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Capital 2018

PROGRESS EDITION

THIS GUY DREAMS OF GROWING POT ON THE PENINSULA

TECHNOLOGY:

INDIGENOUS INNOVATION:

CONSTRUCTION:

$10 billion by 2030

Entrepreneurs in action

It’s booming out there

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A construction crane is at work behind the legislature where the Capital Park project is sprouting new offices, residential and commercial space. DARREN STONE PHOTO

CONTENTS

DAVE OBEE

Embracing fresh ideas and energy in our region

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elcome once again to Capital magazine, where the Times Colonist celebrates the best and brightest in our extended community. There is much to like in Greater Victoria. Our economy is booming, there seem to be more job openings than people to fill them, and it really does appear that things are getting better. A new city is being created, taking the best of the old, the tried and true, and stirring things up with fresh ideas and energy. It’s true that we do not want to destroy those things that have made this the best place to live in Canada, the best place to work and play, the preferred tourist destination, and the envy of so many other places. We need to move forward with caution. We need to pay tribute to our past, and ensure that the wrecking ball does not attack those things we treasure, But move forward we must. The status quo is not our friend; hanging on to memories will not create the kind if jobs that will convince our children and grandchildren to stay.

In this issue, we explore the major sectors in the region — from transportation and tourism to education and the construction boom that covers our skylines with cranes. Sit back and enjoy the read. And when you are finished, feel free to pass this magazine to friends and colleagues who live elsewhere. They will appreciate the favour. Dave Obee is editor and publisher of the Times Colonist

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CapitalPROGRESS DAVE OBEE / PUBLISHER DARRON KLOSTER / EDITOR JASON SCRIVEN / DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING PABLO MIRANDA / SALES MANAGER

4 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

WENDY KALO / OPERATIONS MANAGER

Capital Home is published by the Times Colonist, a division of TC Publication Limited Partnership, at 2621 Douglas St., Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8T 4M2.

GORDON FALLER BRANKA HRGOVICH BRIAN PERT / GRAPHIC DESIGN

Canadian Publications Registration No. 0530646. GST No. 84505 1507 RT0001 Please send comments to: Editor Dave Obee, dobee@timescolonist.com To advertise, phone: 250-380-5242, or email sales manager Pablo Miranda at: pmiranda@timescolonist.com.


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The Cannabis Conundrum &IELDOFDREAMSORTHEDESTRUCTIONOFPRIME AGRICULTURALLAND A Central Saanich farm’s decision to grow marijuana on a mass scale creates flashpoint as legal pot looms

6 | Capital PROGRESS 2018


COVER story Shawn Galbraith, left, CEO of Evergreen Medicinal, discusses his plans with neighbour Franz Winkel: Differences of opinion on how land should be used.

KATIE DeROSA

ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

U

nder a clouded sky that threatens rain, cyclists, moms pushing strollers and riders on horseback traverse the gravel path that meets the end of Lochside Drive in Central Saanich. The path looks onto a green pastoral land that rolls out like a carpet, a blank canvas of protected agricultural land. Developer turned potpreneur Shawn Galbraith looks at the 36-acre parcel and sees unlimited potential for growing Canada’s next cash crop: cannabis. His vision is to develop the Stanhope Dairy Farm into 21 glass-andmetal, high-security greenhouses that could bring jobs and a windfall of taxes for the District of Central Saanich. Franz Winkel, the 80-year-old livestock farmer who lives next door and has farmed in the area since he emigrated from Holland in the 1960s, sees a project that could pave over prime agricultural land, ruining it for future generations. The argument is being repeated across the province, as the Ministry of Agriculture grapples with whether to continue treating cannabis as a crop that can be grown within the Agricultural Land Reserve. “Build your greenhouses, but not on farmland that can be used by the generations coming after,” Winkel told Galbraith, gesturing expressively as the two volleyed arguments back and forth while standing on the property line that divides the two farms. “It’s very hard to be a farmer now and make a profit if you’re not maximizing the potential of the land you’re growing on,” Galbraith responded. “This is an opportunity for us to utilize this land and generate a lot of jobs and a lot of revenue that will serve the community.” Galbraith owns Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc. and is in the process of purchasing Stanhope farm, owned by the Rendle family. The farm was previously the source of frustration for neighbours irked by a pungent compost facility and its new iteration is proving to be a flashpoint yet again.

Martindale residents have formed a group called Citizens Protecting Agricultural Land. They’ve been circulating a petition that calls for a ban on cannabis grow-ops on agricultural land; the petition has 1,400 signatures. “We’re not against marijuana, we’re against having large-scale cannabis factories on prime farmland,” said Ken Marriette, the group’s spokesman. Jim Gowans, an organic farmer in the Martindale Valley, said the cannabis project contradicts the intent of the Agricultural Land Reserve, one of the legacies of NDP premier Dave Barrett. “The intent was meant to protect farmland and increase food security. Cannabis is not a food,” Gowans said. In 2015, B.C.’s Liberal government decided to allow federally licensed medical cannabis operations on protected farmland, which opened the door for business people looking to cash in on the green rush to scoop up ALR land at a cut rate compared to commercial property. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham announced in January that an independent commission will consult with farmers and stakeholders across B.C. on the revitalization of the Agricultural Land Reserve. Rather than narrowing in on marijuana’s place on farmland, Popham said there’s a larger conversation to be had on whether greenhouses should be allowed on Class 1 to 7 soil, which has the highest value for food production. “So what I’ve been saying is it’s not necessarily about cannabis on the Agricultural >

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 7


The federal government’s new packaging

Land Reserve, but maybe it’s a conversation about how we’re growing things on the ALR,” Popham told Capital magazine. “I know that outside of just cannabis, this is an important issue to municipalities who are seeing a lot of their farmland, in their words, being paved over.” Protected farmland makes up about five per cent of B.C.’s total area, or about 4.6 million hectares. However, according to a white paper called Protection is Not Enough, by researchers at Kwantlen Polytechnic’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, only 50 per cent of that land is being used for farming. Agricultural land has increasingly been eyed

8 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

by people with deep pockets who build mega mansions on farmland or developers eventually hoping the protected status will be revoked. Rising land prices have made it near impossible for young farmers to buy up an acreage to till the land, Popham said. “The Agricultural Land Reserve was the most important land-use tool we’ve put into place under the Barrett government,” she said. “The highest and best use on agricultural land should be agricultural food production but we get into these competing uses.” The nine-member commission, comprised of a diverse crop of farmers, is expected to report back by the end of the summer, Popham said.

Marriette said the group can’t wait that long before action is taken to protect farmland. “That’s going to keep the door open for this gold rush, for the people who want to make money. Once you destroy the farmland, how do you turned it back into farmland?” he asked. Since he went public with his plans in December, Galbraith has spent time meeting face-to-face with his opponents, trying to assure them he hears their concerns and that Evergreen is not a faceless monolithic company. He’s given Winkel and other nearby residents a tour of the much talked about


COVER story

concrete bunker across from Michell’s Farm, Galbraith’s first Health Canada-approved medical marijuana facility. Health Canada has given the go-ahead for Evergeen to build an initial 150,000-squarefoot, $25-million greenhouse, “which will almost disappear on this site,” Galbraith insisted as he stood flanked by Winkel and Gowans. “We intend to build as much as the market will support,” he said. “The site will support up to three million square feet of production space, which is large. It would be like any other large greenhouse operation in Richmond or Delta.”

After meeting with the citizens group, Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor introduced a motion, which passed in February, that asks Premier John Horgan and Popham to place a moratorium on cannabis production on ALR land until the province consults with farmers, municipalities, industry and the public. Windsor said the previous Liberal government made the decision to allow cannabis production on farmland largely with medical marijuana in mind. With the legalization of recreational cannabis on the horizon, Windsor said more consultation needs to be done at the provincial level.

Municipalities cannot pass bylaws that violate provincial regulations, which leaves Central Saanich councillors’ hands somewhat tied. Beyond just protecting farmland, Windsor has heard concerns from area residents who worry about the Evergreen facility’s impact on traffic, light pollution and odour. “I haven’t heard a giant push back from people who say we don’t want cannabis,” Windsor said. “It’s what does it look like and how does it impact the community?” “It is likely not the only [cannabis-related] application that will come before Central Saanich.”

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 9


Premier John Horgan, who lives in Langord, has put a number of Islanders in key cabinet posts.

HOME ADVANTAGE?

The capital finally gets a premier, but will there be benefits for the region? It’s complicated ...

LES LEYNE

10 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

O

n Jan. 19, Premier John Horgan announced $10 million for improvements on the road to Sooke, and promised more to come. There are dozens of roads around B.C. that need work and the transportation ministry has assorted criteria for listing how they’re stacked on the drawing board. Did Sooke Road gradually rise up the priority list and get to the top coincidentally a few months after the MLA for the region served by the road happened to become premier of B.C.? Of course not. Horgan used his premier’s prerogative just like any premier would to do something for his own voters. He’s heard complaints about the road for years. Now he’s got the power to do something. So he did it. That simple fact of political life – cabinet ministers like to look after their own – created a wave of anticipation in the Greater Victoria business world about last summer’s change of government. A Saanich boy turned Langford man is now premier and he’s put a number of neighbouring


POLITICS

ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

MLAs in cabinet. Carole James (VictoriaBeacon Hill) is finance minister and deputy premier. Rob Fleming (Victoria-Swan Lake) is education minister and sits on Treasury Board. Lana Popham (Saanich South) is agriculture minister. Two of the three Green MLAs who are supporting Horgan’s minority government, leader Andrew Weaver (Oak Bay-Gordon Head) and Adam Olsen (Saanich North and the Islands) are locals. The third – Sonia Furstenau (Cowichan Valley) is just a short drive away. That concentration of power in the region after a protracted period when the governing

B.C. Liberals had no MLAs and minimal interest in spending much money locally has the business world dreaming big. But the dreams are now clouded by a recent wave of antipathy to some NDP tax moves, most notably the employer health tax. Ten months in, it’s not clear how the change of government is going to net out for local business. If business leaders had to list their relationship status with the government on Facebook, they’d pick: “It’s complicated.” They’re closely aligned on some main themes – the emphasis on housing and

child care. But they are far apart on the tax measures the NDP plan to use. The capital is enjoying an economic boom, but leaders are worried the new government is taking it for granted. And they’re not predisposed to support the NDP, even if the cabinet is stocked with familiar faces. Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO Catherine Holt has long experience dealing with government and is a keen observer of how it works. “My observation is that a change in the premier has as much impact as a change in party.” >

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 11


ANDREW WEAVER: Green Party Leader

Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark had radically different styles and it was noticeable throughout government. John Horgan represents another big change. It appears to be in the direction of homing in on the affordability issue and keeping an external focus on “what we’re going to use government for,” she said. After the NDP and the Greens brought down the Liberals last July, Holt said there were high hopes that “the long period when the region had been neglected would be over.” The capital went the previous four years with the nearest government MLA living 160 kilometres away. Now cabinet is stocked not just with locals, but multi-term MLAs who are lifelong residents. “They understand the priorities ... they have credibility locally,” said Holt. But there was “huge disappointment” in February when the first full NDP budget imposed a surprise new tax on business. The employer health tax, designed to partially replace Medical Services Plan premiums, was “unexpected,” she said. “It’s got some very strange aspects ... that’s added some uncertainty and conflicting

12 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

GREENS

ADAM OLSEN: Saanich North/Islands SONIA FURSTENAU: Cowichan Valley

emotions about how this government is going to turn out for local business. “The magnitude of the [tax] impact is unbelievable.” Employers who pay their staff’s MSP premiums will see the costs double, triple or even quintuple. And as currently designed, they’ll pay both MSP and the health tax for one overlap year. It’s “inexplicable double taxation,” said Holt. Those who don’t cover MSP will get a big brand-new tax bill. It’s a big offset to that anticipation about having such clout in cabinet. Holt said the business world tilts toward the Liberals, but that government did little investment in the region. “Now we have a government run by a party that’s not the natural home of business, but has the benefit of local well-known, knowledgeable people. It creates a contradiction in the minds of a lot of business people.” The direct hit on their books courtesy of the tax is much more immediate and obvious than the abstract generalized goals the government is trying to achieve, Holt said.


DARREN STONE PHOTO

N D P

POLITICS

Premier JOHN HORGAN at the opening of the third session of the 41st Parliament of British Columbia at the legislature in February.

Nonetheless, the premier is scheduled to speak at a luncheon hosted by five local chambers of commerce in May. It’s the first time in memory that’s happened. Jeff Bray was a Victoria Liberal MLA from 2001 to 2005 and is now acting executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. He agrees the local connections are a big welcome new factor. “They’re automatically going to have a level of understanding ... that this region hasn’t see for a while.” The change of government took place in the midst of a renaissance downtown, said Bray. The sustained boom has put pressures on businesses, who have to retain workers when housing and child care costs are challenges. Moves on those fronts will benefit downtown business, he said. Budget promises create the theoretical potential for hundreds of new student residences at UVic, which would open hundreds of basement suites and the like for entry level employees who want to live close to their jobs.

