancouver Island. “She has been an extraordinary role model for other women in construction,� he said. “She has demonstrated her competencies and leadership.� WIC is supported by VICA but

WIC occasionally goes on field trips to construction sites is an arms-length organization. Baynton noted that women do not have to be members of VICA to join WIC and derive all the benefits associated with the group. Baynton said that he is impressed by WIC’s evolution and growth. “The members are committed to advancing their careers but also committed to the industry. Katy is not alone in that passion and I think that’s why they have such extraordinary attendance at their meetings.� Rosie Manhas, director of operations of VICA and co-founder of WIC (with Fairley) also said that there are missed opportunities for women in construction. Many women still don’t know that they

can have a variety of rewarding careers in the industry. “There has been a stereotype about the industry that it’s all men and they’re rough men – but it’s really not like that,� she said. “It’s developing into an industry of respect and professionalism.� About 20 women participated in WIC’s first meeting. Today. Between 30 – 50 women turn up for meetings. They are professionals in all aspects of construction including engineers, architects, journeymen carpenters, project mangers, administrative assistants, estimators and more. “The meetings provide a forum that support women who work in the industry,� Fairley said. “They

FORT TECTORIA TAKEN OVER FOR CHARITY A natural question is “how the heck did a bunch of folks in a conference room raise over



or a week i n late November, Victoria’s Desert Bus for Hope team took over the Shaw Conference Room at Fort Tectoria. In the process they raised a record-setting $635,415 for Child’s Play, a charity working to improve the lives of children in hospitals and domestic violence shelters. Operating since 2003, Child’s Play works with over 100 hospitals and shelters to buy game consoles, games, toys and books to help ensure children have an opportunity for fun during their challenging stays. With this record-setting initiative, the team shattered their previous year’s record by over $100,000. A natural question is “how

$600,000?� and the answer might surprise you

the heck did a bunch of folks in a conference room raise over $600,000?� and the answer might surprise you. Desert Bus for Hope raises money by taking donations to play “Desert Bus,� arguably the most boring video game ever produced. In the game, the driver simply drives an unreliable bus, in real-time, along a boring

strip of highway between Tucson and Las Vegas. The team keeps driving as long as the donations keep rolling in and the pledge amount grows throughout the fund raiser. This time out, the drive lasted 158 hours and involved a huge team of participants and supporters. Desert Bus for Hope started in 2007 and has raised over $1.8 million during this time. The event was created by t he tea m at Loading Ready Run, a Victoria based internet comedy troupe and video production studio. Loading Ready Run was created by Graham Stark and Paul Saunders. With their team they produce o v e r 10 w e e k l y s h o w s broadcast on the web for a variety of outlets and have appea red on ma ny major TV networks. You can check out their many shows at Rob is a Director at VIATeC and founder of PlusROI Online Marketing, a strategic web marketing firm. He can be reached at Rob@PlusROI. com.

provide networking opportunities and professional development. One of the things we’ve heard at meetings is, ‘I didn’t know there were so many women who work in construction.’� Meetings can include a construction site visit or speakers on a variety of topics that appeal to a broad base of people. WIC has been so successful in Victoria that it has already spread to Nanaimo where a second chapter has opened. Manhas said that this past spring, two women from Nanaimo attended a Victoria meeting. Liking what they saw, they had an information session and their first meeting this past fall. “We hope there will be greater growth for WIC,� she said. “And

11 somewhere down the line we hope to host a mini-conference in Victoria or Nanaimo and have people from other areas in BC and Canada come together here. The other piece is that WIC in Victoria is working with VICA’s Under Forty group and VICA’s Construction Careers group to go and talk to young people in the schools and let them know what the construction industry is like.� WIC’s purpose is also to spread the word that construction is a progressive, dynamic and fascinating field. “I certainly never imagined that I would be working in construction,� Fairley said. “I think the reason it appeals to women is the exact same reason it appeals to men – at the end of the day, you’re part of building something. You can point to something and say that you were part of the team that made it happen.� Baynton said that women fill many roles in construction including management and ownership. “They’re also demanding a voice at the table where all the decisions are made and how the industry is represented.� He added that Fairley is only the second woman in VICA’s 103 year history to sit as a director of the board – and there will be more filling that role quickly. “There are others in the WIC group who have said they will be throwing their hat in the ring next year – so – move over!�



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AWARD WINNING HOMES FEATURE QUALITY IN EVERY DETAIL Award Builders Ltd. known for quality and servcie


ICTORIA - In 2010, Wayne Davis, president of Award Builders Ltd. in Victoria, was recognized by the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) with a Lifetime Achievement Award. With 40 plus years experience building more than 100 homes as well as extensive involvement in the CHBA, the award was well earned. Aw a r d B u i l d e r s L t d w a s

Congratulations Award Builders on 45 years in business! Victoria, BC | 250-652-2353

established in 1969 by Davis’ father, Charlie Davis and his brother, Jack Davis. The elder Davis had moved to Vancouver Island from Vancouver in the 1940s and worked as a carpenter. It was his son who suggested that they start their own company building family homes. Daviscraft Enterprises quickly became known as a company that built quality homes. Davis began working for his father as a labourer in the 1970s for a dollar an hour. He continued to gain knowledge about every aspect of the home building business and in 1983, he and his part-time partner, Andre Richard, took over, changing the name to Award Builders. The first thing they did was buy lots – right at the point where the economy slowed dramatically. They lost money on that venture. “But we figured that if we kept at it, it would work out one day,” Davis said, noting that persistence did indeed pay off. After that first venture into the spec market, Award Builders began taking on custom home projects, which is still the company’s forte today. Not only does the company build custom, but in many cases, dream homes. Award Builders thrives on customer recommendations, Davis said. “It always seems to start with word-of-mouth from someone who has already used you. We tend to trust our friends and we trust that they would give us good opinions.”

Wayne Davis recently won a lifetime achievement award It isn’t just experience and expertise that elicits those recommendations, but also the way Davis and his team work with their clients. “We virtually always make the choice that’s best for the client as opposed to the choice that’s best for us,” Davis said. “And that’s in spite of what it might mean cost-wise. Once we have an obligation, our goal is to make that person as happy as we possibly can with the funds available. There are always decisions that come along, and I’ve seen people make those decisions based on what’s best for them economically and not necessarily what’s best for the customer. I just can’t operate that way. The customer needs to be most important.” Not only does Award Builders get projects through customer recommendations, it also gets repeat customers: people who have had the experience of working

Congratulations Award Builders on 45 successful years in business. (250) 479-7151 - Victoria, BC •

Award winning homes feature quality in every detail with the company once, come back when they want a new home built. “A custom home is the biggest purchase in your life,” Davis said. “It’s so incredibly important that you trust the person you’re working with. You’re stuck together for 8 – 10 months, so you really have to get along with each other.” He said that trust is key, noting that in the United States, more than 50 percent of building contracts go to litigation. Davis said that is only possible if the contract is not properly spelled out and the communication is not crystal clear. Award Builders makes sure that everything is not only in writing but that the client understands the contract. Many people assume that three bids are necessary for every job. Not necessarily, Davis said. What is important is that the client sits down with and meets potential contractors – discusses needs and expectations – and hires the contractor they feel they can trust. The relationship is key. The process of building a custom home begins with that first meeting.

Davis said he tries to get a very good feel for what the customer wants his home to look like and how he or she wants it to function. Standards of finish are also important. He will then rough out a floor plan. “We don’t just send you off to the draftsperson and let him have his way with you,” he said. “I want some control over the drafts person not getting carried away. I have to look at the reality of cost. I don’t like to do the finished plans because I find that the technicians are much better at it, but I’ll do a CAD plan to lay the groundwork for what we want the designer to do.” When the drawings are done, the price is set. Davis said that generally all his jobs are fixed price rather than cost plus: that way both he and the customer know the budget and know what they have to stick to. During the building process, Davis attends the site daily – and he is happy to have the customer closely involved. “I may miss the odd day, but generally I’m there,” he said. “You can draw really good plans, but they just

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Congratulations Award Builders Ltd. on 45 years of business success. Congratulations Award Builders... you don’t look a day over 40!

