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VOLUME 26, NUMBER 3, 0834-2011

MARCH, 2011


Outsource for experience & results


•Booming real estate •Construction woes •Outlook highlights

MORE OPTIONS TO GET THE JOB DONE. Our labour and employment clients appreciate the fact that we see ourselves as an extension of their management. We know their industries, business issues and unique needs. They know our successful track record – in both unionized and non-unionized environments. With more than 20 labour and employment lawyers practising throughout Atlantic Canada, we offer timely, strategic and cost-effective solutions to our clients. By providing junior and senior-level support, our clients receive exactly what they need, when they need it.

Atlantic Canada’s Law Firm New Brunswick Newfoundland & Labrador Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island

Contents IN THIS ISSUE Business News is a monthly publication of the St. John’s Board of Trade. Reproduction of any material contained in Business News is permitted provided written approval from the St. John’s Board of Trade. Articles and criticisms are invited, but opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily represent those of the St. John’s Board of Trade. We encourage you to support the business leaders whose names and products you see advertised in this issue as well as throughout our entire membership. The Board reserves the right to edit submissions. Editor: Printed by: Layout:






Alisha Morrissey British Group of Companies Roxanne Abbott

ST. JOHN’S BOARD OF TRADE EXECUTIVE Jo Mark Zurel Steve Power Denis Mahoney Sharon Horan Derek Sullivan Sherry Walsh





Chair Senior Vice-Chair First Vice-Chair Second Vice-Chair Immediate Past Chair Secretary-Treasurer

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Kim Keating Dallas Mercer Jeff LeDrew Bill Mahoney Brenda O’Reilly Karen McCarthy Dorothy Keating Des Whelan

STAFF Paul Thomey Jennifer Ryan Shari Palmer Margie Davis Alisha Morrissey Craig Ennis Wanda Palmer Sherry Ryan

Chief Executive Officer Controller Business Affairs Manager Sales Manager Policy Research Analyst Vice President of Policy and Communications Events Marketer & Administrative Coordinator Member Relations Administrator

St. John’s Board of Trade 34 Harvey Road P.O. Box 5127 St. John’s, NL A1C 5V5 Canada Tel: (709) 726-2961 Fax: (709) 726-2003 E-mail: Website:

Business News

March 2011


Cover Story outsourcing workers’ comp & ohs Private firm managing workers’ compensation and safety issues


ewfoundland and Labrador’s economy is booming. Nonresidential construction is at an all-time high, housing-starts are up and unemployment rates are down. Whether a construction company’s focus is on residential developments or megaprojects, the challenges are often the same. Employers are looking for skilled labour, facing an aging workforce, and trying to meet their regulatory obligations, all while staying competitive. “One of the most significant costs to provincial employers is workers’ compensation,” says Dallas Mercer, President of DMC, a disability and safety management firm in St. John’s. Workers’ compensation costs are two-fold: assessment rates and injury claim costs. Despite recent reductions for the construction industry, Mercer contends assessment rates in this province remain the highest in Atlantic Canada. The rate for heavy civil construction is $3.59 per $100 of payroll, while the rate for general contracting is $4.73 and the structural rate is even higher at $9.44. Interestingly, WHSCC has stopped reporting composite duration, which is considered by Mercer to provide a more accurate picture of claims duration. Instead, they’re only reporting short-term duration with calculations based on the calendar year. For example, a worker that is injured on Dec. 20 is reported as being off work for 11 days, even though he may 2

not return to work until June the next year. Composite duration data, however, is based on the first five calendar years of a lost-time claim and can still be found on the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada website. It reports the 2009 national average claims duration is 69.81 days. Newfoundland and Labrador is 119.32 - almost twice the national average. “The impact of claims duration to employers is quite simply, their bottom line,” Mercer says. She says DMC manages workers compensation and sick leave for our clients and we have seen many companies struggle to manage their own claims, while others leave it for the WHSCC to handle. “We had been trying to work through the workers' compensation system for years, but never had the knowledge, time, or patience…,” says Carl Mallam, President of Olympic Construction. “With the advent of DMC, our rates have been reduced, we have qualified for our PRIME refund and we feel our claims management is in very capable hands.” New Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Regulations were released in 2009. Since then, mega-projects like the Long Harbour Processing Plant and Hebron have set a new standard for OH&S site practices, while smaller construction companies – not traditionally subjected to strict regulatory enforcement – have seen March 2011

an increase in the frequency of site visits and inspections. Many small employers are unaware of how to effectively implement OH&S policies and practices. Many also can’t afford in-house OH&S expertise and are looking for alternative ways to satisfy their regulatory obligations. “DMC has achieved great success for clients who have hired us to provide OH&S services on a part-time basis. DMC’s expertise includes developing OH&S programs, conducting on-site inspections and audits, managing PRIME programs and delivering OH&S training,” Mercer says. Outsourcing health and safety allows companies to focus on their core business. DMC recognizes the challenges many companies face in keeping up with regulatory demands and subsequently have become a one-stop shop for disability and safety management. DMC now offers competency-based safety training; respirator fit testing, ergonomic assessments, pre-hire physical ability testing, industrial hygiene services and recently obtained approved training provider status from WHSCC to teach Traffic Control. The economic boom will continue across our great province with more mega-projects like the Lower Churchill on the horizon and the trickle effect will undoubtedly impact the construction industry. In order to remain competitive and participate in the industry, employers need to be proactive in implementing disability, health and safety management. Invest in tomorrow. Practice safety today. Dallas Mercer is President of DMC, a disability and safety management firm based in St. John’s, NL. DMC is often instrumental in obtaining substantial cost savings and refunds for her clients. For more information visit

Business News

Chair’s Message who cares?