CAROLE JAMES: Finance Minister ROB FLEMING: Education Minister LANA POPHAM: Agriculture Minister

But the health tax and minimum wage hikes are sore spots. “There is a real optimism downtown that balances some of those concerns, but there is no question that is something our members are looking at closely.” There’s a common view Victoria got left out of some discretionary spending over the Liberal years. “What our members felt were logical investments didn’t come to fruition,” said Bray. The new government’s makeup creates “an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often.” Langford Mayor Stew Young is an ardent free enterpriser and will never be an NDP member. But he was just starting his political career during the NDP’s two terms in the 1990s and has fond memories of working with them. There was similarly heavy local representation in cabinet at the time, and corresponding big local spending. 16 >

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 13


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"It was really important to me that I have a career that respects the uniqueness of people and that honours their dignity. I love the idea of being in a caring discipline." â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Jesse Fraser, Nursing student

Camosun College Building 21st century education for outstanding health professionals

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ou know them. They are our nurses, our radiography technicians, our child care workers, our medical lab assistants, mental health practitioners, and health care assistants. For more than 45 years, Camosun College has graduated thousands of health professionals for the good health of our community. Camosunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Centre for Health and Wellness on Interurban campus, opening in 2019, will bring emerging health professionals together. The centre will feature modern and adaptable classrooms designed to foster active learning, hands-on labs, simulation environments, and collaboration spaces. 3TUDENTSACROSSPROGRAMSLEARNINGTOGETHER Nursing students collaborating with medical radiography students, community mental health students learning from future Indigenous health care assistants â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this will lead to a stronger workforce and healthier communities. A fundamental principal of primary health care renewal in Canada is the call for greater collaboration among health care providers. The centre will bring together students from 15 of the collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Health and Human Services programs to learn side-byside in a centralized environment.

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!PURPOSE BUILTSPACEFORTHEFUTUREOFHEALTHCARE (EALTHYCOMMUNITIES HEALTHYECONOMY When we seek childcare, visit a lab, or receive nursing care, we all expect an integrated, holistic approach from the people who serve us. More than ever, there is a need for skilled health and social service professionals. The health sector is one of the largest and fastest growing in British Columbia. An estimated 16,000 health care and social services positions will open on Vancouver Island in the next decade as baby boomers retire from the workforce. A further 4,700 new positions will open due to growth in health care on Vancouver Island. This high standard of care contributes to the economic health of the region as well as individual health. Eighty-eight percent of Camosunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health and human service graduates stay in the community to work. Technology has transformed many ďŹ elds of work and service, none more than health care. Our students need access to new technologies in real-life settings while they prepare for work in a complex variety of health care settings. Camosun is creating a purpose-built educational space that allows for interactive simulations with new technologies and collaboration across related health disciplines. This will empower a new generation of health and social service providers to deliver patient-centred care to the people who matter to us.


ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

Premier John Horgan breaks a board held by the executive director of the Korean Cultural Heritage Society, Mike Suk.

“There used to be a [clogged] intersection at Millstream Road and the highway with an old billboard that said ‘Auto Racing on Saturday Nights,’” Young recalled. The Millstream interchange opened in December 1996, one of the first big examples of the West Shore transformation. Young said the NDP of that era did a good job on infrastructure, spending on sewers and roads. The current NDP government is more oriented toward social problems than the economy, he said. Those need to be addressed, but Young wants to see more infrastructure and signs that the housing money is spent properly. Municipal delays add 15 per cent to the cost of a house and need to be cleared away by bonuses for faster decisions or penalty clauses in grant money for delays, he said. Langford and neighboring communities will be the epicentre of the affordable housing push and Young wants it done right. At the same time, as someone who promotes Langford far and wide, he is vehemently opposed to the speculation tax, just as he was to the Liberals’ foreign buyer tax. He brandished a sheaf of letters in a recent interview from Bear Mountain residents who are facing thousands of dollars in new property taxes. About 30 per cent of the homes in that massive development have non-B.C. owners and are vacant for part of the year.

16 | Capital PROGRESS 2018


DARREN STONE PHOTO

POLITICS

Premier John Horgan prepares to march with Indigenous leaders as part of the Moose Hide Campaign to stop violence toward women and children.

“The calls and letters, I’ve never seen this kind of pressure,” he said. “I’m 120 per cent against the speculation tax. It’s the absolute worst tax I’ve ever seen.” Even after the NDP’s retreat on several aspects of the tax, Young opposes it and wants Langford exempted. It puts an “artificial blame” on some people for the housing crisis and tries to manipulate the free market as punishment. But he gets along fine with the premier – “John” – and is looking forward to carrying on. “He’s a common-sense guy ... He’s not way out left-leaning stupid thinking or very right crazy thinking. “We have these conversations and we sort of get along that way.” Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps makes it her business to get along with the province no matter what. She has no problem with the speculation tax. But even Helps, devoted to relationship-building with cabinet, admits to having “significant trouble” with the employer health tax. It will cost Victoria $2 million and that’s a two per cent property tax nobody needs, she said. Greater Victoria business generally likes where the NDP is going and loves watching local neighbours drive the bus. But not how they plan to fund the trip.

Murray Rankin

Member of Parliament for Victoria My community office is here to help. // Pensions (OAS, GIS, CPP) // Income Taxes // Employment Insurance // Citizenship and Immigration // Veterans Affairs

Contact my office to make an appointment.

1057 Fort Street, Victoria // 250-363-3600 www.MurrayRankin.ca // Murray.Rankin@parl.gc.ca

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 17


DARREN STONE PHOTO

INNOVATION 3ONGHEESOPENTHEWAYFORENTREPRENEURSINNEWCENTRE Gitxsan artist Shar Wilson, a clothing designer, ďŹ nds people with common interests and new ideas in the Songhees Innovation Centre.

18 | Capital PROGRESS 2018


FIRST NATIONS JEFF BELL

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DARREN STONE PHOTO

har Wilson was full of excitement when she heard that the opportunity to share what he knows with others. “It allows me to congregate with tours and people and the Songhees Innovation Centre was gathering steam. Indigenous youth, and it helps me to, as well, grow entrepreneurs As a home-based businesswoman who makes clothing within my field,” he said. “It also allows me to establish a rapport with and assessories, Wilson was looking for a way to broaden the youth and help get their foot in the door, into technology.” the scope of her enterprise, and the innovation centre Animikii founder Jeff Ward said the innovation centre has been a seemed like just the place to do that. great fit for the company, whose name is Ojibwa for Thunderbird. “I’m often in my home office just sitting by myself, and “We were looking for a place in the Greater Victoria area, particularly it would be nice to come out and recognize that you’re within the Indigenous community, to have a co-work space. Copart of a bigger community,” said Wilson, who was due for an April working spaces are really popular, especially amongst the technology filming session with Dragon’s Den. community. Wilson attended a recent “You never know what’s going event to mark the innovation to happen at the water cooler or centre receiving the bulk of a over lunch.” $93,000 federal grant, part of The key was finding a likea multi-million initiative aimed minded group, Ward said. at First Nations economic “As an Indigenous-focused development. Local money also technology company we brought goes to workshops, training this idea to the Songhees Nation opportunities and a regional and very quickly became partners.” economic roundtable. Another economic initiative “I heard about it and I had having success is the Songhees to come down to hear the Investment Corporation, announcement in person,” established in 2011. It oversees said Wilson, a member of property obtained through “an the Gitxsan Nation who incremental treaty agreement” designs items under the name with the province, said Songhees FINAWear. The name combines executive director Christina Clarke. the initial letters in the words “They gave each of the bands in First Nation. the Te’ Mexw Treaty Association Wilson described herself as some parcels of land so that we “an apparel artist.” could generate some economic “I design leggings, I design Animikii developer Dakota Lightning and Minister benefit while the process moves tops, athletic wear, shawls, of Innovation, Science and Economic Development along.” hats, bags,” she said. “The Navdeep Bains discuss web-based business ventures. The Songhees received property fabric is hand-sewn in Canada on Esquimalt Road where the Red and the fabric is even milled in Barn Market is located, in James Bay near the James Bay Community Canada.” Centre and on Pandora Avenue. A fourth property on Leigh Road has The innovation centre — intended for entrepreneurial endeavours — is headquartered at the Songhees Wellness Centre, which has become a been purchased for investment. The economic activity happening is just part of what is put forward positive force around the region since it opened its doors in 2014. in the Songhees’ 2017-27 strategic plan, which also looks at culture, Already at work in the innovation centre is Dakota Lightning, who is education, housing, social development and more. Included in that is with Indigenous web-services business Animikii. He said the facility can the Lekwungen Sport Academy, which sees youth train at the Pacific make a big difference. Centre for Sport Excellence. “It means that we have a lot of potential to move forward in The idea is to expand the program if Greater Victoria wins the bid for innovation,” Lightning said. “And we have the opportunity to grow the the 2020 North American Indigenous Games. space and help a lot of entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Songhees Chief Ron Sam said providing the 655 members of his “It helps get a lot of people together to talk to each other and help nation with opportunity is a vital part of the efforts underway. each other out, and it helps us to basically bring Indigenous people into Clarke said the underlying purpose is to have a community “that’s the space of entrepreneurship.” healthy and prosperous and doing well.” Lightning said his job at the innovation centre provides an

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 19


THE COMPLETE PACKAGE New processing plant in works to turn vegetables on the verge into healthy profits

KATIE DEROSA

20 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

T

y James picks a hearty mustard green from a pot of soil on his two-acre farm in Saanich’s Interurban area, on a street aptly named Spring Road. The leaf fades from purple to green and hits the tongue with a hint of sweetness before launching into a peppery aftertaste. For the government bureaucrat turned tech worker turned millennialaged farmer, this crop has been surprisingly lucrative. Chefs at downtown Victoria restaurants are clamouring to feature locally grown arugula, kale and mustard greens on their menus and, as a result, James can turn a healthy profit on salad greens he sells for $10 a pound. Peashoots and sunflower shoots are high yield and can be grown and sold within two weeks. That high yield can be both a blessing and a curse. Last summer, James found himself looking at $1,000 worth of fresh basil that was about to spoil. He had already sold as much as he could and didn’t have the processing equipment needed to turn the basil into dried herbs.


ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

AGRICULTURE

Ty James of West Coast Microgreens: “We have so much product that isn’t being realized for its economic potential.”

That’s when James got an idea that has snowballed into a project that could change the way Saanich farmers sell their food. He plans to build a processing facility that would flash freeze, dehydrate or liquidize produce and save it from the compost heap. “We have so much product that isn’t being realized for its economic potential,” James told a group of agriculture enthusiasts. Dressed in black jeans, Blundstone work boots, a fleece pullover, his shoulder-length brown hair tucked under a baseball cap, James floated his idea at the Farmer2Farmer conference held in March at the Saanich Fairgrounds. “It’s going to waste in the shoulder season.” Example No. 1 is a package of squash sliced into spirals that sells at Thrifty Foods for $6.99 for three-quarters of a pound. Compare that, James said, to a full squash that most farmers sell for $1.89 a pound. “It’s the exact same product, but realized differently,” he said, with the convincing pitch of an infomercial host but without the cheese. For James, every rotting post-Halloween pumpkin that didn’t reach jack-o’-lantern status could be turned into bottles of locally produced syrups for pumpkin spice lattes. “We want to give different capacity to help farmers like us to bring the product to market in new and creative ways,” he said. “No one is exploring the diversity in the market that exists.” Food trend forecasters have put dehydrated fruits and vegetables on their hot list for 2018. Just think of the beet and parsnip chips that have pushed aside bags of greasy potato chips in the snack food aisle. Companies such as Epicure are selling dried spices, powdered broths, gravies and smoothies made with all-natural ingredients, marketed as a healthy alternative to products laden with sugar or salt. Chefs at Michelin-starred restaurants and increasingly commercial food producers are using 3D food printers to make edible masterpieces out of liquidized food. This is why James says it’s imperative that Saanich Peninsula farmers think beyond the confines of a farm stand or market stall. Many hear the word “processed” and immediately think of rubbery chicken nuggets with 10 per cent “meat protein.”