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Award Builders is known for building dream homes can’t anticipate everything – it’s just not possible. Things happen on site, choices are made and it’s a big advantage to see the site every day.” He added that nothing in the whole process beats the happy reaction from a client when the job is done. On his website, he has client testimonials that express their appreciation. “We’ve had tremendous thankyou notes. Nothing comes close to how gratifying it is when someone is happy enough to bother to send you a note.” Along with the Lifetime Achievement award, Award Builders has also received CARE awards for individual projects over the years. He has sat on the board of the CHBA and served both as chair and as president. “If you believe in the industry and you believe the group can do good, then you just have to make the time to get involved,” he said. Award Builders is also involved in other organizations: Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce • R-2000 Qualified • Built Green™ Qualified • Government Licensed • Certified Residential Builder (CRB) • Registered Housing Professional (RHP) • Better Business Bureau®-accredited (A+ Rating)

• Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) • 2/5/10 Homeowner Protection Office Warrantied In his career, Davis estimates he has built more than 100 new homes, about half of them custom built. Currently the company has just completed a custom home on Cordova Ridge and is working on a new home in the Uplands area – a home that Davis said he will definitely enter in the upcoming CHBA Housing Awards Vancouver Island Building Excellence (VIBE). “The engineering of it is different,” he said. “It’s almost a flying roof that appears to be sitting on nothing and is fastened to two giant stone walls that run from outside to inside, from floor to roof, so there are walls of granite both inside and outside the house.” Award Builders is also working on a major renovation, turning a small rancher into a family home. Many homes stand out for Davis. One in particular is a home in Oak Bay designed by architect John Graham of Graham Sherwin Studios. It was notable for its level of detail in the finishing and also for its spectacular front entrance. Two giant five-foot wood and glass doors pivot to open and instantly create a sightline that moves straight through the house to the garden beyond. “It’s like the garden is part of the living room,” Davis said. “Without

exception, anyone who walks through that front door would gasp.” He added that he hopes to build more projects of that nature in the future. “These nicer custom homes are rewarding. They take longer and they’re a bigger challenge, but with any profession, it’s the things that are more trouble that you find the most rewarding. The beauty of our trade, at the end of the day, is that there is significantly something there to look at. You have achieved something.” Award Builders Ltd. is at 330 Wray Avenue in Victoria.

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OAK BAY Local businesses and residents are proud of Oak Bay Unique businesses thrive in the community BY GOODY NIOSI


he District of Oak Bay is a charming residential community where people live for the lifestyle, the serenity and the security of living in a community with a reputation for being safe and pedestrian friendly. Its 18,000 plus residents generally commute to other parts of the regional district and downtown Victoria, although there is a growing trend to home based businesses as well. Mayor Nils Jensen noted that 90 percent of the tax base is residential. Commercial activity is limited to Oak Bay Village, Estevan Village and a scattering of other service and retail enterprises. Sadly, it was announced Dec. 3 that the iconic Oak Bay Beach Hotel was put into receivership. Jensen said it was definitely a blow to the community. Still the future for Oak Bay is bright. “Oak Bay is a spectacular community,” Jensen said. “It was well thought out in terms of its plan. It enjoys a picturesque setting. It’s extremely liveable. It’s just a pleasant place to live, coupled with the fact that on high traffic days, we’re only 10 minutes from downtown Victoria.” He added that Oak Bay, while having the second largest retiree population in the area, also has a good mix of demographics. Jensen noted that he is the unofficial Welcome Wagon for all newcomers to Oak Bay. When people move into the community, he meets them and brings a package of information with him. He said that through those visits he has noticed that newcomers to the area are often retirees from Eastern Canada as well as Chinese families. Others who come to Oak Bay are young families – people who grew up in the community and now want to raise their own families in a neighbourhood they remember as being welcoming and safe. Jensen said there is not much room in Oak Bay for development. However, there is space and a desire for redevelopment. “Growth will be incremental,” he said. “Our official community plan is for some smaller commercial areas developing. Those areas have not been specifically defined but we’re looking for someone to come forward with

The annual Christmas lightup draws thousands to Oak Bay Village

“Our official community plan is for some smaller commercial areas developing. Those areas have not been specifically defined but we’re looking for someone to come forward with proposals.” NILS JENSEN MAYOR, DISTRICT OF OAK BAY

Mayor Nils Jensen says Oak Bay is a spectacular community

Bruce Carter says that residents of Oak Bay are proud to live there

proposals. What we’re going to see is redevelopment of commercial enterprises. We want to encourage multi family residential combined with commercial. I think that benefits us all. From an economic point of view, it benefits the village businesses.” Bruce Carter, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce describes Oak Bay as an affluent residential community where local businesses, particularly those in Oak Bay Village, do a brisk trade. Residents love their

local coffee shops and pubs as well as the unique shops that cater to a more mature clientele. The district is also home to golf courses, two marinas and the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, which he said will continue to operate. Carter said that although Oak Bay is a seaside community like Sidney and Esquimalt, it has a very different character. “Oak Bay is a seaside community with large estates on the water and a number of very large properties, which tend to




Its many parks makes Oak Bay a very liveable community

With its oceanfront location, Oak Bay is home to two marinas attract people with a higher net worth.” He added that although it is close to downtown, downtown does not intrude. Oak Bay has its own fire and police departments and the residents don’t mind spending money on them to ensure that they turn up for every call. If Oak Bay residents and businesses have anything in common, Carter said, it’s that

they’re proud to live there and operate a business in the area. The Village of Oak Bay draws people from miles around – and no wonder. The shops are unique and some might even say quaint. The streets are infinitely walkable with flowers spilling out of planters in the summer and stores and trees lit up at Christmas time. Dogs are allowed into

shops, with many store owners even prov id i ng biscu its a nd water. Bike racks line the streets and parking is free. Its little wonder that Elizabeth Smith, president of the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association (BIA) and president of Athlone Travel, says that the 97 members of the BIA say that business is good. In early

BUSINESS PORTRAITS AND GOOGLE BUSINESS VIEW MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE BK Studios Photographers help businesses become more visible


he highly respected Victoria firm, BK Studios Photographers has two business offerings that are not only important but virtually indispensible: business portraits and Google Business View. Owners and photographers Rebecca Kirstein and Anna McKenzie founded their company 15 years ago, gravitating away from family and wedding photography to business portraits when they saw the growing need. “There was a real need for creative business photography and we weren’t seeing a lot of that happening in terms of advertising and promotional images,” Kirstein said. “Head shots were becoming more and more in demand as the need for a strong online presence increased. You could get a studio backdrop head shot but there weren’t a lot of creative options being offered.” Today, business portraits constitute 95 percent of BK Studios Photographers’ business – with an emphasis on creative alternatives to studio portraits. Before even contemplating a photo

session, Kirstein and McKenzie really get to know their clients and their businesses: what do they do? Who is their target market? Who is their ideal clientele? “We want to see the human beings behind the business and so do their clients,” Kirstein said. “What we focus on is really bringing out the personality in the individual.” She added that typically, a client’s reaction to the finished product is one of happy surprise. “I think people are not used to seeing themselves in their best light, so those who have not had professional photography previously are often quite pleasantly surprised at how good they look – great lighting, angles and posing, but more importantly, being at ease because we have so much fun.” While having a great portrait online today is essential to any business person, what is also becoming more important is the need for a strong visual representation of the business’ location online: enter Google Business View. This past summer, Kirstein became a certified Google Trusted photographer. For the onetime price of only $400 - $800, Kirstein takes 360-degree views of the inside of a business – a virtual tour that allows local businesses to showcase their interiors, enhance their Google listing, and influence potential customers’ decision making.

