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Made on the Peninsula: The Economic Powerhouse at the Heart of Our Community by Deborah Rogers

While manufacturing across

with a diverse range of capabilities for servicing the Aerospace, Medical, and Industrial Equipment sectors. Founded in 1996 by DJ, his brother Canada has seen a decline in the past Dennis and their father Mike Paulson, they stress a strong emphasis on decade, the Saanich Peninsula tells supplying the absolute highest standards of quality and workmanship a story of successful investment, development and training that has created a strong commercial sector right within our community. Quietly to their customers. "Over the years we have successfully maintained this reputation and have many customers throughout the world." providing millions of dollars in payroll to the workers of our local Now fully certified, this economy each year, the industrial area around Victoria airport and machine shop is supplying Keating Cross Road is alive, well and growing all the time. Half of southern high-spec aerospace It may surprise you to learn that on southern Vancouver Vancouver Island's components. "We manufacture Island there are 120 manufacturing businesses, and over half 120 manufacturing a multitude of Flight of those are located within the three municipalities that make businesses are Critical components for up the Saanich Peninsula. Between them they have a combined the Viking Air Twin Otter revenue of over $1 billion annually. How is it that so much located on the program, and service many industry exists within our community, and why aren't these local Saanich Peninsula. other industries including businesses all household names? oceanographic relocation devices, GPS location housings and There's a reason why the million-dollar industries of Quester Electronic Co-ax Connectors, as well as a variety of medical device Tangent, Schneider Electric or Redland Technologies aren't always development companies." top-of-mind when thinking about locally-made products as these Being based on Vancouver Island hasn't stopped them from businesses are primarily exporters. We're not using the products made building a worldwide customer base. "There are many great companies by Scott Plastic, Viking Air or SeaStar Chemicals in our day-to-day here on the Peninsula that produce economic benefit for our local lives. If you're a mountain biker though you may have (or aspire to economy. Many of these companies need contract manufacturing have) some of the high-end aftermarket bike components made right services and we are right here at their doorstep. Since we are local to here in Sidney by Straitline Components. A house brand of Straitline these companies it gives us the advantage of being able to work more Precision Industries, DJ Paulson describes the success of these "fully closely and often even in person, with our customers," says DJ. But he in-house manufactured mountainbike components sold worldwide concedes that the perception of higher shipping costs from Vancouver through broad reaching distribution channels." These include pedals, Island can be a disadvantage. stems, sprockets and chainguide devices with "many top athletes Just up the road from Straitline's established machine shop is a worldwide utilizing these products to push the limits of the sport." Currently employing 10 people at their Sidney facility, Straitline Precision Industries is a high precision CNC manufacturing facility continued on page 12 SEASIDE | NOVEMBER 2015 | WWW.SEASIDEMAGAZINE.CA 11