The processed produce would not have any preservatives or synthetic chemicals, James vowed. “You’re not adulterating the product,” he explained, but simply extracting the moisture that creates bacteria and causes food to spoil. Island farmers who want their fruits and vegetables processed can use the equipment and enter into a profitsharing agreement with James’s company. Currently, the only produce-processing facility on Vancouver Island is Islands West, which specializes in light processing: Think the chopped and assorted fruits and vegetable platters people bring to parties when they’re too rushed to do it themselves. Islands West purchases the produce in bulk and sells it under their brand or the grocery store brand. The processing plant would be the first building block in what James calls “a business park for agriculture.” Technology, James said, could be the solution to farmers’ greatest nemesis: a shortage of low-cost labour. “I can take a product, peel it, process it, strip it, do all the things that would require a labour force of dozens of people and automate that process, creating more value for farmers,” James said. “If we don’t have to hire a massive labour force to achieve this goal, we can ultimately get a better price.” James is looking for commercial warehouse space in the Keating Cross Road area. He’s seen a few properties, but the sheen of leftover oil and contaminants meant they would likely not pass Island Health’s food safe standards. The project is backed by James’s business partner, Rajan Pillay, a former vice-president of Pepsi Co. who is now based in Victoria and runs a venture capital firm called Drads Holdings. The start-up costs are projected at about $2 million with $350,000-a-year operating costs. James is hoping for revenues of $1 million a year. So far, farmers have taken positively to the idea. “From the farmers I’ve talked to, they’re very interested in this. It allows them to reach a new level on their farm without having to make a significant investment or change their business model. We’re giving you more options for how you can potentially bring your product to market and have higher earning potential for wasted product.” kderosa@timescolonist.com

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 21


The Good Food Movement

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We see local governments like the CRD putting in place a regional here is an audible and growing buzz in the region around food and agriculture strategy, considering supporting farmers through growing a culture and economy nourished by good food. drainage and exploring ways to increase soil quality. Everything is being re-examined about our current global The District of North Saanich recently acquired almost 100 acres and food system. is converting the derelict Sandown racetrack into accessible land for Even though we have seen gains in the fight against hunger, one in new growers. eight people still go to bed hungry. Malnourishment is taking on new The Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust supports growers on Burgoyne meaning as more than 30 per cent of the planet is now overweight or Farm, a 60-acre parcel, and is building The Root. It will provide storage obese. for local farm produce, a fully equipped processing kitchen for new There is growing concern value-added products and a point of distribution for large quantities of about the impacts of the local food year-round. global food system on the We see programs like Haliburton Farm in Saanich and their Eco environment and the fact that Farm School incubating successful new farm businesses. There is also more than a third of all food a resurgence and revitalization of efforts and skills building around produced goes to waste. Indigenous foods. With 10 billion people to feed by 2050, where The second area of focus of the Good Food Network is to ensure will we find more land, enough water and an increase in productivity that can be supported by that the food system actually feeds people — not just fancy food for foodies, but all residents. our ecosystem? There are more than 50,000 people in our region who are food These are big and complex challenges and it is insecure. The Good Food Shift is an initiative to create support and easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless. services to those receiving emergency food so that one to two years In this region, my experience is quite the LINDA GEGGIE down the road it will no longer be opposite. I see needed. Strategies include supporting people who are community and neighbourhood-based taking responsibility, digging deep into the hubs where people can access food, challenges and taking careful and pragmatic but also skills training, empowerment action to build a health-oriented food system programs and finding social and taking into account its relationship to our employment connections. ecosystems and rooted in a regional approach. Through a partnership with the Victoria Here it’s called the Good Food Movement, Foundation and local retailers, the and it’s gaining momentum. FoodShare Network has developed a Food Shake up a cocktail of adversity, malcontent Rescue and Redistribution Centre that is and creativity; add a dash of hope and diverting more than a million pounds of a sprinkle of positivity and your result is Ty James, left, with business partner Rajan Pillay cosmetically imperfect food that would innovation. I don’t see people lamenting at their Interurban area farm. normally go to waste to over 50 agencies, about how it used to be, or paralysed by a schools and centres across the region. future dystopia. I see and experience everyday The third goal of the alliance is around food literacy. Aaren Topley, people from across the region not only thinking about what is needed, the local co-ordinator of Farm to School B.C., describes food literacy as but working together to plan and pull together around solutions. involving our hands, minds and hearts. These folks are part of a growing Good Food Network, an alliance “For each of us, our understanding and relationships to our foods looking to make some significant impacts toward healthy and is different. Having the knowledge about our food system helps us sustainable food system in the region. to make informed choices about our foods; the ability to read labels Over the past few years, they have identified key areas to focus and prepare and cook food is also key. Food literacy also involves investment and align efforts behind. The first is to stimulate the local understanding the personal and cultural connection to our foods. This food economy, with a goal of shifting the amount of local island food could be as simple as sitting down with our families to share a meal produced and consumed by Capital Regional District residents from five together.” per cent to 25 per cent Island grown, by 2025. There is lots on the go. To sign the Good Food Resolution and They are working to learn what this means for the amount of land connect with the Good Food Network, visit www.crfair.ca needed, what we need to do to support new food producers to replace the 50 per cent of farmers who will retire in the next decade, how we ,INDA'EGGIEISTHEEXECUTIVEDIRECTOROFTHE#APITAL2EGION&OODAND rebuild regional storage and distribution infrastructure, and ensure !GRICULTURE)NITIATIVES2OUNDTABLE#2&!)2 residents understand the value that supporting the local food economy brings.

InSights

22 | Capital PROGRESS 2018


AGRICULTURE

A race track reborn ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

In North Saanich, food will sprout where horses once ran Alice Finall, second from right, mayor of North Saanich, stands with members of the Sandown Transition Team, from left, Jen Rashleigh, Springfield Harrison, Ann Eastman, Linda Geggie and Burnadette Greene at the former Sandown racetrack. They plan to turn the 83-acre space into community farm plots, a farmers market and other co-operative agricultural initiatives.

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he arm of a backhoe reaches up and yanks down a chunk of steel and concrete, leaving only a skeleton of the grandstand from which crowds once cheered on the horses at the old Sandown race track in North Saanich. As debris tumbles to the dusty ground below, a diverse group of consultants looks down on a map. It depicts what the land looked like in 1946, but for the group, it holds a vision of the future. The Sandown Transition Team is tasked with turning this seemingly harsh landscape into lush arable farmland. The 83-acre parcel will be used for commercial food production, community gardens and incubator farms run by farmers trying to get a foothold in the agri-food business.

“The district [of North Saanich’s] vision is to create something that adds to food production in the area, that adds to local capacity and interest in how food is grown,” says Ann Eastman, who brings to the project the expertise she’s gained through her work with the Haliburton Community Organic Farm in Saanich. The success of Haliburton as an education centre, farm co-op and community hub is a major inspiration for the future of Sandown. Located on the north side of Glamorgan Road, Sandown operated as a horse and harness racetrack for 50 years under the ownership of the Randall family. The family donated 83 acres to the District of North Saanich for long-term

agricultural use. In return, they asked to retain a 12-acre strip along McDonald Park Road, where there are plans for a Canadian Tire store and other commercial properties. The developer, Platform Properties, is responsible for soil drainage and to remediate the land to its original agricultural state. While the vision will unfold over a decade, the transition team hopes to see progress on developing the farm community within a year. “It’s the prospect of having public land used in a way that would advance the future of growing and food security,” says North Saanich Mayor Alice Finall. “I see it as a bonus for the whole region.” — Katie DeRosa

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 23


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Trust, Inclusiveness and Responsibility: key traits for tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business leaders By Dr. Saul Klein, Dean 0ETER"'USTAVSON 3CHOOLOF"USINESS 56IC

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e all know the stereotypes about business leaders â&#x20AC;&#x201C; greedy, ruthless and self-serving. They are portrayed as Wall Streetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gordon Gekko, lacking any sense of integrity or empathy. Obviously, this clichĂŠ is a false representation of the small business owners who add character and unique offerings to our local economy while ensuring it is healthy and viable. It ignores the reality of the strategists leading larger organizations as they grow and expand their reach, not only throughout the Capital region, but beyond our borders to the Lower Mainland, across the country and worldwide. Business is a vital piece of the fabric of our community, and is the driver of economic prosperity, satisfying our needs and creating employment in the process. At the Gustavson School of Business, we believe strongly that not only is there no inherent conďŹ&#x201A;ict between pursuing business interests and having a positive impact on society, but, rather, that the latter is key to business success. If our students and faculty are to be likened to anyone, a more accurate comparison would be to the founder of TOMS â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Blake Mycoskie â&#x20AC;&#x201C; who devised a business model where a consumer purchase extends beyond a single individual. Buy a pair of TOMS shoes and another pair is donated to someone in need. While dining out in Victoria, you may have noticed a similar business started by Gustavson grad Andrew Hall, called 'Mealshare'. Eight restaurants in the Capital Region have Mealshare items on their menus.


Purchase a meal from any of their locations and another meal is donated to someone in need. There are ways that businesses infuse sustainability and social responsibility into their practices. We see organizations embracing large-scale change to their operations that not only improves their environmental stewardship, but betters their bottom line at the same time. Small changes can make a big difference. A monthlong campaign at Gustavson reduced paper towel consumption by 75 per cent simply by raising awareness among employees and students about usage levels. Over time, such behavioural changes have a large impact on our carbon footprint as we reduce the resources we consume. At Gustavson, we believe we need to set the best example possible for our students – and future business leaders – and actively promote the notion of responsible leadership. That means considering the impact of our decisions, not only on ourselves and on our organizations, but also on our community, the environment and society at large. In addition to focusing on behavioural and educational initiatives for sustainability and social responsibility, we’ve

"Efforts to make a difference have also underscored the importance of trust. Our students trust us with their futures."

committed to being carbon neutral. Gustavson’s international business focus sees our students and professors travelling the world through study exchanges, consulting projects and research partnerships. No matter how many efforts we make to reduce our local carbon footprint, our operations demand global travel, and the carbon footprint adds up. In 2016, for example, our travel produced 714 tonnes of C02 equivalents, comprising over 80 per cent of the business school’s carbon-related emissions that year. As responsible business leaders, we needed to address this. Our students, faculty and staff agreed to support Gold Standard carbon offset projects to achieve carbon neutrality at the business school. The Gustavson community selected both regional projects, such as the Quadra Island Forest Conversation initiative, and international projects, such as a wastewater treatment project in Thailand. In a nod to both our local and international footprints, these projects make long-term, significant environmental and societal improvements in the areas they operate. Modern-day business leadership is about more than sustainability. Successful leaders also understand the benefits of diversity and inclusion. Gustavson is a community of students, faculty and staff that includes more than 50 different languages and cultures. We’re very cognizant of the fact that our differences are our greatest strength. Together, we aspire to change the world for the better. We see the payoff from encouraging inclusion and the costs if we fail to do so.


G U S TAV S O N AT A G L A N C E BCOM

MGB

PHD MBA STUDENT ENROLMENT (2016/17)

EXECUTIVE MENTORS

935 CO-OP PLACEMENTS WITH 535 EMPLOYERS

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INTERNATIONAL PARTNER UNIVERSITIES

ALUMNI

FACULTY & STAFF

Dr. Saul Klein

At the inaugural Victoria Forum, held on campus in late 2017, we brought together Indigenous leaders, academics, politicians, activists, civil society and youth to discuss diversity and inclusion, and to develop solutions to the big problems facing our society. The work from the threeday gathering was presented to government leaders in Ottawa this spring; we plan to engage in additional conversations and gatherings to further develop ideas for a better world. Efforts to make a difference have also underscored the importance of trust. Our students trust us with their futures. Managers trust that our research is sound and reliable. Everyone who engages with the Gustavson community trusts us to deliver on our promises. The same is true of every business – large or small. What is also true is that trust can be very fragile, and once broken, is difficult to repair. Take for example Tim Horton’s – a strong performer on our annual Gustavson Brand Trust Index. Tim Horton’s recent employee benefit cutback in Ontario led to customer disappointment (at best) and outrage (at worst). It will take time for the brand to regain consumer trust. In contrast, our most trusted brand in Canada for the past two years running – MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) – emulated

customers’ values in their recent decision to pull products from the American gun manufacturer Vista Outdoor, off their shelves. Their actions were in response to consumer feedback that they didn’t want to support a company who sold the kind of products that were used in school shootings. Trust is the crucial foundation of every business, and arguably the most important ingredient for business success. Customers, suppliers, partners and all other stakeholders are demanding more from business; responsible leaders understand that creating and maintaining trusted relationships is key to their success. Ask any hotel or tour operator in Victoria how critical tourist trust is to their business and they will tell you that it’s absolutely essential. Training the next generation of business leaders is an awe-inspiring responsibility – one that we take on with enthusiasm. Ensuring that future leaders are accountable for the consequences of their actions and that they appreciate the broader role they have to play in society is key to our mission, and how we aspire to make the world a better place. It is at the heart of Gustavson’s value proposition and how we are helping breakdown the hackneyed stereotypes of the past.


Jackpot!