Chair, Jo Mark Zurel

“You can volunteer with the Red Cross or another community group or charitable organization near you. You can help children or the elderly. It doesn’t matter where you choose to volunteer; it is the choosing to volunteer that really matters.” - Kristina Roache of Torbay, Canadian Red Cross Young Humanitarian 2011


eople ask me all the time why I volunteer. I never really know what to say. It’s the right thing to do. It helps the community I live in. Generally, though, I do it because it’s rewarding. The truth is I’ve found my volunteer experiences - in many cases - to be more fulfilling than my business ones. For some people giving back isn’t a priority. It sounds silly, but there are plenty of people who say they don’t have time. To that I say baloney. Last year’s report “Volunteerism and Community Engagement in Newfoundland and Labrador: A Short History” by the Community Sector Council of Newfoundland and Labrador talks about the historical impact of volunteers in this province, though it also points out that increasingly, it’s difficult to recruit volun-

Business News

teers, and that the sector has always been overburdened and under-funded. Just about half of the province volunteers according to the study (46 per cent of men over the age of 15 and 50 per cent of women), but there’s still not enough volunteers to do all the work needed. The report also talked about a lack of recognition and support for volunteers, leading to burnout and volunteers - many of who have specialized knowledge about a particular organization - choosing to stop volunteering in that sector or all together. That would be a death knell to the board of Trade, for instance. We have volunteers as directors, committee members, Ambassadors, and others who join in regularly to help us with events such as our golf tournament and trade show. The amount of knowledge that our volunteers bring to the Board of Trade is astounding. We have a Board member who knows more about the food service industry than I could ever learn, a committee member whose knowledge of the intricate details of international freight forwarding would stump the brightest Jeopardy contestant and an ambassador who has sold seal pelts and helped commercialize technology. And every other director, committee member, ambassador and volunteer has their own story and their own expertise that we all benefit from. They need to know how much they’re appreciated, and I hope we accomplish that day in and day out. The province decided to create a campaign to thank and recognize the 197,000 volunteers in the province, who give 35 million hours of their time, talent and energy every year to their communities or non-profit organizations. If we had to pay people to do that work, at minimum wage, that would be a $350million bill. Sounds big, doesn’t it? Here’s a way to make it sound bigger. It’s like every Newfoundlander and Labradorian cutting a cheque for $700 to pay for volunteers. Feel like paying an extra $700 on your taxes so that hockey rinks can open with volunteer first aid attendants? Or film festivals or art showings can happen? Or kids can have fun while they get better? That is an incredible contribution, and at a March 2011

deeply discounted price. The province’s campaign included a website and advertising that basically asked “Who cares?” I find myself wondering that. Why are there still people out there who aren’t helping in some way? Why would anyone choose to avoid the good feeling (and result) that comes from helping others or building a better community. All three of my children volunteer, my wife is engaged in a number of charitable or volunteer organizations. It’s simply a part of our lifestyle. I’ve been a volunteer most of my life and I believe most people who don’t volunteer somewhere, in some capacity, are lazy. It’s a harsh statement, I know. But it’s such a basic thing to do. So I ask you to start small this month, help your neighbours shovel out, babysit friends’ children, join a charity or visit a community centre and ask if they need help. Every little bit helps. And anyone who volunteers will tell you that they get more out of it than they give. Jo Mark Zurel is a Chartered Accountant and President of Stonebridge Capital Inc., an investment company. Until recently, Mr. Zurel was Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of CHC Helicopter Corporation, helping to build it into the world’s largest helicopter operating company. He’s also a director of Major Drilling International Inc. and Newfoundland Power Inc., director on the board of Fronteer Gold., as well as a board member of several private companies. Mr. Zurel holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dalhousie University. Mr. Zurel’s not-for-profit activities include chair of Junior Achievement of Newfoundland and Labrador and governor for the Newfoundland and Labrador Business Hall of Fame. He is also governor of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, chair of a Canadian Red Cross fundraising campaign and board member with the Newfoundland and Labrador Angel Network (NLAN).


Feature condo stock growing St. John’s infected with condo bug

Projects to look out for include: • A rebirth of Elizabeth Towers,


he pioneering days of condominium development in the city were constrained by difficult economies, low demand and skepticism. The cost of developing projects versus historicallylow price points made new construction risky and dependent on a friendly banker and a large equity stake. Wood-frame construction was mostly the only feasible way to build. Another issue in the early days was finding sites suitable for multiunit development. As a result of those difficulties, the St. John’s market witnessed a phenomenon not experienced in any other major Canadian city; the conversion of a large percentage of old apartment stock to low-price condos. The figures in the table below show statistics for medium-rise condominiums brought to market between 1990 and 2009. Over half of the condominiums brought

Condominium supply New build Converted from apartment Redeveloped from other Totals Average / year

# units 467 545 107 1,119 55.95

Downtown developments currently proposed include: • A joint venture of The Hardman Neil Hardy

1990 - 2009 (20 years) % of total # projects 41.7% 16 48.7% 14 9.6% 6 100.0% 36 1.8

Source: Altus Group (2011)

to market during this 20-year period were apartment conversions. There appeared to be an insatiable demand for entry-level home ownership and own-to-rent property. Conversion filled the need. A side effect of taking units out of the rental market was to decrease apartment vacancy. This change to the apartment economics encourage national Real Estate Income Trust (REIT) to enter our market. With REIT strategy to refurbish buildings on acquisition, nearly all the old and ailing apartment stock of the early 1990’s has now been substantially upgraded. The health of the local economy in the last five years has spawned a new breed of developers and projects. The increase in new house prices has made development 4

recently converted to condominium status. KMK Capital will have units coming to market this year after a major capital upgrade. KMK has also planned a community village concept for more than 260 units in three buildings close to the existing Tiffany Village off Tiffany Lane. Canada Lands has at least two high-density, condo-village concepts in their Pleasantville Master Plan.