Google is the world’s most used search engine, and is often the primary place that people turn to when searching for a local business. With Google Business View, a business can have increased exposure in Google Search, Google Maps and Google+. Kirstein also includes stills of various areas of the business – perhaps a nice nook in a restaurant as well as the menu, or a special featured area in a retail store; the addition of these interior and exterior images with the call to action: “see inside” bring users into a virtual tour of the business, using Google Street View Technology. The virtual tour and stills are uploaded to Google and are there permanently without additional fees. A viewer searching on Google maps for a business can find it, go down to street view, and then wander right inside the business to get a complete tour. Kirstein said that at such a low price, Victoria businesses, especially restaurants and retail stores, are discovering it may be the best and most economical advertising tool they have ever used. “Business has been heating up in that area,” Kirstein said. “I think this is a service that a lot of people are going to be interested in.” BK Studios Photographers is at 1616 Redfern Street in Victoria.

December only one retail space in the village was available for lease – and that, said Smith, won’t be vacant for long. “If we can do things for the community to make Oak Bay Village a destination, people will come,: Smith said. “We are very fortunate because the community understands the need to shop local, so that is the message we try to get out by putting on various events.” She noted that at the annual Christmas lightup, more than 3,000 people attended. The summer market also draws crowds as do various other events like the gallery walk and pumpkin art. Those festivals are all sponsored by the BIA.

Smith is one of the original tenants in Oak Bay Village. Athlone Travel has been open since 1986. “I’ve seen the growth happen,” she said. “The harder we work, the more exposure we get – we’re seeing really good results.” She added that other businesses in the village also report that business is healthy. “We’re really doing everything to make it a very user-friendly shopping area. We really can create the community that we want. If things aren’t the way we want them, we can group together and make changes – and I’ve seen that happen over the years. We are an engaged community.”





as Bains, who co-owns Bains Family Dollar Store in Kamloops, B.C., knows the value of a dollar. That’s why she used to cringe every time that the store’s BC Hydro bill arrived – she knew their electricity costs were sky-high because of its outdated lights and lighting fixtures. To make matters worse, bulbs were burning out on a weekly basis and Bains had to climb a wobbly extension ladder to replace the burn-outs. “My mom works really hard – she’s a machine,” says Jas’ daughter, Hamreet Bains. “But even she couldn’t replace the burnt-out bulbs fast enough.” Bains and her family were tired of high electricity bills and the store’s non-stop maintenance requirements. They consulted customers, friends, relatives and neighbours: should they stay and spend the money to upgrade the store’s lighting, or should they relocate? T h e n a c omp e t itor s e t up shop close by. Suddenly, the Bains family had a decision to make: close the store, or move to a smaller location to remain competitive. For Bains, walking away from the family business was not an option, and she was determined to find a new, smaller location with energy-efficient lighting.

In October 2013, after visiting potential locations with her daughter Hamreet, she decided on a 3,000-square-foot store just 10 blocks from her old store. “The location was great, and the size and layout of the store were perfect, but we noticed the store had the exact same lights and fixtures as our old location,” says Hamreet. The landlord must have sensed the Bains’ disappointment. He agreed to defer rent for three months if the pair wanted to renovate the store (to meet their franchise agreement requirements) and retrofit the lights. “Honestly, we knew next to nothing about construction or energy-efficient lighting,” admits Hamreet. “We talked to a lot of different contractors and lighting companies. It was tiring and confusing because the proposals and cost estimates we received were so different.” They expressed their frustration to their landlord. That’s when he put them in touch with Allan Crawford, a Kamloops local whose company happened to be a member of the Power Smart Alliance. Crawford talked to Jas and Hamreet at length about their requirements: contemporary-looking, energy-efficient lighting that required little maintenance. The lighting layout in the new store also needed to be reconfigured to

suit a retail environment. Crawford submitted his project proposal, which, to the Bains’ surprise and delight, included a Power Smart rebate. “None of the other proposals we reviewed included a Power Smart rebate,” Hamreet recalls. In early January 2014, once the store’s renovations were almost done, Crawford and his team got to work. They installed 135

four-foot T8 lamps using electronic ballasts. The lighting installation took just three days and the upgrade qualified the store for a $1,562 Power Smart rebate. The rebate, combined with the projected annual cost savings of $1,613.52 per year, give the store an estimated payback period of just nine months. Even better, not a single light bulb has had to be replaced since

January, which, Hamreet says happily, means her Mom’s extension ladder is right where it should be – collecting dust in the maintenance closet. The Power Smart Express program provides B.C. businesses with incentives for implementing energy efficiency upgrade projects. Learn more at

THE DOLLARS ADD UP Restaurant owners receive an average incentive of $2,477* by participating in the Power Smart Express program. The incentive, plus the money you save on energy bills each year, means you can reinvest back into what matters most—your business. And yes, that could include even more kitchen gadgets. Five minutes is all it takes to get started or to request more information about your potential savings. Save power and money at *Incentive amount based on an average of 1,009 projects completed between 2010 and 2013.

BCH141008BC_14_Kitchen_BusExaminer.indd 1

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VET CLINIC IS BEST IN WEST SHORE “We vowed early on Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic combines high tech with care and compassion


that we would be straightforward and upfront and that we would

nce again this year, The Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic has won a Best of the City award. It isn’t the first time and chances are it won’t be the last. The clinic has been known for years for giving kind, compassionate and expert care to people’s pets. Clinic owners Dr. John Gayfer, Dr. John Basterfield and Dr. Margaret Cairns have more than 80 years experience among them; added to that is a team of technicians and staff that add their own expertise and care. Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic was founded in 1979 and purchased only one year later by Drs. Gayfer and Basterfield. They were new vets but saw an opportunity to develop a solid practice. Both doctors had decided on a career in veterinary medicine at an early age. “When I was seven, my dog got

be available, and that we would provide the best medicine that we could.” DR. JOHN GAYFER CO-OWNER JUAN DE FUCA VETERINARY CLINNIC

Dr. John Gayfer and the entire team at Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic use the latest technology to treat pets


Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic 2014 West Shore Community Awards Winner - Best Veterinary Clinic

Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic offers a complete service for dogs and cats hit by a skunk and a porcupine,” Dr. Gayfer recalled. “We went to the vet and he said, ‘I don’t want that stinky dog in my clinic. So he sedated him outside on the grass and he pulled these quills out – and I remember standing there watching him and thinking, “I’d like to be able to do this.’” He added that his colleague was about the same age when he too decided to become a vet. Basterfield graduated from the University of Guelph while Gayfer attended the University of Saskatoon. Happily they were both hired by the same clinic and have remained excellent colleagues ever since. Dr. Cairns joined the practice some years later. The clinic has grown dramatically since those early days. It has also seen big changes. Today the clinic has seven registered technicians, six veterinarians and a sizeable support staff. New technology includes digital x-rays, ultrasound, endoscopy, laser therapy…

“We have all sorts of things that are different now that weren’t available back then,” Gayfer said. “Or if they were available, we didn’t have them.” Back in the early days, the clinic treated large animals as well as dogs and cats. Gayfer was also responsible for the veterinary work on the whales at the Oak Bay Marine Group’s Sealand while it was still open. Today, the surrounding farmland has given way to development and the clinic focuses on dogs and cats. Clients of the clinic are generally local but some also come from farther afield. “We vowed early on that we would be straightforward and upfront and that we would be available,” Gayfer said. “And that we would provide the best medicine that we could. We treat our clients with care and compassion. It’s the same with our staff. I don’t look at them as staff – they’re part of the team that have their own area of

expertise and that can do things way better than I can do.” He added that locums invariably enjoy working at the clinic because they like the warm and professional atmosphere. “We’ve been blessed with some extremely competent people who work for us,” Gayfer said, noting that some staff have been with the clinic for as long as 25 years. The public is as enthusiastic about the clinic as are the staff and locums. Gayfer noted that at Christmas time clients invariably drop off goodies and cards expressing their appreciation to the clinic. He said that he has never regretted his decision to be a veterinarian. However, there is stress involved. It’s never easy to give a client bad news about their beloved pet. For some people, the love of a dog or cat can be the only unconditional love they know. There are days a vet can go home feeling drained. But there are also big rewards when everyone is treated with care and compassion. “The biggest reward is the people and being part of the community,” Gayfer said, adding that the clinic will be there for a long time to come. The world of veterinary medicine continues to change and all the vets and technicians are dedicated to continuing education to keep up with the latest in medicine and techniques – both go to conferences regularly. People are more informed about their pets than ever – and that, said Gayfer, is a good thing. “We are always exchanging knowledge as a team. We are always sharing and helping each other. That’s the value that the client gets: they don’t just get one vet when they have their animal examined – they have all of us that are working as a team. Our techs are also constantly going to conferences and helping us grow and expand our horizons as well. It’s a big team and I am hugely appreciative of the people I work with.” Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic is at 2244 Sooke Road in Victoria.