Start your little farm-to-table operation

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he next time you dig into a baby green salad at Macan’s Pub at the Victoria Golf Club, you might notice the satisfying crunch of produce that has been grown just steps away, picked fresh that morning. Behind deer-proof fencing is a micro-farm oasis, where the club’s chefs pick basil, mint, arugula and mustard greens growing in modest black sacks that could revolutionize urban farming. The sacks are called Jackpots and they’re sold by West Coast Micro Greens, a small farming operation located on Spring Road in Saanich’s Interurban area. On the farm, under a sun that brings the first hint of spring, the company’s owner, Ty James, walks among neat rows of about 1,000 pots that sprawl across a gently sloping two-acre plot of tree-lined land. The pots, made of a non-woven polypropylene fabric, can be sold on their own or delivered with pre-potted soil and seeds. “We deliver living plants for people who want to grow food and vegetables on their patio,” James said. The farm-to-table movement and the demand for locallygrown food shows no signs of slowing down, James said, which has more people looking for ways to grow their own produce steps from their kitchen. “If you’re growing food feet away from your kitchen, it’s going to taste better, it’s going to be more nutrient-rich

28 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

Nathan Waters, former chef at the Victoria Golf Club, harvests salad greens grown steps from his kitchen. The club used about 100 Jackpot growing pot to grow arugula, mustard greens and herbs for the menu at Macan’s Pub.

because you’re cutting it right there instead of it being on a flatbed truck for weeks from Mexico,” James said. Within a month-and-a-half of the Jackpots being set up on a self-watering system in March, the Victoria Golf Club had produced 150 pounds of salad greens. “We originally started off with 30 [Jackpots] and realized it was going to be a success and ordered 100 right away,” said Victoria Golf Club general manager Scott Kolb. James is co-operating with Emergency Management B.C. to distribute Jackpots to

25 First Nation communities that were devastated by the wildfires that ravaged the Interior last summer. “Their hunting, fishing and gathering capacity has been severely limited,” James said. He is planning to travel to those communities beginning in May to help them set up a food production system and hopes that in addition to providing fresh and healthy food, it can also provide a source of revenue for communities that grow enough to sell. — Katie DeRosa


AGRICULTURE

BRUCE STOTESBURY PHOTOS

FACTS: Haliburton Farm is an incubator for individuals wishing to practise small-scale sustainable organic farming. From left: Colleen Popyk, Grace Aroella-Jarvie, Elmarie Roberts and Shawn Dirksen.

Vern Mitchell heads one of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest and diversiďŹ ed vegetable farms, supplying a healthy array of produce from the familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farm-gate store off the Pat Bay Highway.

Saanich farmer Bryce Rashleigh is one of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s large-scale farmers. He owns harvesting machines and haying equipment and grows wheat and barley on the Saanich Peninsula, providing grains for locally made beer and bread.

LAND PRICES

SUSTAINABLE FARMING

The cost of farmland is a major barrier for young people wanting to take up farming. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the conundrum, as explained in a white paper called Protection is Not Enough, by researchers at Kwantlen Polytechnicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems: â&#x20AC;&#x153;While the assessed value of ALR land is relatively low, the market value of agricultural land is not based on its intended agricultural use or potential farm business income, but on its value for other uses such as country estates, industrial and residential development, speculation, or a relatively risk-free place to sequester and protect oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wealth.â&#x20AC;?

Droughts in California and the threat of global warming have upped the pressure on Vancouver Island to lessen its reliance on food imports. To combat high land prices and to achieve sustainability, many farmers are seeking co-operative farm plots on publicly-owned land such as Haliburton Farm in Saanich or, in the future, the former Sandown racetrack. The 83-acre parcel has been purchased by the District of North Saanich with the goal of building a sustainable farming community focused on food production.

CANNABIS Under current legislation, cannabis is considered a crop that can be grown on protected agricultural land. However, many farmers are warning that arable land will be destroyed if cannabis producers with deep pockets are allowed to build concrete-base greenhouses. Cannabis and greenhouses are among the major issues that B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham will consider this summer after an independent commission completes its review on how to revitalize the Agricultural Land Reserve.

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Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 29




  

 



 








WARM WELCOME Greater Victoria ready to embrace another banner year in tourism JEFF BELL

Capital Capi apital ap ta PR PROGRESS PROG RO RO ROG OG G RESS REES R RES SS 201 2 2018 01 0 18 18 32 | C

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ourism is poised for another memorable year in the capital region, hardly skipping a beat after a sparkling 2017. “There’s really very little that’s going to hold us back this year,” said Frank Bourree, principal with Chemistry Consulting, which monitors the sector. “The price of gas is going up, but the dollar’s still in the right zone to attract U.S. visitation — and those numbers are growing.

“We’re seeing bigger growth out of the U.S. and Asia-Pacific than the rest of Canada, and B.C., so it’s all strong.” Paul Nursey, Tourism Victoria’s president and CEO, said tourism has been on the upswing for some time. “We’re kind of on five winning years,” he said. “2013 was our turnaround year.” Nursey said the best course is to be prepared for whatever comes. “You never know what’s going to happen until it actually happens, because our industry is so driven by consumer confidence,” he said. “However, the foundations are there for a very solid year, largely because of strong conference numbers and some unique one-time events.” Those unique happenings include the World Junior Hockey Championships beginning in late December and September’s World Airline Road Race — an annual gathering and running event that brings together airline professionals from around the globe.


The Star Princess cruise ship moves into Ogden Point with a sunset as a backdrop over the Juan de Fuca Strait.

Looking ahead is always part of the process, Nursey said. “We’re working on 2023 right now.” He noted that tourism is also faring well on a national scale. Ian Poyntz, owner of Barb’s Fish & Chips, shares the rosy outlook for tourism. In his case, the positive forecast includes a new building to house his floating restaurant at Fisherman’s Wharf. “I think many economies are doing well and that usually means that tourism is up,” he said. Succeeding in business and in tourism often comes down to one thing, Poyntz said. “I think if you have something unique to offer, whether it’s the destination or the product you’re selling, then you have a very good chance at success.” John Wilson, president and CEO of the Wilson Group of Companies, said he is encouraged by indicators for his fleet of buses. “We foresee a good season, for sure,” he said. “Both from cruise and independent travel, and tour travel, 2018’s going to be a large season.” While the outlook is favourable, there are some concerns in the region, Bourree said.

“In the last 10 years, we’ve lost 10 hotels in Victoria,” he said. “So our inventory is down and those hotels largely have either become condos or social housing.” He said about 1,100 hotel rooms have gone in the process. Airbnb has stepped into the market with about 1,400 to 1,500 rooms, he said, and has a role to play in accommodating the burgeoning tourism sector. Filling tourism-related jobs is another big issue. Bourree said that a discussion with leading hoteliers made it clear to him that the state of the labour market is their “single biggest challenge.” Among the many reasons for that: Long-term employees are aging out of their jobs and the migration of workers from other provinces has dwindled “because our housing is too scarce and too expensive,” Bourree said. “People won’t move here because of that.” As well, there are other options for people seeking work, he said, noting that unemployment here has been close to the lowest in Canada at about 3.5 per cent. “The tourism industry is taking a beating from construction, from tech.”

DARREN S TON ONE E PHOT PHOT HOTO

TOURISM

One element that has shown steady improvement is the length of the tourist season, he said. “We’re doing better yearround. They used to refer to the hundred days of summer; we’re stretching those markets out into the shoulder months.” Tourism Victoria is contributing by doing a good job of marketing the conference business, he said. “That’s helping to fill in some of those weak links within the year.” Bourree said that Victoria maintains a top reputation as a tourist destination. “It’s a clean, green, safe place.” Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said the city is really becoming known for its vibrant atmosphere. “I think we are going to see a lot of people this year, a lot more bike tourism,” she said. “I think there’s a lot that Victoria has to offer.” That includes a topnotch arts-and-culture scene and “tonnes of festivals,” Helps said.

Capital C Capi apital tal PRO PROG PROGRESS OG G RESS RESS SS S 201 2018 018 | 33 33


PAUL NURSEY

T

A new global destination

raditionally at this time of year, hundreds of local tourismrelated businesses are working hard to prepare for the tourist season. Greater Victoria has been long known as a desirable destination in the spring and summer months. Our bright, sunny weather is a draw for many. Cruise ships arrive in port and our iconic hotels fill with guests — many experiencing for the first time what Greater Victoria has to offer. What local residents perhaps are less aware of is the tourism economy in Greater Victoria is coming off a very successful shoulder and off-season as well. In the past few years, Tourism Victoria identified this period in the calendar as an opportunity for growth. Promotional campaigns for romance and LGBTQ travel, Chinese New Year and the Dine Around culinary promotional campaign brought many visitors to Greater Victoria who otherwise would not have visited. Greater Victoria is diversifying its tourism product and the sector is thriving. Businesses are confident and have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years for hotel renovations, new ferry services and other infrastructure. This in turn helps other sectors in the economy such as construction and trades. The Victoria Conference Centre is a great example of capitalizing on new opportunities. In 2016, Tourism Victoria and the City of Victoria entered into an agreement where Tourism Victoria would take over the sales and marketing function of the Victoria Conference Centre. The collaboration between the two organizations resulted in a 60 per cent increase (138 vs. 220) in conference leads to our

34 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

destination. In January, Tourism Victoria hosted the inaugural Impact Sustainability Travel and Tourism Conference. More than 175 delegates from across the country came together and discussed the future of tourism in a new age of environmental and social responsibility. Many of these conferences — like Impact — are taking place in our shoulder and off-seasons, bringing attendees from all over to Greater Victoria. They fill our hotels and spend money at our local restaurants, helping the local economy in the process. Although we have made strides in in our shoulder and off-season, we have much to look forward to in our upcoming spring and summer months. We are anticipating another busy year. New flights to Victoria International Airport have been announced, including direct flights to and from Montreal and Edmonton.

Last year, Victoria was named by Condé Nast as its No. 2 destination in the Readers’ Choice list of best small cities outside the U.S. Word is out about Greater Victoria as a tourism destination — and not just regionally or nationally, but internationally as well. As Greater Victoria’s tourism product evolves, so must our brand. Our organization is rebranding our destination to better reflect what we are and what have become. Greater Victoria was once a regional tourism brand, but is now a truly global tourism brand. These changes will be unveiled in the next few months. The future of tourism in Greater Victoria is exciting and ever changing. Tourism Victoria will continue its hard work to attract visitors to our region, and doing its part to support the local economy and community in the process. Paul Nursey is the president and CEO of Tourism Victoria


DARREN STONE PHOTOS

TOURISM

Tourists crowd the Inner Harbour Causeway, a favourite spot at the foot of the Empress Hotel and a gateway to downtown.

OCCUPANCY RATE GREATER VICTORIA

B.C. Ferries brings thousands of tourists to the Island each year.

2015

74.2%

70.2%

2014

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2016

2015

$159.55

$147.74

5. CRUISE SHIPS The number of scheduled cruise-ship visits to Ogden Point is up this year, and is expected to keep climbing in the foreseeable future. As well, the Wilson Group of Companies and Cruise Victoria Services Tours have formed a new company to help get the 600,000-plus passengers where they want to go.

2013

AVERAGE ROOM RATE GREATER VICTORIA

$120.51

A low Canadian dollar not only brings more Americans to the country, it also keeps Canadians at home, Marshall said. “Instead of heading down to

Finding people to fill jobs connected to tourism has been a problem for some time and continues to be a concern. Job seekers have other options in today’s labour market.

2012

$121.24

6%23534(%!-%2)#!. DOLLAR

2011

66.7%

4. ,!"/52)335%3

2010

$134.81

2. THE CANADIAN DOLLAR

Frank Bourree of Chemistry Consulting, which counts tourism among its areas of expertise, said the city needs more hotels after losing 10 over the past decade. The loss of those hotels has trimmed the inventory of hotel rooms by 1,100, so more capacity is required to meet demand.

64.3%

3. ,/33/&(/4%,30!#%

$128.15

B.C. Ferries is one operation that can feel the pinch from more expensive fuel. Spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said the corporation is keeping a close eye on gas prices, for both itself and its customers. “What we find is if the price at the pump increases, sometimes that might eat into customers’ disposable income,” she said. “So sometimes that can have an effect on our traffic.”

62.1%

California if you’re paying 20, 25 cents on the dollar, you might want to come to Vancouver Island instead.”

63.0%

1. GAS PRICES

64.8%

at play in the region’s tourism sector in 2018:

$122.97

5

FACTORS

2016

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 35


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Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and John Wilson, president of Wilson’s Transportation, cut the ribbon on the new Capital City Station.