of condominium projects more feasible. Greater average disposable income has created much more demand for condo own-to-rent investment as well as owneroccupation. Condominium prices are compared on a price per square foot (psf) basis. Our Altus Group survey shows resale prices in midpriced projects varying between $150 and $225 psf. New projects are selling units in the range of $225 to $250 and in the case of downtown projects with key waterfront location, upwards of $500 psf. More developers are now entering the market with new build projects, some hinting at village community concepts not seen in the city to date.

March 2011

Group/WLC Holdings is proposing a parking garage and 140 condo unit development in three buildings on Henry and Bell streets. • Nolan Hall has an ambitious project on Temperance Street known as Harbourside Condominiums and Spa which is in pre-sale phase. The last three years shows absorption of more than72 units per year, higher than St. John’s has seen before. The re-sale market is also healthy. There is no reason to believe that demand will slacken over the next few years.

Neil Hardy is EVP – Atlantic of Altus Group, an international real estate consulting firm ( The St. John’s office provides market research, analysis, feasibility consulting and appraisals.

Business News

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Feature real estate law guidelines Buying a new home is often lawyer can provide them with the right contract to use to protect themselves and one of the largest transacmeet all legal requirements. tions an individual or couple Title to property A real estate lawyer will review the enters into in their lifetime.


ut how often does a purchaser take full advantage of the resources available to them as opposed to merely going through the motions? A real estate lawyer is a key part of any real estate transaction and can offer invaluable advice to a home buyer about to embark on the

title to the land to confirm that there is a proper chain of ownership and that all encumbrances, mortgages and charges against a property are released. This is one of the real estate lawyer’s key responsibilities and can often be highly informative for the home buyer. They can learn about the history of the land and

that may arise and help to avoid surprises on closing. These include things like adjustments for a tank of oil or propane, property taxes and even for potential costs post-closing, like having the locks re-keyed or replaced to provide security and peace of mind.

Communication There are many times that a home buyer will say they didn’t speak to or meet with their lawyer during their entire transaction. In those cases the purchasers are missing out on a voice of knowledge and experience to assist with issues that invariably arise during the purchase of real estate. From the initial meeting or telephone conversation, to communication throughout the transaction, and to meeting with their lawyer on the closing date, purchasers should ensure that they are getting the most out of their relationship with their real estate lawyer. After all, you are paying for the service and deserve nothing less. Barry Lake is a partner at the law firm McInnes Cooper who has spent the last 10 years working on commercial and residential real estate transactions.

Barry Lake, McInnes Cooper adventure of home ownership. How does a real estate lawyer add value to the transaction? Here are the four legal services that every home buyer should take advantage of.

the previous owners of the property. With some properties in St. John’s dating back to the late 1800’s, the title search results for a property can often reveal a little slice of the city’s history too.

Agreement of purchase and sale


When working with a realtor, many home buyers do not realize that they are able to have their lawyer work with their realtor to review the agreement and to provide comments and suggestions which help to protect you before entering into a legally binding contract. When you have a team working for you it only makes sense that they work together. In cases where the buyer is entering a private transaction, their

Often a home buyer won’t be sure how to budget sufficient funds for closing, but their real estate lawyer, having handled hundreds of transactions, will be able to help with that. In new home construction, the real estate lawyer can work with the realtor to confirm if the allowances for items like kitchen cabinets or flooring are realistic. For existing residential homes, the real estate lawyer can identify all the extras


March 2011

Business News

Feature back to the future Oil, gas and where we came from


ewfoundland and Labrador is where it’s at. From where I stand, we have done quite well. But in the mid-1990s when I was first on the scene, Newfoundland and Labrador was a very different place than it is today. Looking back 15 years there was no texting and a cell phone resembled a block of butter. There were no flat panel LCD TVs and ‘Danny’ wasn’t yet a household name. A decade and a half ago this province`s oil and gas industry was in its infancy. Terra Nova was a provincial park, white rose was a flower and the Hibernia platform only existed on paper. Outmigration was a reality and who could blame those who were leaving, there was no opportunity here. There was all kinds of promise and hype about oil and what it could mean, but there was nothing tangible. We really didn’t know what to expect. Then it started, slowly. One day it was announced a Gravity Based Structure would be built at Bull Arm. With that, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador were determined to make a go of this new industry. Whether you were selling diesel fuel, peddling steel, renting apartments in Clarenville, cooking hot meals at Goobies or making the trek from St. John’s to Bull Arm for another sales call; the commonality was that you were now servicing The Oil and Gas Industry. You were in the game. Soon it was as if someone turned on a tap. People were making good wages – wages comparable to mainland jobs. All of a sudden, people started coming here to work. Today, Newfoundland and Labrador is booming. Looking at my family today reminds me how proud I am to have been a part of this “industrial renovation.” As a province, we have managed our success, all the while retaining our culture, personality and individuality. If I had it to do all over again, I would

Business News

Craig Ralph, Baker Hughes do it exactly the same. Well, if I could go back maybe I would have bought some real estate in Long Harbour. No one could have imagined thousands of people could be directly or indirectly employed in the oil industry, global experts relocating here to work, $300,000 homes and downtown buildings bursting at the seams, billions of dollars in oil and gas royalties pouring in and Kenmount Road extending beyond VOCM to accommodate more car dealerships. Certainly, no one would have imagined being a “have province.”