Congratulations to Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic on winning Best Veterinary Clinic in the 2014 West Shore Community Awards! Thank you to the veterinarians and staff for their efforts to help all pets receive the best veterinary care possible. 888.615.8318 TRUPANION.COM



ADVANTAGE CRANE RAISES THE BAR (AND A WHOLE LOT OF OTHER THINGS) “We do anything you want Local company owns the largest all terrain crane on Vancouver Island

if it needs to be picked up with a crane.” DAN PATTON


ANGFORD – When your company is known for its expertise in lifting, its track record for safety and its willingness to take on challenging jobs, you’re bound to get some interesting assignments – which may be why Advantage Crane Rental Ltd. was recently tasked with moving a giant concrete octopus from the James Bay Beach slightly farther up the hill. Along with Test Right Rigging they relocated it successfully to a new home. Advantage Crane Rental, with its head office in Langford and yards in Victoria and Nanaimo, is a full service crane rental business with equipment more likely to be found on construction sites raising steel girders than moving an octopus on a beach. “We do any crane hoisting requirements you can think of,” said company owner and president Dan Patton, noting that the only thing the company does not do is work on the water. “We work closely with a group of contractors and we take phone calls regularly from people we have not worked with before. We do

We are a proud supporter of Advantage Crane.


Advantage Crane takes on any job on Vancouver Island

anything you want if it needs to be picked up with a crane.” The company has worked on interesting projects over the years. It was responsible for the crane work on the Kinsol Trestle remediation near Shawnigan Lake. It also spent almost a full year working on phase one of the wind farm project at Cape Scott, offloading components from ships to the laydown yard. At one point, Advantage Crane had seven cranes working on that job. More usually, Advantage Crane can be found on construction sites and occasionally working in the forestry sector. Patton and his partner, Steve Tidder, who he bought out 18 months ago, founded the company in December 2002. Both had been crane operators for some years. “Over the years, we had discussed the possibility of starting

Dan Patton says good equipment and great people have made the company successful something one day,” Patton said, noting that their inspiration for structuring their company came from George Sneddon who once owned Scotty’s Cranes in Nanaimo. “We tried to model ourselves after how he ran his crane company. We liked to work for him. He had some good equipment, he was fairly innovative, and he was instrumental in bringing a couple of the first large conventional truck cranes to the island. SEE ADVANTAGE CRANE   |  PAGE 20

Well done Advantage Crane! - From your friends at Blackline Marine Inc.

Advantage Crane was responsible for the lifting work on the Kinsol Trestle remediation




We enjoyed working with those units. So we were all about wanting a good place for our employees to work and bringing in new, modern equipment.” As soon as they incorporated, they went to Vancouver and purchased their first 60-ton crane. Immediately after that, Patton flew to Detroit and purchased a 28-ton boom truck. “We were up and running by the 10th of January 2003,” Patton said. “We were small and we knew we were small. We didn’t have our sights set on a certain number of cranes, but we knew we wanted to grow.” Over the next number of years, they bought a new crane every 12 months. Even right at the beginning, work came in easily and steadily. In February 2003, Advantage Crane picked up its first major contract with Lockerbie and Hole Contracting, working at the Beaver Cove chipping facility. Patton credited Tidder with his superior sales skills for keeping the work coming in. It also helped that the economy was on a dynamic upswing. The housing market and even the commercial building industry were more active than they had been in years. Between 2003 – 2008, Advantage Crane grew rapidly, acquiring new cranes and personnel. At one point the company operated three large boom trucks, which

Always proud to offer our services to Advantage Crane


Advantage Crane was responsible for the lifting work at the Cape Scott Wind Farm was most unusual on Vancouver Island. “They really worked well with a lot of the condominium and stick-built work that was going on,” Patton said. “We also bought the first 90-ton Linkbelt truck crane – a new model that had just come out. It was certainly a new technology that allowed for increased weight because of the lightness of the boom.” Because the partners were both members of the International Union of Operating Engineers, they started to hire young apprentices. Patton said that probably seven have gone through the company. “We look for local talent,” he said. “And we’ve been very fortunate with some good young people who have wanted to become crane operators that have gone through apprenticeships here and got their Red Seal and have stuck with us. That is a very

Congratulations to Dan and the team at Advantage Crane on all of your success!

large part of our success – our people. The equipment is part of the equation, but certainly you have to have the people.” Currently, Advantage Crane has nine cranes, including a 275-ton, the largest all terrain crane on Vancouver Island. As can be expected, that crane does a tremendous amount of heavy lifting including on the recent wind farm project, at pulp mills and on tall buildings. Recently it installed all four tower cranes on the new hospital buildings in Comox and Campbell River. Safety is also very important to Advantage Crane. The company recently completed its core certification with WorkSafe BC. “The health and safety end of construction has grown,” Patton said. “It’s become huge in the last number of years – and rightly so. Safety is very important to all of us. Advantage Crane offers a modern crane with a well-trained

operator and a safe operator.” Even t hou g h t he economy isn’t what it was 10 years ago, Advantage Crane is doing well. Although it grew 10 percent year over year, during the early years, it is holding its own. Advantage Crane has built strong relationships with contractors up and down the island and sometimes even garners kudos above and beyond “job well done.” When the wind farm job was complete, the manager of the farm commended Advantage Crane for completing 1,745 heavy lifts with not a single incident. Patton said that now he is looking forward to continuing the good work his company has been doing for so many years. “I have a lot of young people working at the company. When Steve and I started this 12 years ago, we both had come out of Northern BC and there’s a lot of money up there, but we wanted

to stay on Vancouver Island and build our company here. We are a local crane company that wants to participate in the local market and deliver a great product.” He added that there is also room for growth in the company. Before opening a yard in Nanaimo, where Patton makes his home, he had always serviced the area. Today, he can supply cranes in the mid-island area locally and ship cranes as far as Campbell River and beyond from the Nanaimo yard. “I see a bright future on Vancouver Island,” he said. “We’re not going anywhere. From my perspective, I really want to acknowledge our customers. I wish all our contractors and employees a prosperous New Year.” Advantage Crane Rental Ltd. is at 710 Industrial Way in Langford and Lot B #1140 – 10th Street in Nanaimo.

Proud to meet the commercial insurance needs of Advantage Crane for the past 9 years. Congratulations on all of your success!