B.C. FERRIES PASSENGER TRAFFIC

5,588,009

5,613,505

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

B.C. FERRIES VEHICLE TRAFFIC

1,747,102

2012

2013

2014

2015

1,924,872

1,747,701

2011

1,842,087

1,757,525

2010

1,799,949

1,856,109

Between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay

2016

B.C. FERRIES BUS TRAFFIC

21,031

20,736

2013

2014

38 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

2015

22,539

21,736 2012

21,412

21,284

23,289

2011

SMOOTH MOVE Capital City Station proving a perfect place to connect people with buses

T

Between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay

2010

DARREN STONE PHOTO

5,571,741

2011

6,131,210

5,661,676

2010

5,882,599

5,864,258

Between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay

2016

he Crystal Garden bus depot, known as the Capital City Station, continues to run well despite initial fears that it would lead to crowding and other problems. Buses pick up passengers from the front of the Crystal Garden building. The depot opened July 1, 2016 with an 1,800-square-foot space that includes a waiting area and ticket services. “It’s very much a success and the community hasn’t been impacted at all, nor has traffic flow,” said John Wilson, president and CEO of the Wilson Group of Companies, which operates the depot. “It’s been a nice utilization of an otherwise underutilized building.” The new depot arrangement was approved by Victoria council after the former depot across the street was earmarked for residential development. Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said there was significant concern from the community when the depot was announced. “Now I think it’s running seamlessly,” she said. “I think it’s a great addition to that part of town. There’s Capital City Station and the B.C. Ferries Connector and the Capital City Cafe, so they’ve really kind of filled all of those units along the Douglas Street frontage of the Crystal Garden.

Wilson said some people thought it just wouldn’t work. “They thought it was going to be packed with people, the sidewalks were going to be jammed up with people and it was going to be untenable for the locals to get by,” Wilson said. “And it was going to be loud and noisy. “Really the buses pull up, they turn off their engines, load up people, fire up and go.” The way the Victoria depot operates is a sign of the times, Wilson said. “Curbside pickup is kind of where things are going, not brick-and-mortar and large lots full of buses,” he said. “It’s not like an airport, so you don’t need large areas holding people.” Bus terminals still have a function in larger centres such as Vancouver, Wilson said, but smaller cities such as Victoria do just fine with a different approach.


TOURISM

The cruise ship Norwegian Jewel docks at Ogden Point as walkers on the breakwater take in the ship’s massive size.

E

xpectations for another banner tourist season include the usual influx of cruise ships to Ogden Point. “There’s a couple of exciting things happening this year,” said Lindsay Gaunt, director of cruise development for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. First is the prospect of another record-breaking stretch for Canada’s busiest cruise-ship stop. Gaunt said the cruise-ship season starts in April, really gets going in May and continues until October. A record 247 ship arrivals will bring just over 600,000 passengers into the region. That’s up from 239 ships and 590,000 passengers in 2017. Another 2018 highlight will be the arrival of the cruise ship Norwegian Bliss, Gaunt said, which will be in its inaugural season out of Seattle. “June 1 will be that ship’s very first official call into Victoria,” she said. “It’s also the first port of call this ship will have ever sailed to.” Passengers coming off the ships will have all sorts of options, she said. “We’re expecting that it will be a real positive for the city in terms of seeing folks walking

2013

2014

2015

2016

DARREN STONE PHOTO

224 2012

223

2011

227

2010

203

Canada’s busiest cruise-ship port key to region’s healthy tourism sector

202

247 ship visits, 600,000 passengers

210

228

CRUISE SHIP ARRIVALS

to the city and coming to the downtown area, as well as taking buses to attractions further afield.” There are some improvements for ground transportation from Ogden Point, Gaunt said, with a new company in place and more environmentally friendly buses than in past years. The company, Pacific Northwest Transportation Services, is a joint venture involving the Wilson Group of Companies and Cruise Victoria Services Tours. Figures from the 2017 show that about 28 per cent of cruise passengers arriving in Victoria left the terminal on foot. The remaining 72 per cent ran the gamut of tour buses, shuttle buses, bicycles, limousines, taxis and pedicabs.

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 39


Victoria International Airport President and CEO Geoff Dickson

Victoria International Airport: 3 million passengers by 2030 BILL CLEVERLEY

V

ancouver Island’s two major airports are undergoing critical renovations this year to keep pace with soaring demand. “We never would have predicted three years ago the kind of growth that we’ve seen,” said Geoff Dickson, president and CEO of Victoria International Airport, adding that there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight for increasing volumes of planes and passengers. “All things seem to point upward in terms of the strength of the local economy. There’s going to be growth in ultra-low-cost airlines. It’s always difficult to predict downturns, which inevitably there will be, but certainly things look pretty bullish for the medium term.” Passenger numbers climbed to 1.9 million last year at the airport. That number is expected to exceed two million this year and could reach three million by 2030. A number of factors are fuelling the growth, Dickson said. “[It’s] being driven by the favourable exchange rates and the continued strengthening of the British Columbia economy and, in particular, the Greater Victoria economy.”

40 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

As well, “phenomenal growth” at both Vancouver and Seattle airports has provided for incredible connections into Victoria, Dixon said. That’s brought about plans for a $19.4-million expansion at Victoria’s airport, doubling the capacity of the ground-level departure lounge. The 18,998-square-foot addition will stretch from the north end of the existing lounge to create a space totaling 30,839 square feet. The project will serve passengers who now leave the lower lounge and cross the tarmac to board their planes. The addition will feature six gates, each with its own departure door designated for one aircraft. A seventh gate will be flexible to serve lower-or upper-level passengers.


TRANSPORTATION

The Victoria Airport Authority is investing $19.4 million over the next 27 months to expand the lower passenger departure lounge. The project includes doubling the size of the existing layout, providing dedicated aircraft gates and covered walkways, new washrooms and additional food and beverage and retail.

The new doors will be built on the east and west sides of the addition. At Nanaimo Airport, where passenger numbers have also been setting records, construction has begun on the first phase of a 20-year, $55 million expansion. Estimated to cost $14 million, the first phase of the plan is to add 14,000 square feet to the 23,680-squarefoot terminal building, including expansion of the area where baggage is X-rayed, an increase in the capacity of the boarding lounge and addition of a food retail outlet. In 2017, Nanaimo Airport numbers topped 358,000 — a 110 per cent increase in six years. WestJet and Air Canada currently serve Nanaimo. Passengers can fly non-stop to Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

Nanaimo’s airport has started a 20-year, $55-million expansion project

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 41


ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

SMOOTH SAILING

Clipper introduces its largest, fastest and technologically advanced vessel for Victoria-Seattle route

    

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TRANSPORTATION

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assengers traveling to Seattle via catamaran can expect a smoother trip now that Victoria Clipper has upgraded its service. The route will be serviced by Clipper V, a 579-seat catamaran that had been working in the North Sea between Hamburg and Heligoland in Germany, as part of the fleet owned by Clipper Vacation’s parent company, FRS. The catamaran has a galley that can serve hot food, a gift shop, duty-free service and three classes of seating, including comfort class with a private cabin area where snacks are offered. “It’s the first time we’ve been able to have a class system, so we have a comfort class which is our version of business class,” says CEO David Gudgel. In addition to larger, leather seating, the $20-seating upgrade will provide spectacular views, he says. “The view from the forward portion of the upper deck is just phenomenal.” The 52-metre vessel is the fastest in Clipper’s fleet, traveling up to 36 knots. It is 12 metres longer and 2.5 metres wider than the original Clipper I. It also has a motion-dampening system that will allow it to operate in weather that would otherwise have forced cancellation of sailings.

“It’s a much more stable platform and it has technology to give it a better ride,” says Gudgel. “The wave-piercing hull design has two large bulbous bows from each of the hulls and a motion dampening system that is a gyroscopically driven wing under each one of the hulls that will help us provide a more stable ride.” The faster top speed means Clipper V will be able to maintain schedules more easily, says Gudgel. Clipper V was originally brought in by the Seattlebased company for the launch

of a new service between Victoria’s Inner Harbour and Vancouver’s Coal Harbour. But late last year the company announced it had cancelled plans for that passenger service due to “unexpected operational costs” in Vancouver. The 330-seat Clipper I kicked off Victoria-to-Seattle service 31 years ago, and is considered a key driver to the region’s tourism industry.

— Bill Cleverley

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 43

ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

Clipper CEO David Gudgel


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1-888-788-8840 44 | Capital PROGRESS 2018


TRANSPORTATION TRA ANSPORTATION

TRANSIT BREAKTHROUGH Bus lanes are proving a painful task, but the idea is build them and riders will follow

I

t’s a project that has progressed at about the same rate as a commuter stuck in the Colwood Crawl. Since 2014, about $20 million has been invested in building transit-priority lanes designed to allow buses to whiz by bumper-to-bumper commuter traffic between Colwood and Victoria. To date, progress seems painfully slow. By the end of 2019, about 5.3 kilometres — less than half of the route — will be done. But officials say as each piece is completed, others will move more quickly. Construction is completed or underway on a number of stretches, and planning on other phases is in the works. The bus-only lanes have long been billed as a top priority for the Greater Victoria Transit Commission and local municipalities. The numbers support the idea. An estimated 1,700 vehicles per hour use the Douglas Street corridor during peak travel times. Only three per cent of those vehicles are buses, but those buses are carrying 40 per cent of the people moving along the corridor. Securing the corridor is a major building block for future improvements. B.C. Transit’s manager of planning for Victoria, Levi Timmermans, cites No. 3 Road in Richmond as an example of the process, pointing out that, before the Sky Train, bus lanes were built down the middle of the road. “So you build transit ridership; you build the demand for it; grab the right of way. Ridership goes through the roof and then when there’s an opportunity for funding programs, you make that quantum leap to the next level of transit and in that case it was a Sky Train solution.” Better transit options can’t come soon enough.

BUS LANE PROGRESS 34!453/&$/5',!3 7%343(/2% TRANSIT PRIORITY CORRIDOR:

s Bus-bike lane southbound Hillside to Fisgard, completed 2014. s Bus-bike lane northbound Fisgard to Tolmie, completed 2015. s Bus-bike lane southbound, Tolmie to Hillside, under construction, to be completed late 2018. s Bus lane northbound, Tolmie to Burnside bridges,

Between 2006 and 2016, the population of Sooke and the West Shore climbed from 62,000 to 83,000, with a lot of those people using the same stretch of highway to travel to and from work or school. “The bigger a community gets the more traffic there’s going to be. Communities can’t solve traffic congestion problems, but they can provide people choices of how to travel,” said B.C. Transit manager of planning James Wadsworth. That means the need for more investments in roads, cycling infrastructure and in transit. “It has been implemented as dollars became available,” said Susan Brice, chairwoman of the Victoria Regional Transit Commission. “It would have been ideal back 4 1/2 years ago to have had all the funds and put it all out there, but it just wasn’t available to us,” Brice said, adding that support for the project is strong among all the players. And, she said, building the new lanes isn’t simply a matter of painting lines along the side of the road. “Each of the sections has been pretty significant construction engineering by the time you get bus cut-outs and you deal with the current infrastructure. It’s been kept on the front burner, but it is amazing how much time it takes to plan each section, get it tendered and get it built,” Brice said. One of the big gaps is the Trans-Canada between McKenzie Avenue and the Old Island Highway. The roadway is under provincial jurisdiction and the province has yet to set a timeline for finishing the lanes all the way to the Colwood turnoff in View Royal. — Bill Cleverley under construction, completion late 2019. s McKenzie interchange northbound bus lane, under construction, completion 2019. s Bus lane southbound Burnside bridges to Tolmie, planning started early 2018. s McKenzie interchange southbound bus lane, under construction, completion 2019. s Island Highway, Trans-Canada to Colwood Exchange, under study with Colwood and View Royal. s Trans-Canada Highway, McKenzie interchange to Colwood turnoff, a future stage.

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 45


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46 | Capital PROGRESS 2018


TRANSPORTATION TRANSPORTA ATION Integrated mobility is the long-term solution to parking woes

F

our years ago it was much easier to find parking in downtown Victoria. The city’s parkades were well below capacity. And on the street, people could find parking directly in front of their chosen store. In 2014, the complaints weren’t about parking. They were about vacant storefronts downtown and worries about downtown’s future. The data corroborated this worry because in 2014 the downtown retail vacancy rate was 11.3 per cent. Fast forward to 2018. Parking garages are often at capacity during peak hours (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and on-street parking is harder to come by. Part of this is because the city made improvements to the parkades and the First Hour Free program; the almost immediate increased parking revenues after these changes showed us that more people were coming downtown. But there’s more going on. The downtown retail vacancy rate has dropped LISA HELPS to a historic low of 3.8 per cent. There are more shops and services to choose from. And that’s not all. Between 2008 and 2018, owners of privately owned parking lots sold to developers, resulting in a loss of 1800 parking spots. In place of cars, we now have people living downtown in new rental and condo buildings, with thousands more to come. Because of all this building downtown, there are between 150 to 200 on-street parking spaces occupied by construction-related activities at any given time. This temporarily removes more spots from a shrinking pool. And, of course, there are the bike lanes — 44 parking spots removed along the Pandora corridor between Wharf and Cook and 11 on Fort Street.