But we’ve become more than just a blip on the map, now we are a destination. As a people, we sacrificed, readjusted, made the transition and prevailed. Newfoundland and Labrador is a great place to be in 2011 and beyond. The future looks bright and I have my shades.

Craig Ralph is East Coast Canada Marketing and Business Development Manager with Baker Hughes in Mt. Pearl, NL.

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March 2011


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Keeping Current get connected

Coffee and contacts


The early bird gets the worm. Come have a cup of coffee and an enthusiastic chat about what your business does best. Meet other early risers and make valuable contacts before going to the office to start your day off right.

This is what we’re known for. Our ever popular luncheon series has had some engaging and entertaining speakers in recent months. We seek out delicious lunches and the most interesting speakers from politicians to local TV personalities. This year we hope to up the bar, we want to know who you want to hear speak.

Lunch and learn sessions

Business mixers

Is there something you’d like to learn that could help you improve your business, but you never seem to have the time? We want to help. The St. John’s Board of Trade is interested in your professional development and our convenient lunch and learn events are designed to help you get the skills you need during a convenient lunch break.

A nice way to end the day. A cocktail and conversation with others who speak your language. Our business mixers are a great way to wind down the day, and since they’re held at diverse locations they can either show off your business or give you a sneak peek at someone else’s.

The St. John’s Board of Trade is always trying to increase the value of your membership and we’d like to hear from you about how to do just that. Have you heard a great speaker recently? Would you like your business to play host to a mixer or can you offer a special skills workshop to our lunch and learn crowd? Get in contact. As well as our regularly scheduled events, we like to offer special events too. If you have ideas to top last year’s Wine, Dine and Align, Meet your Match, or Amazing Membership Race, tell us and we’ll do our best to accommodate. For special events planning or available hosting options please contact Shari Palmer at 726-2961 ext. 6.

Business News

March 2011


Keeping Current membership survey highlights

EconomicConditionsSt. John’s

Companyfinancial position

When asked When asked how how members members would would rate rate their their own own company’s financial position, compared to where it was one year ago, most respondents are either bullish or at least consistent. Nearly half say that their financial position is better, while more than 50 per cent say it is about the same. In this most recent survey, it’s the first time that we have not have not seen seen anyone anyone respond respond that that the the position position is is worse. worse.

Members are Members are asked asked to to describe describe the the current current economic economic conditions in conditions in the the City City of of St. St. John’s. John’s. The The downturn downturn in in confidence in the January 2010 survey may have represented the final days of recovery from global economic problems. Since then, it is apparent that confidence has increased, with approximately 95 per cent of respondents saying that conditions are excellent or good at the present time.

Performance ExpectationsͲ Overall

ForwardͲlooking Employment

The responses The responses to to the the question question ‘looking ‘looking forward forward one one year, year, do you do you anticipate anticipate that that the the number number of of persons persons your your company company will employ will employ will will increase, increase, decrease decrease or or stay stay the the same’ same’ suggest that suggest that employment employment will will either either grow grow or or stay stay stable stable in the in the city. city. As As trends trends have have indicated indicated in in the the past past couple couple of of years, aa very years, very small small portion portion of of members members who who responded responded to to the survey the survey indicate indicate that that they they may may decrease decrease employment employment numbers over numbers over the the course course of of the the year. year. The The vast vast majority majority (97 to (97 to 98 98 per per cent) cent) will will either either maintain maintain levels levels or or grow. grow.

The question The question is is ‘as ‘as compared compared to to 2010, 2010, how how do do you you expect expect your company your company to to perform perform in in 2011’. 2011’. There There may may be be aa bit bit of aa new of new year year phenomena phenomena happening happening here, here, as as generally generally January results January results are are higher. higher. That That is, is, businesses businesses may may be be more bullish more bullish in in the the new new year year but but see see monthly monthly or or quarterly quarterly results by results by the the July July survey survey which which would would indicate indicate that that results results aren’t as aren’t as strong strong as as expected. expected. Overall Overall though, though, performance performance expectations remain expectations remain high high no no matter matter what what time time of of year. year.


March 2011

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Feature no vacancy Office space scarce in St. John’s


etting up shop or expanding your business in St. John’s may mean a major renovation before moving in or settling for a less-than-ideal location or an awkward space. Class A office space is virtually non-existent in the city and landlords of all class types are benefiting from the spillover into other classes. Bill Balsom, a partner with commercial real estate firm Kirkland Balsom and Associates, says the reality of today’s market is that a lot of companies looking for office space are considering the cost of construction versus the cost of a renovation. “Class A market has been at virtual full occupancy for a number of years,” he says, explaining that there is a certain amount of hype needed to maintain value for property. “Every now and then you pick up some real estate magazine ... and the realtors and developers out there are interviewed,” he says, admitting that the need isn’t really all that inflated right now. “You can’t heat this market up much more. “When you’re at full occupancy, it’s only

DH_largest_DownhomeCPM1 2/15/11 10:17 AM Page 1

a matter of time before someone ventures out (and builds something).” The proposed office and parking development by Nova Scotia’s Eastport Properties at the former Woolworth’s site on Water Street is a much needed project, he says, expected to create some Class A space. Most local developers don’t have the capital to build multi-million dollar projects – barring companies like Fortis – meaning the majority of these projects are going to be built by companies from other provinces. Balsom says investors have to feel they’re going to get premium rents worth building an office tower for. According to the most recent Turner Drake report – which looks at commercial vacancy rates – of 60 surveyed buildings with office space of more than 5,000 square feet, some companies might be willing to pay those higher rates. The report says St. John’s has the lowest overall vacancy rate in Atlantic Canada at 3.8 per cent. But it’s the vacancy rates within the three types of office space, and the rates being paid for them, that tell the tale of vacancy. The report describes the three classes continued on page 14...