(250)-478-4225 |

Stacey Copeland, CAIB Partner • 604-619-6147 Vancouver, BC 250.361.1662




HOLD THE PHONE! A study published by the Frost & Sullivan Group

SIP Trunking is growing fast


found that in North

know we have all heard it before, save 20, 30, up to 40 percent on your telephone costs. It sta r ted w it h lon g distance competition. As an employee of Telus, I remember in the mid 1980’s a 61 second call from Edmonton to Calgary cost $1.04. Today that same call costs the average business $.03. A remarkable 97 percent decrease, and you can be certain the Telco is still making a profit. As we watched the long distance rates plummet, next came the de-regulation of local lines. Your monthly cost was dependent on where you lived. In the 1990’s I remember a single business line cost approximately $45.00 - $50.00 per month. If you used an overline , (AKA) rotary, or hunt group, the Telco charged you a premium of approximately $55.00 - $65.00 per month per line. Over the course of the past 10 years we have seen the cost of telephone l i ne rates d rop to a s low a s $14.95 per month. That being

America, revenue for SIP Trunking was $717.3 million in 2009, reached $4 billion by 2013 and is now forecasted to reach $9.4 billion by 2019 said, typical line rates now settle in at approximately $30.00 per month. That is approximately 45 percent less, depending on your math. So what’s next for the industry? I’m glad you asked! SIP Trunks are here, and although we are not seeing much commitment yet, it’s only a matter of time. SI P T ru n k i ng is one of the fastest growing technologies today. A study published by the Frost & Sullivan Group found that in North America, revenue for SIP Trunking was $717.3 million in 2009, reached $4 billion by 2013 and is now forecasted to

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Darren Hauca reach $9.4 billion by 2019. So what is SIP Trunking? SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is a functional component of a unified communications env i ron ment t h at suppor ts voice calling, instant messaging, presence, video, unified messaging and collaboration. A SIP trunk utilizes new or existing broadband Internet connectivity as a supplement or replacement for traditional telephone company lines. Basically it is a way for organizations

to accomplish something that they already do, for less money, with equal or better quality and with greater functionality. So why is SIP Trunking catching on? 1. Lower cost While the figures vary widely depending on what you currently have and the exact SIP trunk offering you replace it with, savings in the 30 to 60 percent range are well within the realm of possibility. W hat’s more, while PRI and T1 lines are sold in certain increments, such as four, eight or twenty four channels, you can order SIP trunks in any size you want. If you’ve got a small office that requires only one or two sessions at a time, you can order and pay for a trunk of only that size. 2. Highly scalable And should that office grow over time, you can add more circuits to the SIP trunk, again ordering only what you need. 3. More flexibility You can also adjust the size of your SIP trunk to allow for va riations i n ba ndw idth requirements, such as dealing with seasonal changes in call volumes. 4. Support for Un i fied Communications

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SIP is crucial for enabling UC applications including presence and advanced features, such as the ability to transfer a call from a mobile phone to a laptop-based soft phone without dropping it. 5. Rel i abi l ity a nd d i sa ster recovery Because t hey’re I P-based, SIP trunks are far more flexible than traditional “fixed” circuits such as T1 or PRI lines. Users can program SIP lines such that if a given user is out of the office, or an entire office is out of commission, the lines roll over to backup sites, phones or devices located anywhere on the company’s network – or at a backup facility. It’s all based on the business rules you set up ahead of time. The Communication Connection is partnered with three of the most successful manufacturers in the world (Mitel, NEC & Panasonic) all offering SIP ready Telephone Systems/Gateways. Call us for a no obligation evaluation of your telecommunications practices today. Darren Hauca is the President of The Communication Connection Inc. Vancouver Island’s Largest Private Telecommunications Company



CLAIM $17,006

The contents of Who’s Suing Whom is provided by a third-party resource and is accurate according to public court documents. Some of these cases may have been resolved by publication date. DEFENDANT Bhaijisons Construction 278 Cadillac Ave., Victoria PLAINTIFF Pacific Home Warranty Insurance Services Inc. CLAIM $99,309 DEFENDANT Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. 726 St Joseph St., Valcourt, PQ PLAINTIFF Bill Howich Chrysler Ltd. CLAIM $25,000 DEFENDANT Certa Pro Painters 407 David St., Victoria PLAINTIFF GWG Rentals Ltd CLAIM $7,058 DEFENDANT Coast Realty Group 30 Front St., Nanaimo PLAINTIFF Godfrey, Mark

DEFENDANT Damn Fine Cake Company Ltd. 4th Floor 888 Fort St., Victoria PLAINTIFF K Hayton Construction Ltd. CLAIM $22,413 DEFENDANT Five Star Innovations Inc. 34 Carly Lane, Victoria PLAINTIFF Kickstart Development CLAIM $15,322 DEFENDANT Global Floor Safety Solutions 38-19551 66th Ave., Surrey PLAINTIFF Scott, Pauline CLAIM $25,316 DEFENDANT KIA Canada Inc. 2620 Government St., Victoria PLAINTIFF Mumford, Derek CLAIM $25,181 DEFENDANT Lantzville Artisan Wood Floors 7471 Fernmar Rd., Lantzville PLAINTIFF Lottis, Sharon CLAIM $25,000

DEFENDANT Metchosin Properties Inc. 683 Stebbings Rd., Shawnigan Lake PLAINTIFF Almont Holdings Ltd CLAIM $70,523 DEFENDANT Northern Lights Transport Ltd. PO Box 88712, Newton RPO, Surrey PLAINTIFF Brown Line LLC CLAIM $145,138 DEFENDANT Phoenix FTA Holdings Inc. 4-4180 Island Hwy North, Nanaimo PLAINTIFF Coastal Community Credit Union CLAIM $135,708 DEFENDANT PI Granite Fabricators Ltd. PO Box 41047 RPO, Woodgrove, Nanaimo PLAINTIFF Coastal Community Credit Union CLAIM $135,708 DEFENDANT Qualicum Beach Funeral Center Ltd. 118 Fern Rd East, Qualicum Beach PLAINTIFF Yellow Pages Group Corp. CLAIM $8,983 DEFENDANT Qualicum Engineering Services


675 Primrose St., Qualicum Beach PLAINTIFF Carleton, Graeme CLAIM $18,114 DEFENDANT Sand Dollar Pools 4140 Carey Rd., Victoria PLAINTIFF Hackett, Gary CLAIM $23,986 DEFENDANT Seagate Hotel Inc. 2-6990 Market St., Port Hardy PLAINTIFF Imor Capital Corp. CLAIM $426,376 DEFENDANT Sears Canada Inc. 76663-222 Jarvis St., Toronto, ON PLAINTIFF Duthie, Allison CLAIM $23,410 DEFENDANT South Island Aggregates Ltd. 101-536 Herald St., Victoria PLAINTIFF Peninsula Consumer Services Cooperative CLAIM $13,301

CLAIM $135,708 DEFENDANT Totem Plumbing Ltd. 6171 Werners Way, Nanaimo PLAINTIFF 0853977 BC Ltd. CLAIM $5,415 DEFENDANT Victoria Military Music Festival Society 203-612 View St., Victoria PLAINTIFF Sound Waves Entertainment Network Ltd. CLAIM $25,176 DEFENDANT Waterfillz Canada 17684 20th Ave., Surrey PLAINTIFF CR Metal Fabricators Ltd. CLAIM $146,236 DEFENDANT Wilson And Proctor Ltd. 1626 Garnet Rd, Victoria PLAINTIFF BH White Enterprises Ltd. CLAIM $25,216

DEFENDANT Studio Kitchens & Design Ltd. PO Box 41047 RPO Woodgrove, Nanaimo PLAINTIFF Coastal Community Credit Union

TICKETS ON SALE! WWW.BUSINESSEXAMINER.CA or 250 758 2684 ext 120 BE Awards



Kloth Clothing Designs has opened in Ladysmith on High Street. Jan Donaldson is celebrating 35 years in business with “Threads of Passion 35” in her Studio/Showroom at 9738 Willow Street in Chemainus.

To get in Movers and Shakers, call Thom at 250-661-2297 or email The Sidney Lions Food Bank is celebrating its 32nd year of service to the community.

Kai Du has opened Victoria Cyber Café for business, located on Fort Street.