InSights

Our collective success in creating near full occupancy in downtown retail and adding new residents to a vibrant downtown neighbourhood has created a new challenge. We’re in a crunch period in the middle of a building boom. To get through it we need new parking spots. Local parking experts estimate that we need about 400 new spots to regain parking equilibrium. The Yates on Yates will add 63. The proposed Townline building at 777 Herald St. will add another 44 should it be approved by council. Another 50 or so are being proposed at the Parc development at Fort and Quadra. And recently council approved a temporary use permit for 38 new surface spots. Once all these spots — and more like them — are built, we’ll be back on track. Fixing parking is the easy part. We will still have a big transportation problem. On-road transportation is the largest source of greenhousegas emissions in the region, with estimates as high as 55 per cent. People commuting spend too much time stuck in traffic. And car ownership is expensive, pegged at

$9,500 annually, according to the Canadian Automobile Association. Putting that money toward housing, food or childcare instead would increase overall affordability. In the long term, the answer to the parking problem isn’t more parking spaces; it’s seamless integrated mobility. The big challenge, for our region and other North American metro regions that have grown up around the car, is to create transportation options that are quicker, cheaper, more convenient and more enjoyable than the car. This means implementing bus rapid transit across the region. It means rapid transit becomes part of an integrated mobility ecosystem including bus, bike, walking, carshare, bikeshare and car. It means smart transportation options such as a single pay system for all modes of transportation. It means building a transportation system that elegantly moves us around the region, a system that inspires us all. Lisa Helps is the mayor of Victoria

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 47


ADVERTISING FEATURE

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In 2013 nearly ear arly ly 63% 63% of of people peop pe opplee aged aggeed 15 years andd older old lder er iinn Gr Grea Greater eeaate te Vi ter VVictoria Vict ict c oorriaa participated iinn so some me fform o m of or o volunteer vol olun lun u te teeer work, compared par a ed to to 49 49% % in i BBC C aand nd 44 44% 4% in Canada. Can anad ada. a

24% of all tax tax a filers fi inn Greater Gre ter Vi Gr Grea Vic Victoria ctoriaa made ccharitable harrirtable donations ha dona naations i in 2015. 2015. The median an donation donnation inn GGreater reaterr VVictoria ictooria was considerably derrablyy higher higheer that th the thhe he national nattional io median edi dian an ddonatio donation tion of of $30 $300. 3000 300.

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Capital Ca Capi C api aap piitta p tal aall PROG PROGRESS PRO P PR RO R ROG OG O GR RE RES RESS ES EESS SS SS 2 201 20 2018 01 0 18 48 | Cap 48


Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 49


We all deserve opportunities of hope, safety and empowerment.

Bridges for Women Society Executive Director, Victoria Pruden.

BRIDGES FOR WOMEN SOCIETY

"I am stronger than I have ever been"

- Bridges Graduate

DONATE TODAY BECOME A MONTHLY DONOR PLAN YOUR BEQUEST WE NEED EVERYONE TO BE PART OF THIS CULTURAL SHIFT TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

1809 Douglas St, Victoria BC, V8V 1M8 (250) 385-7410 bridgesforwomen.ca

BEYOND TRAUMA:

Giving Opportunities of Safety, Hope and Empowerment Violence against women impacts more than half of all women in British Columbia, and Bridges for Women Society is in your city to change that. “Getting involved with Bridges was a life-saving experience for me because they gave me the tools and the support to reclaim my life…the freedom that I got from that experience, it was kind of like I’d had one arm strapped behind my back for years. And suddenly, that arm was free.” explains a Bridges’ Employment Program graduate who is now living as a successful artist in Victoria, BC. Bridges for Women is a gutsy, innovative charity inspiring thousands of women survivors of abuse to reclaim their life and gain economic security since 1988. With government support and creative fundraising, this agency has grown into three locations in Downtown Victoria, Westshore and Sooke, as well as remotely serving local First Nations reserves and remote areas of BC. From 18 years of age to 78, all women, no matter their socio-economic background, are getting the help they deserve to move beyond trauma. “Love and learning are fundamental” explains Arlene Wells, founding mother of Bridges for Women Society. Trauma healing, employment training, mentorship, Camosun College upgrading and self-employment workshops are but some of the many programs changing the lives of women who are living with the effects of violence, abuse and trauma. “We are serving more women than ever, and will continue to reach women who are at greatest risk of violence, isolation and living near poverty. We need you to help.” Victoria Pruden, Executive Director of Bridges for Women Society. Take action against this culture of violence against women and donate monthly, yearly or plan a gift to break the cycle of violence, through healing and employment, one woman at a time. – Bridges for Women Society

50 | Capital PROGRESS 2018


RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE BC AND YUKON

Home away from home (ELPKEEP6ANCOUVER)SLANDFAMILIESCLOSEWHENITMATTERSMOST “We’ve called the helicopter. It’s on its way.” These are words that Mike and Kristina Veltri from Sooke, BC, never expected to hear when they took their 16-monthold daughter Nicola to the doctor. They assumed Nicola had caught a bug that was going around. Instead, she was diagnosed with leukemia and needed an immediate treatment in Vancouver. At 1 a.m., Nicola and her mom boarded a helicopter for Vancouver and Mike went home Mike and Nicola Veltri to help their two other children, age six and nine, to pack – even though they had no idea how long they would be gone. For Vancouver Island families like Nicola’s, a child’s serious illness turns life upside down. Parents feel emotional and financial strains from being away from home and siblings feel uprooted. That’s where Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon (RMH BC) comes in. RMH BC provides accommodation and support for families that must travel to Vancouver for their child’s life-saving medical care, and 25 per cent of the families they serve come from Vancouver Island. More than just a place to stay, the House keeps families together in a community of support. “Ronald McDonald House includes everybody,” says Mike. “They take care of the whole family, not just the patient.” At the House, Nicola was able to resume life as a typical toddler learning to stand and walk. Her brother and sister returned home to Sooke to keep up with school but they were able to visit and stay over the holidays. Other families at RMH BC became an important source of support for the Veltri family, sharing advice and helping each other cope while waiting for the next appointment. Now, Nicola has returned home to Sooke and only comes to Vancouver for checkups. Her family is dedicated to giving back to RMH BC, their home away from home. sRMH BC provides accommodation and support for up to 2000 families like Nicola’s each year, helping them to stay together when it matters most. sFamilies can stay for weeks, months or years while their child receives life-saving treatment. sVolunteer-run programs such as family meals reduce day-to-day stress and help families focus on the most important thing: supporting their sick child.

CHAMPIONS WANTED Help keep Vancouver Island families close at Ronald McDonald House. Donate today at

www.rmhbc.ca

– Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon There are many ways that you can support Island families at Ronald McDonald House, from making a donation to hosting your own fundraiser. Every contribution helps and makes all of the simple everyday moments of family life possible, from building Lego castles to sharing a mug of hot chocolate to reading a bedtime story. By giving today, you keep Vancouver Island families with seriously ill children close when it matters most. To donate or to find out more, visit rmhbc.ca.

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 51


Every year, donations to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation help fund hundreds of priority pieces of equipment that contribute to faster diagnosis and more efcient treatment at oyal ubilee, Victoria eneral and orge oad hospitals, in every area of care The generosity of donors allows our hospitals to stay on the leading edge to provide the best patient care For that, we are grateful

YOUR IMPACT THIS PAST YEAR 4,000+ DONORS

10+ MILLION DOLLARS OLLARS RAISED

3 HOSPITALS EQUIPPED EQ

11 AREAS OF CARE RE SU SUPPORTED

100+ PIECES OF EQUIPMENT ENT FUNDED F

100,000+ ISLAND PATIENTS SERVED VED D

www.victoriahf.ca

250-519-1750

52 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

Wilson Block, 1952 Bay St, Victoria, BC, V8R 1J8

Victoria resident Lyndsay Green received an extraordinary treatment and care at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

VICTORIA HOSPITALS FOUNDATION

Grateful patient gives back Victoria resident Lyndsay Green knows that accidents can happen when you least expect them. After a day on the ocean, Lyndsay and her husband Hank were heading in when she jumped to the dock to tie their boat up as she always does. But this time, she misjudged. “I hit the dock and fell, sliding into the water,” she recalls. “I knew I was seriously injured as I couldn’t swim due to the pain. I called out to my husband with the breath I could muster. Fortunately, there was a pipe that I grabbed onto while I waited for him to haul me out of the water.” Lyndsay was rushed to Royal Jubilee Hospital. She was bleeding internally – so much so that she needed to receive three bags of blood. At the hospital, a team of world-class caregivers and skilled technicians conducted a series of CT scans and located the source of her internal bleeding: a critical tear in one of the arteries that runs to her liver. The care team at RJH made the important decision to embolize Lyndsay’s artery, which involved plugging it with tiny platinum coils inserted through a catheter. To perform the complex and life-saving procedure, the team used an interventional angiography system, a piece of sophisticated equipment that allows doctors to see inside blood vessels and organs. The internal bleeding stopped and Lyndsay’s life was saved. “There’s no question that the embolization procedure is the reason I am back to complete health,” Lyndsay says. After she was discharged, Lyndsay learned that our hospitals were in urgent need of two new interventional angiography systems. In recognition of the exceptional care she received, Lyndsay and her husband made a donation to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. “I received an extraordinary treatment from every staff member I encountered at Royal Jubilee, and I experienced a high level of competency, care and concern at every stage of diagnosis, treatment and recovery,” Lyndsay recalls. “My husband and I feel privileged to contribute to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation and help support our healthcare professionals in doing their best work possible and saving more lives.” Each year, the medical teams of Royal Jubilee, Victoria General and Gorge Road hospitals identify important equipment and special projects that will enhance their ability to save lives and effectively care for their patients. And each year, our community can ensure this equipment is available by making a gift to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. Visit www.victoriahf.ca or call the Foundation at 250-519-1750 – Victoria Hospitals Foundation


JOIN US FOR SOME FUN! And you will help raise much needed FUNDS!

15th Annual

BROADMEAD CARE CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT

May 10th, 2018 : : Royal Colwood Golf Club

4HETH!NNUAL"ROADMEAD#ARE#HARITY 'OLF4OURNAMENTWILLBEON4HURSDAY-AY  ATTHE2OYAL#OLWOOD'OLF#LUB

The 15th Annual Broadmead Care Charity Golf Tournament has been raising much needed funds for the veterans and seniors at The Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead, the primary priority access bed facility for veterans on Vancouver Island.

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BROADMEAD CARE

The Fun in Funds Giving comes in many forms, one of those being just plain old fun. Join us for the 15th Annual Broadmead Care Charity Golf Tournament and help raise much needed funds to support the veterans and seniors at the Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead. Our motto is to ensure every moment matters for the residents we serve, and we do this by providing the best in equipment, programs and resources. These costs are not covered by capital funding, so we raise money through standard mailing appeals and donation requests in the community. One of our favourite ways to raise funds is through our Annual Broadmead Care Charity Golf Tournament. This event is a fun way to engage our community while at the same time work towards raising the money needed to provide the best in comfort and care for our WWII, Korean War, as well as current day and allied veterans. Just under one million dollars has been raised since 2003 with support from community leaders and golfers either by coming out to play the tournament or donating and sponsoring. With your help we plan to raise $100,000 at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event happening on May 10, 2018 at the Royal Colwood Golf Club. A day ďŹ lled with a fabulous lunch, 18 holes of golf on a private course, silent auction, wine, 50/50 and diamond rafďŹ&#x201A;es all wrapped up with a high class buffet dinner. And emceed by one of the funniest guys in town, Mr. Jack Knox. Over the past ten years we have replaced all beds, renovated dining rooms, installed overhead hydraulic lifts in all rooms and provided hydraulic bathing facilities on all ďŹ&#x201A;oors. The Lodge is over 20 years old and the existing furnishings have reached the end of their useful lives. Proceeds from this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tournament will go towards the Make Room Campaign, veteransâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and seniorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; rooms renovations. If you are interested in having some fun while raising money for a good cause check out our website at www.broadmeadcare.com or call 250-658-3274.

Every swing of the club over the years has meant updated medical equipment, new overhead lift systems, hydraulic bathing facilities, and more recently renovating resident rooms. Ensuring our residents receive the best in comfort and care and making every moment matter in their lives. This annual fundraising initiative is just one of the ways you can support our Canadian and allied veterans. Learn more on how you can participate as a golfer, sponsor and a donor at www.broadmeadcare.com Contact: Shannon Donnelly Event Coordinator Broadmead Care 4579 Chatterton Way, Victoria BC, V8X 4Y7

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Broadmead Care

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VICTORIA SEXUAL ASSAULT CENTRE

A place of transformation

The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre provides counselling, justice system support, and clinic services at no cost to survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. Your support makes these transformational services possible.