and we still fit in your back pocket. This means an advertisement in Downhome will reach over 108,000* of your potential customers in Newfoundland and Labrador. And with one of the lowest CPM (cost per thousand) in the industry it’s simply the best advertising value for your dollar. *Based on 40,174 paid circulation, 4.9 readers per copy. CCAB Audit September 2009


March 2011

Business News

Photos courtesy Martek Morgan Finch

No vacancy

Feature no vacancy DH_atlantic_DownhomeCPM1 2/14/11 5:07 PM Page 1

continued from page 12...

This means an advertisiment in Downhome will reach over 108,000* of your potential customers in Newfoundland and Labrador. And with one of the lowest CPM (cost per thousand) in the industry it’s simply the best advertising value for your dollar. *Based on 40,174 paid circulation, 4.9 readers per copy. CCAB Audit September 2009


of office space as Class A; “buildings command(ing) the highest rents in their community and have distinctive design and lobbies;” Class B buildings, which “offer ‘no frills’ modern, air-conditioned space; and Class C buildings which “make up the remainder of the office rental market.” The vacancy rate for Class A space, according to Turner Drake, is zero per cent in St. John’s, with a rental rate of $19.58 per square foot. For Class B space vacancy rates are around five per cent, with a rental rate of $14.50 per square foot. Class C space has a vacancy rate of just more than eight per cent, with a rate of $13.94. Charlie Oliver, CEO of Martek Morgan Finch, which leases and maintains office space, says his company is charging some of its highest rates ever. Right now, Martek Morgan Finch can charge $20 a square foot in Atlantic Place, an unheard of price even a decade ago, when the average price in that building was about $10. And Atlantic Place is absolutely full to capacity. When it comes to building downtown, Oliver points out that there are certain regulatory challenges including parking, height restrictions etc. that don’t have an impact on developments in other areas of March 2011

the city. He says he’s finding office space for his clients – some of which have been looking for an appropriate space for over a year – but it’s outside of the downtown. Although, as long as there are amenities, like coffee shops, restaurants and available parking in the vicinity for their employees, Oliver says some of his clients actually prefer suburban office space. Spaces like the G. J. Cahill development at the former Littledale Campus are becoming more of a reality, he says, even if oil companies, law firms and banks would prefer to be in the downtown core. Oliver is backed up by Trevor Blackler, a project manager in the engineering firm formerly known as QuadraTec, now Stantec, who has worked on some of the largest renovation projects in the city in recent years. He says QuadraTec has been “flat out” doing a fair number of gut jobs in recent years, where spaces have had to be completely renovated to meet the needs of the user. Some of the biggest trends he’s noticed have been suburban office space. In the healthcare field, satellite offices have become popular, and he’s seeing more offices over several floors. “I haven’t seen cubes getting smaller yet.” Alisha Morrissey

Business News

Keeping Current outlook 2011

Chair Jo Mark Zurel cut the ribbon to officially open the annual trade show.

The winner of the tradeshow’s big prize – a trip for two by Porter Airlines is Tony McDonald of Eden Construction.

Our leadership panel with (L-R) Earl Ludlow, Newfoundland Power president and CEO, Vicki Kaminski, Eastern Health president and CEO, and Emad Rizkalla, Bluedrop president and CEO, was a great success.

25 Kenmount Road St. John’s, NL A1B 1W1 Tel: 709.576.6667 Fax: 709.576.6688

Wayne T. Davis REALTOR®

Business News


(709) 690-0014

March 2011

Linda Duxbury was one of the most engaging and informative speakers. The room was packed and the crowd was riveted for her hour and a half explanation of demographics and what they mean.


Keeping Current outlook 2011 DH_jellybeans_DownhomeCPM1 2/14/11 5:01 PM Page

Finance Minister Tom Marshall attended and spoke at the conference

And if readers were jellybeans, a jar of 1000 jellybeans would cost you a lot less at Downhome than anywhere else. With over 108,000 readers*, Downhome has one of the lowest CPM (cost per thousand) of any magazine or newspaper in Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s simply the best advertising value for your dollar. *Based on 40,174 paid circulation, 4.9 readers per copy. CCAB Audit September 2009

Arbonne International All photos by Sherry Ryan and Alisha Morrissey


March 2011

Business News

Keeping Current outlook 2011

Stress balls – or stress puffins in the case of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Immigration booth – were a popular take away from the tradeshow. Don Mills, Corporate Research Association

Alan Brown, Suncor

Cal LeGrow

Frontline Paintball

Business News

March 2011


Keeping Current around the board

Telelink thanked participants for “popping in” with tasty flavoured popcorn.

This year’s Chair’s reception was hosted by the Sheraton Hotel. The food, drinks and service were superb.

Jo Mark Zurel was sworn in as our 2011 Chair by Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff.

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March 2011

Business News

Keeping Current around the board

Shawn Samson of Triware Technologies and Jerry Kirkland of Kirkland Balsom and Associates wrapped up their terms with the Ambassadors team and Board and said goodbye at the reception.