CenSai Sushi has opened for business at #204-7860 Wallace Drive in Central Saanich. DFH November office leaders are Ann Watley of Sidney, Mike Hartshorne of West Shore, Sandy McManus, Ron Bahrey, Ron Cunningham, Myles Christenson, Roy Stevenson, Dave Philips, Ally and Dennis Guevin, Alison Stoodley, Arlin Baillie, Whitney Garside and Steve Alford of Victoria; Wendy Herrick, Steve Postings, Susan Pipes and Bill Knowles of Sidney, Peter Miller of Cowichan; Jenn Raappana, Deidra Junghans and Jean Omelchenko of West Shore, Sue Lyle and Farrell Magnusson of Shawnigan. The Fairmont Empress Hotel has been voted the best building on Vancouver Island in the BC’s Best Buildings Contest held by the Architecture Foundation of BC. Sizzling Tandoor Restaurant’s Downtown Victoria location is celebrating its 4th anniversary.

Pemberton Holmes has welcomed Wendy Mitton to its team of professionals, located at 97 South Shore Road.

From left to right (Harbour Air): Meredith Moll, Guillaume Fortin and Randy Wright Two Victoria companies won national honours at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s 2014 Canadian Tourism Awards. Eagle Wing Tours received the Transat AT Sustainable Tourism Award, and Harbour Air’s manager of flight operations, Guillaume Fortin, received the InterContinental Hotels Group Tourism Employee of the Year Award. The City of Langford will be opening its new, 9,600-square-foot, North Langford Adventure Clinic soon, located on Bear Mountain. The facility, purchased by the city for $2.4 million, will be managed by the Westin Bear Mountain.

Rob Bye has been appointed as General Manager/National Sales Manager of CKKQ-FM and CJZN-FM, both part of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.

The Loghouse Pub is celebrating its 25th anniversary, located at 2323 Millstream Road in Langford.

Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence has welcomed Peter Lockie, Stephen Chang and Suzanne Weckand-Dill to its board of directors.

Realtors Scott Piercy, James Le Blanc and Shelby Donald have opened Engel & Volkers Victoria in Athlone Court.

McElvaine Investment Management Ltd., an investment management firm that advises The McElvaine Investment Trust, has opened for business. Sonya Saujani has been named vicepresident of business operations with the Victoria Grizzlies. Jim Swanson of the Victoria HarbourCats baseball club has also been brought in to a marketing advisory position, and Don Robinson has been named vice-president of hockey operations. Coast Life and Style has opened for business Oak Bay’s Athlone Court. November Automotive outstanding salespeople are: Daniel Vosgueritchian of Harris Auto, Don Rusk of Metro Toyota, Joe Halasz of Pacific Mazda, Frank O’Brien of Wheaton, David Vollet of Audi Autohaus, Brent Moroz of Volkswagon Victoria, Matt Kennard of Porche Centre Victoria, Adam Mikasko of Three Point Motors, Daniel St. Denis of BMW Victoria, Roland Whittall of Volvo, Frank Burgaretta of Wille Dodge, Connie Wilde of Jenner, Gordon Neave of Campus Honda, Ian Lang of Campus Infiniti, Nelson Chan of Graham Kia, Frank Pecorelli of Campus Nissan, Robert Gardner of Saunders, Joey Matheson of Galaxy Motors and Nick Lee of Campus Acura.

Impeccable Jewellery has closed its Ladysmith location, and opened its new Duncan store at 432 1st Avenue as of Dec. 1. The Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce will be receiving a new president in March as former president Aaron Stone has resigned from his position to become the new mayor. Vice-president Alana Newton will be taking over his duties in the interim. Wayne Osborne received the Grand Champion of Show and Reserve Grand Champion of Show prizes at the Cowichan Valley Feather Fanciers fall show. Peter Baljet GM congratulated its top three performing associates for the month of October: Carson Bailey, Brodie Harris and Steve Aydon. Island Savings members have approved a merger with First West Credit Union, effective Jan. 1. Winners have been announced for the Chemainus and District Chamber of Commerce’s Golden Brush Awards.

23 Winners were: Chemainus Foods for the Good Neighbour Award, Willow Street Café for the Food Service Business of the Year Award, Bound to be Different for the Retail Business of the Year Award, Thermoproof Windows and Doors for the Manufacturing Business of the Year Award, Tim Openshaw Contracting for the Trades Person or Contractor of the Year Award, Chemainus Valley Courier for the Professional Service Business of the Year Award, Doc the Barber for the Personal Service Business of the Year Award, Debra Young and Teresa Davies of Twisted Sisters Tea Room for the Customer Service Award, Karen Hopkins for the Volunteer of the Year Award, and Ron Neubauer for the President’s Award. The Chemainus Village Computer centre has opened for business at 105C 3055 Oak Street. Sales leaders for Re/Max Alliance for the month of November are; Ron Neal, Claude Delmaire, Alex Burns, Karen Love, Robyn Wildman, Chris Cochrane, Laura Godbeer, Mark Salter, Dennis Jabs and Manpreet Kandola. Slegg Construction Materials Ltd. has now opened its Duncan location at 2853 Roberts Road. RBC Royal Bank has awarded the Cowichan Region with a grant of $25,000 to promote physical literacy. Re/Max Camosun outstanding agents for November are: Geoff McLean, John Vernon, Craig Walters, Dale Sheppard and Kerry Davies. Top producers include: Deedrie Ballard, Blair Veenstra, Georgia Wiggins, Mette Pedersen, Lynne Campbell, Bil Greene, Darren Day, Scott Marchant, Karl Leong, Guy Crozier, Cheryl Barnes and Laurie Lidstone. Merit Home Furniture has welcomed the addition of Darryl Nelson to its team, located at 107 Ingram Street. John McLean, Victoria HarbourCats founder, has lost control of the West Coast League baseball club to a former business associate in a BC Supreme Court civil suit.

We didn’t stop at just flags.

Oak Bay’s Village Walk will be welcoming The Good Earth Coffee House in the new year.

From left to right (Eagle Wing): Andrew Lind (TIAC Board Chair), Don Stewart (Eagle Wing Tours) Brett Soberg (Eagle Wing Tours), Murray Rankin (MP for Victoria)

A Vancouver court has appointed a receiver to take over operations at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. The hotel’s debts, which total $127.8 million, are outstripping its assets, which are estimated at $117.4 million, suggesting that some creditors may not see the money they are owed.

Local service on Vancouver Island.

24 Category 12, located on the Saanich Peninsula, is the newest craft brewer in the area. It is run by Michael and Karen Kuzyk. North Island College has signed an agreement with Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, that will give business administration students enhanced degrees. Victoria-based Flytographer, which matches local professional photographers with vacationers at locations around the world, is partnering with the parent company of Fairmont Hotels.


Canada’s largest daffodil crop, has renamed it Longview Farms, and is keeping all of the 15 full-time staff. Sage Baker is joining the Ralmax Group as its new Chief Operating Officer to oversee business development plans for the group of companies, which includes shipbuilding, recycling, concrete and construction services, and steel and iron engineering works. Gnanam Govender has renamed her store at 1037 Fort Street GG’s Furniture, previously called New To You Home Décor.

Second Crack Coffee Lab, a new coffee roaster, has opened its doors at 101-2612 Bridge St. in the Rock Bay Square. The company was started by an Detroit mechanical engineer, Aaron Tann. A pair of affordable rental housing buildings is being proposed for Dockside Green, which would add 49 rental units by late 2016.

Members of the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Coordinator Jim Bennett has retired from the Victoria Real Estate Board.