Give the gift of healing today! www.vsac.ca/donate

When you envision a sexual assault centre you may imagine a place filled with fear and hopelessness, but the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre (VSAC) is a place of transformation. It is a place where survivors are supported to overcome the impacts of trauma and reconnect with their strength. VSAC is a feminist organization committed to ending sexualized violence through healing, education, and prevention. We are dedicated to supporting women and all Trans survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, through crisis support, counselling, and empowerment. Each year we provide approximately 2,000 survivors with the support they need to begin rebuilding their lives with the strength and resiliency that was always inherent in them. VSAC supports the healing process through our Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), who attend to survivors within 7 days of an assault, the operation of BC’s first and only integrated sexual assault clinic where survivors of a recent assault can receive medical care and forensic options. We also provide Crisis Counseling and Victim Services for those survivors choosing – VSAC client to access the criminal justice system in addition to group and individual counseling. In addition to providing direct services, we work toward a world without violence through our award-winning prevention education program, Project Respect. Project Respect supports youth to develop knowledge and skills to practice respectful relationships rooted in consent and to engage in social action to end sexualized violence. The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre relies on the generosity of our donors to provide life-transforming programs at no cost to survivors of sexualized violence. “Choosing to support survivors is a strong and powerful act of resistance to sexualized violence,” says Paula Murphy, Registered Clinical Counsellor. “Often survivors feel alone, isolated, and hopeless, as if nobody cares what they have been through. The financial support of our donors helps to turn this around. ” Whether it is through a one-time donation, becoming a monthly donor, or leaving a legacy gift, our donors make the transformational power of sexual assault support services possible. To learn more about how you can help, visit www.vsac.ca/donate or contact Carissa Ropponen at 250-383-5545 ext.115.

“Coming to the Sexual Assault Centre has given me permission to be myself without feeling guilty, shame or fear. I am empowered to be in the driver seat with my wheels coming off the ground in excitement. My journey on the road is way more fun now. Thanks everyone!”

– Victoria Sexual Assault Centre

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++ + ++ + +

2017 Spirit Award Recipients

David Curtis, President & CEO, Viking Air Limited

UNITED WAY

Taking commitment to a new height You never know when you’re going to need help. When you do, whether it’s help finding housing or accessing healthy food, getting your child on a confident life path or simply finding a positive connection in your community, United Way works to ensure that there is someone there to help. The work United Way does would not be possible without the support of donors. The annual Spirit Awards recognize workplace donors and volunteers who raise funds for United Way and help keep administrative costs low. This year, David Curtis, President & CEO, Viking Air Limited was recognized with the Chair’s Award of Distinction at the awards held on April 11, 2018. “Viking’s business model is centred around ‘versatility that works,’” says Curtis. “I believe in giving back to my community and I trust that United Way is going to make smart investment decisions so that people in need have somewhere to turn – whether that’s my neighbours, my colleagues or my family.” United Way is unique as a non-profit organization because it not only raises money but makes smart community investments based on in-house expertise and community consultation. United Way works to create long-term lasting change, getting at the root causes of complex social issues. But United Way also responds to immediate and emerging needs such as last year’s forest fires and the ongoing challenge of housing and homelessness. United Way Greater Victoria has been changing people’s lives for the better in the Capital Regional District for more than 80 years. Thanks to the support of over 235 workplaces who run fundraising campaigns, and corporate gifts and individual donors, last year alone, UWGV invested $4.2 million locally helping 111,000 people. If you want to learn more about United Way’s work in the community, visit www.uwgv.ca. – United Way

Outstanding Employee Campaign Chair Over 100 Employees Knappett Projects Inc. - Kathy Price Under 100 Employees Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce - Sophie Clodge and Emara Angus Outstanding Campaign Committee Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health - Island Health - Hospital Employee Union SVI, HSABC Leadership Giving Fairmont Empress - Unifor 4276 Outstanding Workplace Campaign Royal Roads University - CUPE 3886, RRUFA Community Impact Island Health - and affiliated unions Community Partner Community Living Victoria - Hospital Employees Union SVI Naden Band Spirit of Excellence Victoria Labour Council Post-Secondary Challenge Camosun College - BCGEU 701, Camosun College Faculty Association, CUPE 2081 Financial Challenge BMO Bank of Montreal Municipal Challenge Capital Regional District - CUPE 1978 Labour Partnership Spirit Award Natural Resources Canada Pacific Forestry Centre - PIPSC, PSAC UEW Local 20169 Chair’s Award of Distinction Viking Air Ltd – Dave Curtis, President & CEO Event supported by:

uwgv.ca

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SAANICH PENINSULA HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

Golf and Giving When I arrived at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation, almost 20 years ago, one of the first people I met was Royce McKinnon. He was about to retire as Treasurer of the Foundation and wanted me to understand the changes he and our auditors had made to our accounting system. At that time, I found him to be engaged, affable and deeply connected to the work of the Foundation. This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Royce reappeared to help organize our golf tournament. He and his wife Doris loved to golf, and he was at his happiest when ensuring that he and 142 of his “closest” friends had both, a sunny day golfing and the opportunity to support their hospital. I learned that one of the challenges of hosting a “best ball” tournament is the scoring; if you want to take handicaps into account for a “Low Net Score” prize as well as the normal “Low Gross Score” prize. To overcome that problem, Royce created a scoring system to blend both the gross (or actual) shots taken and people’s handicaps. The more we used the system, the more it became identified with Royce, and it became known as “Royce’s Rules”. Over the years, I’ve actually

been able to golf in a couple of tournaments, but I discovered that I shouldn’t, because Royce always weighted my team so they wouldn’t win. “It wouldn’t look right if you won, Karen,” he told me. In between tournaments, Royce and Doris would come into the office for visits. They were a kind, generous couple. Around the time of their 60th wedding anniversary, I commented that they were one of the most compatible couples I had ever met. Royce, with a sly smile, responded, “Well, we don’t get along perfectly every day!” We lost both of these lovely people last year, and I feel honored that they remembered the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation in their will with a very generous bequest. While I will miss them terribly, it will be a labour of love to put their bequest to work helping members of our community in need of the services of the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. If you’ve thought about making a legacy gift to the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation, talk to us. We’d be happy to give you advice. – Karen Morgan

Royce and Doris McKinnon

Your Legacy You can help provide outstanding care. Just think of all the good your planned gift will do. your community, your health 250-652-7531 sphf.ca

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Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 57


Titan Boats recently shipped two police vessels to Slovenia, marking the company’s entry into the European law-enforcement market. TITAN BOATS PHOTO

BUILT BETTER In Greater Victoria, Titan Boats’ reputation for quality gives company worldwide customer base PEDRO ARRAIS

I

nnovation continues to drive Victoria’s manufacturing sector, with established companies designing and building products in demand locally and around the world. There are an estimated 120 manufacturing firms on southern Vancouver Island. “Our industry is built on innovation, specialization and global expertise,” said John Juricic, business consultant and head of Harbour Digital Media. “Our specialty — where we excel — is producing innovative products.” A prime example is Titan Boats, a family-owned company that operates out of a 10,000-square-foot facility off the Pat Bay Highway on the Saanich Peninsula. The company manufactures boats built to order from a choice of 15 platforms, from rigid-hull inflatables to high-speed catamarans. The boats are sought after by individuals in the recreational market, commercial operators and government agencies. Their heavy-duty models, designed to withstand rough seas, are used by military, search and rescue, coast guard and law-enforcement agencies from around the world. The company’s special-ops, military-style boats are the most sinister, with the company saying the boats are designed specifically for pursuit, boarding, fast response and extended mission durations. The SuperMAX Special Ops model is advertised as “a fast

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response vessel that can be readily used to conduct covert surveillance for extended periods, interdiction and boarding, and conduct marine tactical command.” Prices range from $250,000 to $700,000. Although there are lessexpensive boats on the market, buyers still beat a path to the company’s door. “It is increasingly more difficult to be competitive,” said John Stanners, who founded the company more than 20 years ago. “Fortunately, we have clients who appreciate the longterm quality of our boats.” He points to a 12-passenger boat sold in

1998 that still performs yeoman duty for a local whale-watching company. Other boats are found serving the coast guard auxiliary on east and west coasts, a marine patrol vessel with the Sunshine Coast RCMP as well as a number of government agencies in the U.S. They are beginning to make inroads in Europe as well. A pair of boats serve with the police force in Slovenia. Catching bad guys halfway around the world or catching the sight of a pod of whales or just catching fish in local waters, Titan Boats is up for the challenge.


MANUFACTURING

DARREN STONE PHOTO

Andrew Lamb, project manager at Titan Boats with a bridge system for a new sports fishing catamaran at the company’s manufacturing plant in Norh Saanich.

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InSights

DAVE CURTIS

WORLD-CLASS RESULTS, RIGHT HERE AT HOME Harry Liu works on a wing of a Viking Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft at the company’s facility at Victoria International Airport. CEO Dave Curtis says Viking is exploring several development paths which will become examples of manufacturing technologies for the future, contributing to the development of a globally competitive western Canadian aerospace supply chain. ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

W

ith the launch of the Viking Twin Otter Series 400 production program in 2007, Viking set a goal to become known as a world-class organization among our customers, stakeholders, employees and industry peers. Following the delivery of more than 120 aircraft internationally, Viking has demonstrated that one can be competitive on a global scale from right here at home. While Viking had already realized notable success locally, our formalized claim of becoming “world-class” meant stepping up our game and embracing new technologies and methodologies for our maturing business. Our business was focused on legendary Canadian aircraft product lines that were developed more than 50 years ago, but we knew we had to broaden our organizational view toward the future if we were to achieve world-class status. To achieve this, we welcomed the introduction of modern technology to our processes (such as adopting laser-calibrated tools, five-axis machining, use of composites and computerized models) and

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MANUFACTURING

we invested heavily in continuous improvement by launching the Runway to Excellence program in 2012. As part of this, a focus on lean manufacturing and waste reduction across the enterprise lead to significant savings, and, more importantly, made everyone part of the journey. Along with an adoption of “standard work” in all functions, it took us to a new level in both quality and organizational engagement. Being competitive globally starts with developing a highly skilled workforce, and

for this we turned to local post-secondary institutions to develop programs that would deliver skilled tradespeople right on our doorstep. Leveraging relationships with tech-savvy organizations such as the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology & Entrepreneurship Council, Camosun College and the Sidney North Saanich Industrial Group also helped us adopt innovation into our core principles. With even more requirements for innovation in today’s digital climate, we are exploring several development paths which

will truly become examples of manufacturing technologies for the future, contributing to the development of a globally competitive western Canadian aerospace supply chain. This will include elements of Factory 4.0, which takes advantage of today’s digital world utilizing tools such as additive manufacturing, augmented reality and machine assisted vision systems. It’s going to be an exciting time. As we look forward to the future and new opportunities, we have set our sights on modernizing the CL-415

amphibious firefighting aircraft. With the ever-increasing impact of climate change, this unique product is in high demand around the world as the most versatile initial attack and multimission firefighting aircraft available. These initiatives have helped us transition a small company in Victoria into a multi-provincial enterprise that is now considered by customers, stakeholders, employees, and industry peers alike to be truly world-class. Dave Curtis is president and CEO of Viking Air

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FACTS: TRADES, HOUSING CONCERNS While Vancouver Island manufacturers are ďŹ nding niche markets around the world, they all face pressing challenges closer to home.

Come fish with us in Victoria or Port Renfrew! *GJUTBGBOUBTUJDGJTIJOH BEWFOUVSFUIBUZPVSFBGUFS  MPPLOPGVSUIFSUIBO*TMBOE 0VUGJUUFST8FSFTFBTPOFE QSPTPGGFSJOHCPUI4BMUXBUFS BOE'SFTIXBUFSGJTIJOH WBDBUJPOTBMPOH7BODPVWFS *TMBOETDPBTUMJOF 8FIBWFFWFSZUIJOHZPV OFFEBMMZPVIBWFUPEPJT TIPXVQ

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VICTORIAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S LARGEST FISHING & HUNTING STORE t4BMU'SFTIXBUFSMJDFODFT t'MZGJTIJOHBOE'SFTIXBUFS HFBS t"MM)BMJCVUBOE4BMNPOHFBS t$SBCCJOHBOE1SBXOJOHHFBS t'VMMMJOFPGIVOUJOHTVQQMJFT

3319 Douglas St. Victoria BC toll free 1-866-915-4254 or 250-475-4969

info@fishingvictoria.com | www.islandoutfitters.ca

62 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

The biggest challenge is around attracting a suitable workforce to keep the work ďŹ&#x201A;oor humming. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because of the specialty nature of our product, we have to be prepared to make a fair investment to take on and train workers, with no incentive and no money to help us,â&#x20AC;? said John Stanners, founder of Titan Boats. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Schools now teach more coding rather than the practical trades.â&#x20AC;? Even basic welding courses taught at schools do little to prepare young adults, said Stanners, because they are mainly taught how to fabricate using steel, with little aluminum experience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to pass skill sets and knowledge on to the next generation, but we have to be innovative to ďŹ nd the right candidates.â&#x20AC;? Progressive immigration policies need to be part of the solution, said John Juricic, a founding member of the Sidney North Saanich Industrial Group, an advocate for the manufacturing sector in the region. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to be able to attract talent, get them here and help them ďŹ t in,â&#x20AC;? said Juricic. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Only then can we increase the inventory in the labour force.â&#x20AC;? Finding workers may be easier than convincing them to relocate to the region. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Housing â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or the lack of housing â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is the biggest hurdle we are up against,â&#x20AC;? said Stanners. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tough for young families.â&#x20AC;? The cost of housing is one part of the problem. Where the available housing is located presents another set of issues. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They can ďŹ nd more affordable housing in the Western Communities but then they face having a long commute to the Saanich Peninsula,â&#x20AC;? he said.