UPCOMING EVENTS Networking on Ice Bring a friend, bring your skates and meet your neighbors and fellow business people in your community. Plenty of fun to had even if you don’t skate. Sponsored by BMO Bank of Montreal Where: Mile One Centre When: Time: Cost:

Fri., Mar. 4, 2001 2-5 p.m. Included as a benefit of membership

Luncheon New Millennium Capital Corporation controls the emerging Millennium Iron Range, which holds the world’s largest undeveloped iron ore deposits in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec. Come learn more about this exciting project from their president and CEO Robert Martin. Where: Ramada St. John’s When: Wed., Mar. 16 Time: 12:30 p.m. Networking 1 p.m. Luncheon Cost: $79 non-members $39.50 member discount

Business Mixer Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with us! Network with local business owners and professionals. Hosted by Murray Premises Hotel Where: Murray Premises Hotel When: Thurs., Mar. 17, 2011 Time: 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Cost:

Included as a benefit of membership

Coffee and Contacts The early bird catches the worm. Come join us for this new and fun morning mixer while networking with other business professionals. Hosted by Jumping Bean Coffee Company Where: Jumping Bean Coffee Company When: Wed., Mar. 23 Time: 8 -10 a.m. Cost: Included as a benefit of membership

Chair Jo Mark Zurel and Senior vice-chair Steve Power. Business News

March 2011


Membership member news Whalen says the college has spent 18 months working with government in Sri Lanka to develop a series of training programs for meeting international training standards with local certification. The launch was the culmination of that effort. The first programs to launch will be in the areas of hospitality and tourism and will be co-ordinated by staff from the Grand Falls-

Windsor and Marystown campuses and taught by certified professionals. “Sri Lanka is a beautiful island with a strong base in the tourism industry and our program will allow our graduates to seek employment locally and abroad,” said Whelan in a news release announcing the launch.

Jocelyn Greene

Success Story Jocelyn Greene has been named Social Entrepreneur of the Year by Progress Magazine. Judges for the award said she’s grown her business with “critical thinking, passion and creativity.” The executive director of Stella Burry Community Services, Greene said in her interview that her most significant triumph has been turning Stella Burry Community Services into one of the leading rental developers in St. John’s. According to the Progress article, Stella Burry Community Services now has 120 employees, payroll of $4.6 million, $8.6 million in capital assets and 85 affordable rental units. As well, the organization operates the Hungry Heart Cafe, an instant success after its opening in 2008. Another Newfoundland and Labrador company noted by Progress as an Entrepreneur of the Year was Other Ocean.

Keyin opens Asian campus Keyin College has opened a new campus – nearly 13,000 kilometres away. The newest campus officially opened in Sri Lanka last month and was launched by a seven person delegation including Keyin College president Des Whelan. 20

March 2011

Business News

Membership member news Research vessel launched The province and the Marine Institute recently launched a fisheries research vessel. The Celtic Explorer, the first fisheries science and oceanographic research vessel ever to be funded provincially, has been chartered by Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University (MI) from the Marine Institute of Ireland. The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture is spending $10.25 million on the

ever used for fisheries science research in the province.” The vessel conducted cod winter acoustic surveys in February under the guidance of notable fisheries scientist George Rose. The Celtic Explorer may conduct research on other species in the future.

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Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) and the charter of the research vessel. The RDC is investing another $1.5 million. The new centre and charter vessel are the guts of the new fisheries science research programs announced last year. A launch and press conference was held at a downtown restaurant, with a view of the boat heading out through the narrows,

while speakers including Premier Kathy Dunderdale, described the long road to launching the research program. The Celtic Explorer is a 65-metre stateof-the-art fisheries and oceanographic research vessel that will conduct offshore fisheries surveys and other oceanographic work while here. It is described as “the most sophisticated purpose-built vessel Business News

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The Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) announced the resumption of Phase II of its Concentrate Expansion Program. The second of three stages in the expansion program was suspended in 2008 due to the global financial crisis. The second stage of the project will bring IOC’s annual concentrate capacity from 22-million tonnes to 23.3-million tones and will include an investment of $289 million to expand its magnetite processing facility and add new spiral lines to its gravity separation circuit. The second phase of the project will also include the purchase of additional mining equipment, railway cars and a locomotive as well as upgrades at the Wabush terminal sub-substation. The project will commence immediately.

Let’s get together We’ve had a number of successful meetings with provincial and federal government ministers in the last month including with INTRD Minister Susan Sullivan (pictured) with Steve Power and Jo Mark Zurel. We’ve sat down with Sullivan, Finance Minister Tom Marshall, Business Minister Derick Dalley, Premier March 2011


Membership member news Airport expansion a go

Kathy Dunderdale provincially, and Minister of State Gordon O’Connor, ACOA Minister Keith Ashfield, and Minister of State Transport Rob Merrifield. The Board has been advocating on your behalf with all of these ministers on issues like the economy post-oil, the importance of debt reduction and balanced budgets and economic diversification.

St. John’s International Airport has announced a $150-million, 10-year improvement program to accommodate growing traffic.

For more information about these initiatives contact

The airport authority intends to focus on the east wing of the building and is considering a multi-level parking structure. There will be a $5 per ticket fee added to fares headed out of the airport to help fund the improvement program. The St. John’s Board of Trade publicly announced that it was disappointing that there wasn’t also a federal-provincial government announcement to make the facility more accessible through the use of a Category 3 Instrument Landing System. In other air traffic news, a new one-way flight between Gander and Toronto has been announced by Air Canada.

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A local information management company has signed a major deal with one of Florida’s oldest insurance companies. Prima Information Solutions of St. John’s and its Australian partner Intelledox have signed on to manage information and contracts for BlueCross BlueShield of Florida.