Michael Kroeker are the new manager of Bank of Montreal in Sidney. A $2-million plan to free up space in Craigdarroch Castle for exhibits has been proposed, and would see an adjacent building transformed into a visitor centre, gift shop, offices and a place for programs. A four-acre plot in Esquimalt, formerly nixed as a location for a sewage plant, has been put up for sale, with potential plans to see it become a centre of marine excellence. The new, six-storey, 60,000-squarefoot Andrew Sheret building is now open for business at its 740 Hillside Avenue location. Don Coulter, who has held the interim chief executive rule at Coast Capital Savings since Tracy Readies stepped down in July, has been named the credit union’s new president and CEO. For the second consecutive year, Canadian Cyclist magazine has named Russ Hay’s one of the best bike shops in Canada. Cumberland’s Dodge City Cycles also made the list, which recognizes the top 24 bike shops across the country. Vancouver Island Brewery took home six medals at the Tastings. com World Beer Championships. Hermann’s Dark Lager took home gold in the lager category, while the brewery’s Bohemian Pilsner, Thirty Years Red Ale, Islander Lager, Piper’s Pale Ale and Storm Watcher Winter Ale all took home silver medals. Tourism Victoria’s media relations team has won a Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International award for its Christmas promotion, the Find Christmas Here storybooks. The new owner of the former Vantreight Farm, which produces

Nils Jensen

Murray Farmer, chancellor at the University of Victoria, has been recognized for his longstanding service to the board as he retires from his position effective Dec. 31.

Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen has been elected as chairman of the Capital Regional District, winning the seat over Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins.

Eva Mitic is the new Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Andrew Sheret Limited & Splashes in Victoria.

Royal LePage Victoria announced its top producers for the month of November, which includes: Cheryl Bejcar, Todd Mahovlich, Sladja Stojkovic, Tom Croft, Tammi Dimock, Rosemarie Colterman, Ross Breckon, Sarah West, Dave Lynn, Rick Humphries, John McVie, Mark McDougall, Vicky Turner, Cheryl Laidlaw, Paul Holland, John Monkhouse, Justen Lalonde, Saira Waters, Doug Poruchny, Barry Kelly, Marlene Arden, Tasha Noble, Morley Bryant, Allan Poole.

The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce has announced its 2015 Board of Directors, which includes: Travis Butler as a Director, Sean Dyble as President, Michael Nyikes as Past-President, Terry Cristall as First Vice-President, Kerry Cavers as a Director, Frederique Philip as a Director, Karen Mason as a Director, Emily Drown as a Director, and Joan Walsh as a Director.

Growlies, a Langford pet food store selling raw food for dogs and cats, has moved to a new location at 2871 Jacklin Road. Dickson Dusanj & Wirk has congratulated Serena Selkirk for successfully completing the 2014 Uniform Final Exam for Chartered Accountants of British Columbia. Condo residents at Bosa Properties’ Promontory development at Bayview Place can now receive grocery deliveries while out at work with the opening of the “BosaFresh” room, which offers 150 square-feet of cold storage space. Trenholme & Company has announced that Katie Jackson has successfully completed the 2014 Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants Uniform Final Exam to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. After almost 10 years of service,

Pemberton Holmes has welcomed the addition of Kim Mogensen to its team of real estate professionals. The sales representatives in the top 10 per cent for November are: David Scotney, Yuan Chen, Jerry Bola, Andrew Plank, Dan Johnson, Tracy Menzies, Jens Henderson, Eli Mavrikos, Zamian Parsons, Ivica Kalabric, Shawn Adye, Patricia Kiteke, Laine Buckingham, Nicole Burgess, Jerome Peacock, Li Xian Song, Justin Cownden, Paul Dhillon, April Spackman, Helena Bowen, Clayton Morris, Walt Burgess, Greg Long, Mike Williams, Gunnar Stephenson, Doug Declercq and Lew Poulin. Linda Duivenvoorden has joined MPC Consulting Ltd. in Sidney as its new Office Administrator. Baden-Baden Boutique Ltd. in Sidney has tripled the space in Barbara’s Boutique in Beacon Avenue, and moved all merchandise from Barbara’s Showroom to the Boutique. The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the

addition of three new members to its organization: B&K Jewelry and Gifts at 106-6661 Sooke Road, 660 Hardwood Flooring at 6108 Kirby Road, and Le Sooke Spa at 6929 West Coast Road. Little Vienna Bakery’s pastry chef, Carol Christie from Sooke, has entered the Chopped Canada kitchen to compete for the $10,000 grand prize, which airs on Food Network January 10.

Kitchener, Ontario-based managing general agency (MGA), Financial Horizons Group, has acquired S&V Planning Corp., an MGA based in Victoria. Paying for on-street parking just got easier. Motorists can now pay for on-street parking using their iPhone, iPad, Android smart phone or tablet by downloading the free ParkVictoria app from the App Store or Google Play. See

Thom Klos

Senior Marketing Advisor

PUT YOUR COMPANY IN THE SPOTLIGHT In the life of every business, certain events always stand out: • A grand opening • A brand new building • Completing a major project • Landing a major contract • Celebrating a milestone anniversary Spotlights are your opportunity to spread the word about your firm to the entire Southern Vancouver Island region. Contact me today to have your business featured in our publication.

To market your firm in the Business Examiner contact Thom Klos at 250-661-2297 or

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JANUARY 2015 A division of Invest Northwest Publishing Ltd. Head Office 1027 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC V8V 3P6 Ph: 1.250.661.2297  Fax: 1.250.642.2870 Toll free: 1.866.758.2684 Website:

PUBLISHER |  Mark A. MacDonald, EDITOR |  Lise MacDonald, SALES |  Thom Klos –, Josh Higgins –, Joanne Iormetti – WRITERS |  Goody Niosi, Julia MacDonald, Christopher Stephens

POPULAR MYTHS PREVENT REFORM BY CLOUDING PUBLIC PERCEPTION IN CANADA So contrary to misleading claims, minimum wage laws actually prevent low-skilled workers from landing entrylevel jobs, JASON CLEMENS


opular myths surround ma ny critica l issues i n Canada and discourage refor m s t h at wou ld b enef it Canadians, finds a new book released today by the Fraser I n s t it ute, a n i n d e p e n d e nt, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank. “ B e c au se my t h s a nd m i sunderstandings prevent real w o r k a b l e r e f o r m s i n C a nada, it’s important to correct these myths with facts,” said Jason Clemens, Fraser Institute executive vice-president a nd co-aut hor of E co n o mi c P rinciples for P rosperity. Popu la r Ca nad ia n my ths include: Myth #1: Reforming

which represent the first rung on the economic ladder

Canadian health care means a U.S.-style system Cont ra r y to c onve nt ion a l w i sdom, Ca n ad a h a s one of t he most ex pensive u n iversa l hea lt h ca re systems i n the world. At the same time, Canada performs poorly compa red to ot her OECD cou ntries in key areas such as wait times, doctor availability and

access to medical technology. Yet many Canadians remain wa r y of he a lt h c a re refor m du e to fe a rs of a U. S.-s t yle s ys tem t h at t h re aten s u n iversality. T his fear, note the authors, is groundless. “ T he q u a l it y of Ca n a d i a n health care can be improved, and the costs reduced, while re t a i n i n g u n ive rs a l c o ve rage,” Clemens said. Need proof? Simply look at cou ntries such as the Netherla nds, G er m a ny, Sweden, A u s t ra l i a a n d S w i t z e rl a n d that, in addition to universal coverage, genera l ly ach ieve better results at less cost. My th #2: T he m i n i mu m wage helps u nderpa id, lowskilled workers W h e n e v e r t h e r e ’s a p u s h to ra ise the m i n i mu m wage, prop onent s say it’s i mp o ssi ble for a ny Ca n ad i a n, especially a working parent, to s u p p o r t a h o u s e h ol d w h i l e ma ki ng the m i n i mu m wage. T he i mage of a ty pica l m i nimum wage earner, as a middle-aged person with few job skills, crystalizes in the public conscience.