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Patsy Tremblett, Prima president, says the deal is one of several the company recently signed that will allow the company to hire more staff and expand its business. The Intelledox software will be used in Florida to manage contracts efficiently and accurately and was chosen after extensive evaluation. It will replace existing manual and technology driven processes. The technical and professional services will be supported by Prima.

Business News

Keeping Current industry news Cutting the red tape The federal government wants to make it easier for you to do business, but it needs your input to decide where to cut the red tape. In January the federal government announced a red tape reduction commission, which has been tasked to reduce federal regulatory requirements – especially for small- and medium-sized businesses. The commission will also focus specifically on the cost of the regulations and will provide recommendations. As such, the commission is calling on business owners to tell them specific stories about red tape they’ve encountered and the St. John’s Board of Trade would like to help get your story heard. The deadline for submissions is March 31, so the sooner you can get your submissions to us the better. If you’d like to know more or to submit your examples of tangling with federal red tape please contact Craig Ennis at 726-2961 ext. 3 or For more information please visit:

Calling all R&D firms

A new partnership will help local companies in research and development to hire more technically trained people. Research & Development Corporation, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) have come together to help local companies pay the high price that comes with hiring recent doctoral (PhD) grads. RDC and NSERC will each commit up to $30,000 per year for fellowship awards of up to two years. The qualifying company has to negotiate the salary and benefits package with the candidate and must provide a minimum of $10,000 (plus benefits) per year. Support from ACOA is also available as long as government funding doesn`t exceed 75 per cent of eligible project costs. Applications must be made directly to ACOA. Business News

Further details on the IRDF program are available online at

Board welcomes financial literacy report A national report on financial literacy put forward 30 recommendations to help Canadians build a brighter financial future. The Board of Trade welcomes recommendations of specific national efforts to educate, communicate and build better understanding of personal finances. In

particular, the Board welcomes initiatives focused on groups, such as youth, immigrants or aboriginal peoples, who could be more negatively affected by complicated financial planning. Board Chair Jo Mark Zurel spoke to the task force last spring; some of the themes in the recommendations reflect themes in his presentation – focus on education, single-window information, and working with many stakeholders. To read the full presentation, visit:


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March 2011

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Keeping Current industry news Canadians split on improvement in economy Canadians are divided on whether the economy is good or bad according to a recent consumer outlook study done by RBC. Fifty-one per cent of Canadians say the economy is good and 49 per cent say it`s bad, according to the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index, which generally showed slow growth in consumer optimism across the country.

RBC officials say the results show that Canadians will continue to focus on managing day-to-day expenses rather than big ticket purchases or even saving for retirement or their children`s education. Some numbers from the index: • 60 per cent expect the economy to improve over the next year (17 per cent expect it will worsen) • 21 per cent say a member of their household is worried about losing their job

57 per cent think interest rates will go up in the next six months (38 per cent say they will stay the same)

You are what you buy? Consumer customized advertising is closer to reality as a result of the recent launch of Facebook Deals, a smartphone app that connects customers to discounts at nearby retailers. A recent Toronto Star article likens Facebook Deals to the customized advertising in the Hollywood blockbuster Minority Report. Facebook Canada officials are quoted saying they see recommendations on Facebook every day, and why not allow businesses to get in on that conversation. So far 11 major retailers are involved, though the social networking company intends on making it available to even the smallest retailers. Another recent Star commentary reminds businesses that their customers are always writing. Because of services like Facebook and Twitter, the consumer has the last word when it comes to rating your products or complaining about your customer service. And if you’re not in on that conversation you may be left behind.

Less spam on the horizon

Michael S. Ladha


March 2011

Your spam filters may not have such a hard job in the coming months. A new bill, the “Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act,” has come into effect requiring every organization to acquire permission from an e-mail’s recipient before they can send Commercial Electronic Messages. Furthermore, the law says that whoever sent the e-mail must keep proof that the person receiving it wanted it in the first place in case a complaint is ever filed. There are huge fines associated with valid complaints – from $1 million for individuals to $10 million for businesses – and anyone can take civil action. How does this affect our members? In the future, we’ll be asking you to e-mail us if you want to be added to our distribution lists, so we can have something on file.

Business News


Cablelync offers a TOTAL communication solution for industry, government, business and residential to meet all your structured cable and wireless needs. We offer the best in safety and technician certifications and excel in service standards – demonstrated by being rated #1 across Canada for customer service with Rogers Communications. To find out how we can partner to meet your needs, please contact us at 709757-0422 or visit us on the web at www.

The Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) has been representing employers’ payroll interests since 1978. As the authoritative source of Canadian payroll knowledge, the CPA advocates on behalf of employers to federal and provincial governments, proactively influencing payroll-related legislation to enable all stakeholders to administer them in an efficient and effective manner. As the source of payroll education and advocacy, the CPA delivers certification, professional development programs, and products and services that enable payroll practitioners to enhance operations, meet new legislative requirements and utilize emerging technologies. Visit or contact Kristina Bruce at 1-800-387-4693 x128 for info.

Lisa Quinton is the president of Connections for Success Inc. As a professional motivator, she works with leaders and teams to crystallize their vision of success. Her clients learn an effective process to execute that vision, increasing productivity, profitability, and employee engagement. Lisa’s corporate services include, but are not limited to, facilitated discussions, executive coaching, and guided retreats. If you, as a leader, are ready to Embrace Your Potential™, and you are looking for a fresh approach to growth and development, contact Lisa to see what is possible. Your team will thank you for it.