In reality, note the authors, 59 per cent of minimum wage e a r n e r s i n C a n a d a a r e b etween 15 and 24 years old, and n e a rly 90 p e r c e nt of t h e m live at home with family. Moreover, raising the mini m u m w a ge w i l l c a u s e e mployers to want fewer workers at a t i me when more workers, d raw n by the h igher m i n i mu m wage, enter t he job m a rket. T h at’s a re cip e fo r i n c r e a s e d u n e m p l o yment, particularly among the low-skilled. So cont ra r y to m i slead i ng claims, minimum wage laws actually prevent low-skilled workers from landing entrylevel jobs, wh ich repre sent the first rung on the economic ladder. My t h #3: Ca n ad a spends more on publ ic education than the United States We spend more on schools a nd ou r education system i s more cent ra l i zed. R ig ht? Wrong. Un l i ke t he Un ited S tate s, Ca n ad a h a s no fe de ra l d e p a r t m e n t o f e d u c at i o n—t h e p ro v i n c e s h a v e exclusive control (except i n

circumstances involving the m i l i t a r y a n d A b o r i g i n a l s). A nd in 2010, government (at a l l level s) i n t he U. S. sp ent 3.7 per cent of GDP on public education versus 3.4 per cent in Canada. In dollar terms, the United States in 2010 spent $11,826 p er st udent on K-1 2 educ ation (public and private) compa re d to $9,7 74 i n Ca n ad a . (Dol la r fig u res a re adjusted to accou nt for cu rrency differences.) So the conventional wisdom i s tota l ly w ron g. A mer ic a n taxpayers spend far more on publ ic education tha n Ca nad ians. At the same time, on most international tests, Ca nada performs at least as well as—and often much better—tha n the Un ited States. Once again, more government m o n e y d o e s n’t n e c e s s a r i ly mean better results. Jason Clemens is the Executive Vice President of the Fraser Institute and the President of the Fraser Institute Foundation.




hen Americans voted for ‘Change’ and the Presidency of Barack Obama, they got what they asked for. Not change in the positive sense, as Obama promised. That kind of change, of the way government conducts itself, is not really possible in democracies like the United States, and even Canada. There are many, many people involved in the running of a government, and layer upon layer of individuals from all political stripes. Most people don’t like change anyway, and the statement “we’ve always done it this way” is perhaps no more prevalent than within extensive, entrenched bureaucracies.

In other words, just because a new leader comes forth with promises of change, doesn’t mean that’s even possible, other than incrementally. There’s too much to change, too many people to change, too many mindsets to change, too many systems. One person, no matter how virtuous their intentions, can effect that much positive change. At any level, including civic politics. The change that Obama has brought, however, is instability and American insecurity, both home and abroad. The president’s indecisiveness, or unwillingness to address the real, tough issues that face the U.S. throughout the world, have contributed to worldwide unrest, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Second World War. Obama has almost singlehandedly destabilized the world. How? By refusing to flex American muscles where they’re needed most: In the faces of despots and terrorists throughout the world, who have been emboldened to further their agendas and march forward, knowing the Obama-led U.S. won’t step up and “just say no.” We ’ r e n o t t a l k i n g a b o u t

warmongering or brinkmanship. Simply restating the hard-earned facts that the U.S. has been the world’s primary military power since WWII, and has the technology and manpower to step in when needed. Or even when it’s not. And will do so. Obama has long been referenced as the weakest president since Jimmy Carter. It has become tiresome, even reckless, to hear Obama state that this situation “makes him angry”, or he’s “really upset” about that development. Even to see his dear wife holding placards asking for villains and terrorists to be nice and release hostages may look caring to some, but on a much bigger level, it’s really pathetic. Here you have the one couple in the world that could actually do something about these problems with all the forces and resources at their fingertips. Potentially the most powerful household in the globe, and they’re content to simply express their displeasure. What, really, did Americans expect when they elected Obama? There was no track record to speak of, other than successful

organizing. No business background, no indication from experience that he was ready for the world’s top job. Obama was an opportunist that came from virtually nowhere to interrupt Hillary Clinton’s push for the White House and rode the unpopularity of George Bush to a decisive victory. Without question, Americans were enamored with the prospect of a leader who romanced them with the idea of a cross between Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy. That the U.S. would elect its first black president was a tremendous triumph and really, part of King’s legacy. What this president has done in office, however, has failed to approach even the most realistic expectations. Canada’s relationship with the U.S. is too strong to let the ideological and political differences between our leaders inflict serious, long-term damage. Presidents and Prime Ministers change. Obama’s stubborn insistence to block the Keystone pipeline, despite its obvious advantages to both countries, will become a footnote in history. As Stephen Harper said: It’s not a

matter of if, but when. This pipeline needs to be built, and it will. The recent mid-term elections almost made it happen, subject to the possibility of a presidential veto, which, if exercised, would be a very risky political move. Obama has two years remaining in his mandate, and other than vetos and the threat of unilateral action, is basically hamstrung. It has been said that we get the government we deserve. The U.S., with the mainstream media and late night court jesters laughing and cajoling voters all the way to the polls, has their man. An unproven politician with no successful, firsthand experience, other than unproven theories. The results speak for themselves. Yet with all that, the alternative, the Republicans, slowly trudge in circles, with perhaps their brightest hope yet: Another Bush. Surely the U.S. has more to offer than more Clintons and Bushes. Again, Americans are looking for change. Hopefully, this time it will be true, progressive, constructive change that will bring the global theatre back to “normal”.

SUBCRIPTIONS  |  $45 PER YEAR (12 ISSUES), $80 FOR 2 YEARS (24 ISSUES), SUBSCRIBE ONLINE: WWW.BUSINESSEXAMINER.NET. DISTRIBUTION: FOURTH WEEK OF EACH MONTH VIA CANADA POST AD MAIL. The publisher accepts no responsibility for unsolicited submissions. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. Produced and published in British Columbia. All contents copyright Business Examiner Victoria, 2014. Canadian Publications Mail Acct.: 40069240





Three important questions

Many of the contracts used by programmers, graphics firms and web design firms, make


ou have an idea that has p o te n t i a l a n d d e c i d e to become a n i nternet ent repreneu r. You secu re a domain name. You hire a programmer to write the code to make your website function, a graphics firm to create a logo and a web design firm to set up the content and “look and feel” of the website. You raise some money from investors, create a start-up corporation and approach a large corporation about “partnering”. Initial discussions are positive, and you are told that a legal firm for the large corporation will be contacting your lawyer to make some due diligence inquiries. The first group of questions the lawyer is going to ask relate to the domain name. Is it owned by the start-up corporation or is it still sitting in your personal name? It should be owned by the start-up corporat ion. D id you h ave a ny searches performed in Canada and the United States in order

them the owners of the copyright

Michael Cooper and Doug Thompson of ThompsonCooper LLP to determine whether your use of the domain name could potentially infringe someone else’s rights? The large corporation does not want any problems. Have you taken steps to file a Trademark in Canada and the United States to protect the domain name? The large corporation wants protection against copycat websites. T he second g roup of quest ions t he law yer is goi ng to a sk rel ate to t he content of the website. Do you have a n a g re em ent t ra n s fer r i n g a l l

r ig hts i n t he sof twa re code from the program mer to the start-up corporation? Do you have an agreement transferring all rights in the logo from the graphics firm to the startup corporation? Do you have an agreement transferring all rights in the website content from the web design firm to the start-up corporation? Many of the contracts used b y p ro g ra m m e r s , g ra p h i c s firms and web design firms, make them the owners of the copyright. Moral rights prevent

alteration of copyright materials without express permission from the creator. Have “waivers” of these moral rights been obtained, so changes can be made in future? Is there patent protection, or has this at least been ex plored before publ ic disclosure deadlines preclude patent protection? T h e t h i rd g ro u p o f q u e st ion s t he l aw yer i s goi ng to ask relate to employees, subcontractors, and shareholders. Did t he subcont ractors sig n non-d i sclosu re a g reem e n t s w i t h n o n- c o m p e t e prov isions? Do the employe e s h ave e mploy m e nt c ont racts w it h non-d i sclos u re and non-compete provisions? Is there a shareholder agreement i n place, w ith term i nation provisions in the event of a d ispute w ith non-compete provisions? It all comes down to whether the Intellectu a l P roper ty a nd Cont ractual provisions that the large corporation expects to see are in place. I f so, a re t h e I ntel le c t u a l Property and Contractual provisions with the correct legal entity, i.e. the start-up corporation? Look at your own business. Are you ready for the call?

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