Business News

Canada’s premiere, vertically integrated, gourmet coffee roaster. Van Houtte is the largest provider of workplace coffee services across North America covering 85 per cent of the market and over 80,000 workplaces. We offer our exclusive Source H2O advanced water filtration systems to bring pure drinking water to workplaces. We also sell over 1,000 related products. Van Houtte is the only coffee-specialized provider able to service national accounts and multi-unit operators with a full range of premium coffee products and services, inclusive of beverage dispensing systems. In Newfoundland, Dean Madden is your Van Houtte representative providing beverage solutions for the workplace, foodservice and institutional clients. Call Dean 1-866-468-7821 ext. 226.

March 2011

Prima Information Solutions is a leading expert in records and information management, with a strong focus on quality customer service and support, allowing organizations to manage information efficiently and effectively. Prima provides IM consulting, project implementation, training [including HP TRIM], and software support. Flagship products include HP TRIM and Intelledox. Prima’s client base includes various levels of government, government agencies, financial agencies and regulated industries. Prima is driven to improve and streamline processes within information management and conquer the exponential growth of electronic content in this technological age.  Prima has recently expanded, with major new clients in Canada and the U.S.

Hickey Enterprises - Greenhouses & EarthSmart Products. After twenty years of greenhouse nursery business, we have embarked upon a new line of successful eco-body friendly products:

C.R. PLASTICS: Recycled plastic lawn furniture. Dragon’s Den approved. THENTIX: Conditioning cream. Unscented, PARABEN FREE product developed for psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, acne, fungus, dry skin. THENTIX pain formula: With its special ingredient for arthritis, gout, muscle and joint pain. MAXFIT: Regular, thermal and cut-resistant gloves. Thin, touch sensitive with amazing grip potential. Perfect for most industrial applications such as mechanics, scaffolders. Available at RONA. DREAM SILKS: Duvets, mattress/pillow covers. Completely non-allergenic. Ideal for those with asthma, allergies and breathing problems. Contact:709-227-5054


Membership new members Mortgages and More Ltd. Bev English, Mortgage Professional 45 New Cove Road St. John’s, NL A1A 2B9 P: 709-576-6602 F: 709-576-5596

Business Management Services Inc. John Dearin, RPA., AMP, President 45 New Cove Road St. John’s, NL A1A 2B9 P: 709-576-5646 F: 709-576-5596

The Girls Bra Shop Kim Lidstone, Owner 22 Hamlyn Road St. John’s, NL A1E 5X7 P: 709-745-6338 F: 709-745-1570

Manulife Bank Michelle Delaney, Banking Consultant 58 Spruce Hill Road Topsail, NL A1W 5N9 P: 709-690-6083 F: 709-834-3779

Avalon Mall Sue Freake, Mall Manager 48 Kenmount Road St. John’s, NL A1B 1W3 P: 709-753-7144 F: 709-753-1208

Emera Newfoundland & Labrador Brian Rendell, V. P. Corporate Affairs P: 902-220-4288

Business News

March 2011


Membership new members Canada Mortgage & Housing Jennifer Burrage, Account Manager 100 New Gower Street Suite 110 St. John’s, NL A1C 6K3 P: 709-772-4637 F: 709-726-7014

Centum Superior Mortgages Dennis Smith, Manager 33 Pippy Place 2nd Floor St. John’s, NL A1B 3X2 P: 709-757-0031 F: 709-757-0032


BoothPrizeWinnersͲ2011Tradeshow NameofCompany

Battery Hotel & Suites/Super 8


Joan Brett Yolanda Hayes CGA Eileen Gregory Speedpro Signs Juanita March Rogers Colin Farrell Anthony Insurance Pauline Matchett Carol Ricketts Household Movers Deidre Hutchings Frontline Paintball Russ Thomas Tiffany Village Amy House NLCSA Craig langille Shannon O'Dea Dawson Scotiabank Rhonda Burry Atlantic CAA Susan Godfrey Paul Foley Steele Communications Aubrey Manning Wade Atlantic Cindy Sullivan Stephanie McKennon Sheila Normore WHSCC Lorraine Gillespie Karen Bearns Murray Premises Allison Tilley Career Beacon Charlotte Earle Simply for Life Donna Pincent Key-In College Donna Aylward Cal-LeGrow Insurance Mark Bradbury Fortis Delta Hotel St. John's Craig Huster RBC Elizabeth Avenue Branch Allison Tilley Sheila Dominaux Memorial University of Newfoundland Alexander Venegas Shirley Smith Justin Tobin Colin Farrell The Hann Group Sean Connors Telelink Angie Pickett Pinchin LeBlanc Stephen McGuire Sandra Dunn INTRD Joanne Whitten Steers Insurance Brian Collins Resource Centre of the Arts _LSPU Hall John Duff

March 2011


One free night at Battery Hotel & Suites One free night at Super 8 Motel Pop-up banner stand Rogers Prize pack $ 100 gas card $ 100 gas card Framed print "Frosty Eve" Corporate team building game lazer tag or paintball Dinner for two at Bistro Sophia Men's NLCSA jacket Safety training voucher and T-Shirt Sylvania digital photo frame Empire Theatre tickets for two Classic membership with CAA Ladies watch Framed picture Mounted plaque Wrapped canvas

Murray Premises Hotel giveaway Kobo Free training session with Keyin corproate division One free night at the Delta Hotel $100 Visa gift card RBC jacket Prize bag Prize basket Gardiner Centre development course iPad $300 spa package from Ryan Mansion Boutique & Spa Three bottles of wine valued at $150 Blu-ray player Multi-tool kit Brian Ricks print 8GB iPod Nano 2 tickets to theatre show “Jake’s Gift”

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Business News - March 2011  
Business News - March 2011  

Real estate, legal and construction edition