BY THE NUMBERS Follow us on

s4HE"#MANUFACTURINGSECTORISTHE fourth largest in Canada, accounting for more than 67 per cent of B.C.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s total goods

exports internationally. s In 2015, the value of B.C.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manufactured exports to foreign destinations approached $24.2 billion, an increase of almost nine per cent over the previous year. s It generated more than $14 billion in gross domestic product, accounting for 8.5 per cent of the total Canadian manufacturing sector in 2013. s Employment is rising, to about 161,000 workers, a gain of more than six per cent in 2014. By comparison, growth in the economy as a whole in the same time period was 0.6 per cent. s The average manufacturing wage is 14.7 per cent above the provincial average. s About 27 per cent of the employed labour force in the manufacturing sector of B.C. was female. Source: B.C. Stats, 2015.

KEY PLAYERS The Sidney North Saanich Industrial Group was formed in 2011 to advocate for the local manufacturing sector. Combined, the group has annual revenues of more than $750 million, with a payroll of $110 million for 2,500 employees. Founding members include: Titan Boats â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Boat builders for local and international markets United Engineering â&#x20AC;&#x201D; full-service fabrication and machine shop Seastar Chemicals â&#x20AC;&#x201D; manufacturer of high-purity reagents Nicholson Manufacturing â&#x20AC;&#x201D; supplier of forestry debarkers Schneider Electric â&#x20AC;&#x201D; devices that measure electric consumption Viking Air â&#x20AC;&#x201D; aerospace company manufacturing and servicing aircraft Scott Plastics â&#x20AC;&#x201D; all forms of plastic products Cube Storage â&#x20AC;&#x201D; contingency space, off-site computer and server backup and escrow storage Epicure Selections â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a supplier of food products SGS AXYS Analytics â&#x20AC;&#x201D; designs, manufactures and installs remote environmental monitoring systems worldwide.


MANUFACTURING REDESIGNING

Entrepreneur envisions POINT A TO POINT B a city of light-electric vehicles

F

abrizio Cross is not your traditional manufacturing entrepreneur. But he displays the same innovation as his peers as he tries to get his Electrom into the mainstream. The Electrom is what he calls a Light Electric Vehicle — essentially an electrically-assisted recumbent bicycle. The project is the culmination of an idea that has taken 20 years to come to fruition. “In order to get people out of five-passenger vehicles I had to come up with designing something with the features a car has — namely a cargo area or room for a small child,” said Cross, who has a computer graphics business. He plans to manufacture his vehicle locally, using a custom body and frame, but using many off-the-shelf parts already available in the mature e-bike industry. The vehicle’s aluminum frame and fiberglass body parts will all be sourced locally. “The local firms have all been incredibly helpful,” said Cross. John Juricic, business consultant and head of Harbour Digital Media, sees Cross and the Electrom as the future of manufacturing. “This is the perfect example of a company rapidly finding ways of using technology to adapt to their product,” he said. “This is what the new world of work looks like, to be at the front end of a business cycle.”

He said that there is no way we can ever hope to manufacture a product as cheaply as China — but that we should not want to. “Our specialty should be to come up with innovative products — like the Electrom — and then partner with others to produce it.” Hand in hand with the change is the arrival of a new cohort of workers with skill-sets that enable them to retrain for new jobs as old ones become redundant. Cross has been cycling on his prototype for the last two years, putting more than 4,000 kilometres on the road. He is crowdfunding on Indegogo, with spots for $500, $250 or $25. The funds he raises go toward creating moulds for

the vehicle’s fiberglass panels. The vehicles will range from $6,000 to $8,000 US, depending on battery size. He prices his vehicle to the U.S. dollar because the bulk of the vehicle’s mechanicals and electricals (the crank, motor, pedals) are sourced from suppliers in U.S. dollars. He is shooting for completing his first frame this summer, with the body installed by the end of the summer. He hopes to deliver his first completed vehicle by January. For more information, go to electrom.ca — Pedro Arrais

Fabrizio Cross takes his Electrom for a spin. His idea is to get people out of their cars, and give them a little cargo space. DARREN STONE PHOTO

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10

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"),,)/. GOAL

Greater Victoria’s technology sector aims for an even bigger economic bang in the region

APITAL POSED FIVE QUESTIONS TO DAN GUNN, the head of the Victoria Innovation Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council, about the health and future of the sector in the city. It looks very good ...

1: Greater Victoria’s tech industry has evolved into the region’s biggest economic generator. What is the value of technology to the region — and how is that beneficial to the people who live here? Greater Victoria’s technology sector is a $4-billion industry now, making it the largest industry [by combined company revenues] in our region. In fact, it’s been the largest industry since 2007 when it quietly moved up the ranks and hit $1.67 billion. Flash forward to today and our community now knows more than ever about those second-floor downtown offices and where that new, youthful vibe of the city might have come from. We’re now in the midst of conducting our next economic impact study, which will give us access to the most up-to-date statistics of our tech sector. At this point, we estimate there to be more than 15,000 employees working directly for local tech companies and 23,000 total tech employees in the region. According to recent studies, for every new high-tech job, four other jobs are created. VIATEC’s job board recently surpassed 130 job postings, indicating significant growth, and we’re developing new programs and retooling old ones to support our members through that growth. We’re now making sure VIATEC’s programs and services are specifically directed at helping to triple the technology industry’s economic impact to $10 billion by 2030. We think this is an achievable goal and as it grows, it’s going to attract more senior talent, which will then further accelerate the growth. 2: As an umbrella organization for the industry, VIATEC contains hundreds of companies. Tell us about the variety of firms who do business here. VIATEC currently has 555 members. The variety in sectors among our members is surprisingly broad. From gaming to ocean sciences, aerospace to virtual reality, advanced manufacturing to clean tech — it’s a very wide range. This couldn’t be more obvious than when thousands of attendees walked through Discover Tectoria in February. There

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were companies exhibiting such as StarFish Medical that have been around a very long time and design the most advanced medical devices, and newer companies like LlamaZOO Interactive, who are making waves with their AR, VR and MR solutions for mining, oil & gas and more. Our members are in the business of semiconductor crystals (Redlen Technologies), boat security and monitoring (BRNKL), global energy management and automation (Schneider Electric) and even the analysis of biological tissues (TrichAnalytics). The ground that’s covered by all our members is mindblowing and they keep making it easier for us to brag about them. 3: The workforce is large and varied. Who is working in tech in the region and what attracts them to Victoria? The workforce for a tech company is, in many ways, similar to any other company in that you not only need the technical skills, but also the administrative, business, leadership, marketing and sales skills. So, there’s a variety of jobs in the sector for people of all kinds of education and background. Typically, the tech sector employs a younger group of talent compared to workforces such as government, but it’s very diverse. Tech workers are also well educated, but it’s not required that you have a degree or diploma. The average tech worker is earning more than the average worker in other industries, too. Estimates in British Columbia are $85,000 a year for the average tech worker, which is higher than the median household income for our region. There are many ingredients as to why tech workers are drawn to Greater Victoria. Some of these include two universities and a college (students make up


TECH more than 10 per cent of our population), 10 federal research labs, and a great lifestyle (mild weather, unlimited activities, festivals, restaurants). Victoria has both quality of life and quality of opportunity, which makes this city magnetic, and it means people who can live anywhere are choosing to live in Victoria. 4: You stage multiple events over the course of a year. Are these recruitment tools for a new generation of tech superstars? We hold a variety of events from very small, intimate events speciďŹ c to a role within a tech company, to very large, public events like the recent Discover Tectoria. When weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re putting on a very large, public event, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to raise awareness for a number of reasons. One of the primary reasons is making sure the workforce of tomorrow knows about the opportunities in technology for them, they understand what it takes to take advantage of those opportunities and that they join us.

FACTS: "RITISH#OLUMBIA4ECH s%MPLOYMENT INCREASED PERCENT INTO  Â&#x2C6; the sixth CONSECUTIVE year of growth and an all-time HIGH s4ECHNOLOGY employs about lVEPERCENTOF "#SWORKFORCE Â&#x2C6;MORETHANFORESTRY MINING ANDOILANDGAS COMBINED INCLUDING MANUFACTURINGACTIVITIES RELATEDTOTHOSERESOURCES s4HENUMBEROF"#TECH COMPANIESGREWBYPER CENTIN FORATOTALOF  BUSINESSES s4ECHNOLOGYGENERATES ABOUTSEVENPERCENTOF "#SGROSSDOMESTIC

These events are also about making sure investors discover the opportunities here to support our tech industry and help it grow, about policy makers and governments seeing the value and importance of the tech sector to the local economy and our community, and about the media understanding all of this so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s included in their coverage. 5: How healthy is the investment climate for technology in the region? Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re fortunate that Victoria is such a magnetic city because the people who have built companies and sold them decide to stay here. Many of them then reinvest and mentor the next generation of tech companies, so in that sense we have a great advantage. However, in Canada and in smaller communities, it can be hard to ďŹ nd large sums of venture capital, which means that our companies need to get better at bootstrapping and building based on revenues and growth, as opposed to large equity investments. Sometimes that builds a stronger company, but sometimes it can cause them to be to slow to get to the market before a competitor. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll continue to improve as the proďŹ le and the size of the industry continues to grow.

PRODUCT THESAMERANGEAS MANUFACTURINGANDHEALTH CARE s2EVENUESJUMPED PERCENTIN TO BILLION THEHIGHEST LEVELEVERRECORDED s"#TECHEMPLOYEESEARN weekly average salaries of   ABOUTPERCENT higher than the average "#WAGE s7AGESANDSALARIES REACHEDANEWPEAKFORTHE SIXTHCONSECUTIVEYEARIN  CLIMBINGPERCENT TOJUSTUNDERBILLION s"#TECHWORKERSEARNED ABOUT AWEEK COMPAREDTOPER WEEKFORTHEAVERAGE"# WORKER4HISISALSOHIGHER THANTHE#ANADIANTECH SECTORAVERAGEOF  s&ROMTO TOTAL VENTURECAPITALINVESTMENT IN"#HASINCREASEDBY PERCENT"#ISTHIRD AMONG#ANADIANPROVINCES

in terms of total VC INVESTMENTDOLLARS s"#SEXPORTSOFHIGH TECHSERVICESJUMPED PERCENT TOBILLION IN Source: B.C. Stats

TECHNOLOGY SUBSECTORS IN GREATER VICTORIA Software 0ERFORMANCE-ARKETING AND!D4ECH &IN4ECH Gaming AR/VR !EROSPACE ,IFE3CIENCES"IOTECH !DVANCED-ANUFACTURING 4ELECOMAND7IRELESS /CEAN3CIENCESAND-ARINE 4ECHNOLOGY 4ECHNOLOGY3ERVICES #LEAN4ECHAND %NVIRONMENTAL4ECHNOLOGY Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 67


TECH

I

NAGLOBALECONOMY CARVINGOUTACAREERASAN ENTREPRENEURISNOTWITHOUTITSCHALLENGES !CCORDINGTO)NDUSTRY#ANADA ONLYABOUT PERCENTOFSTART UPSSURVIVEBEYONDTHEIRlRSTlVE YEARS.ONETHELESS ANENTREPRENEURWILLALWAYS BEANENTREPRENEUR lNDINGNEWBUSINESSPROSPECTS LAUNCHINGOUTANDSEEKINGTOCAPTUREANDIDENTIFY SOCIETYSNEEDSININNOVATIVEWAYS .OBODYCANPREDICTWHOWILLBESUCCESSFUL BUTWE know that entrepreneurs have a passion to pursue ATTRACTIVE OPPORTUNITIES daring to TAKERISKS weighing unknowns and making timely ANDCRITICALDECISIONS !TTHE5NIVERSITYOF6ICTORIA we help entrepreneurs navigate THEPATHWAYSTOSUCCESS 56ICHASACTIVELYSUPPORTED the formation of start-up COMPANIESFORMORETHAN JEROME ETWAROO YEARS)N WITHlNANCIAL BACKINGFROMTHE.ATIONAL 2ESEARCH#OUNCIL THE'USTAVSON3CHOOLOF"USINESS CREATEDTHElRSTON CAMPUSINCUBATORTOPROVIDE SUPPORTFORENTREPRENEURSWITHINTHE56ICCOMMUNITY 4WOYEARSAGO #OAST#APITAL3AVINGS#REDIT5NION PARTNEREDWITH56ICTOCREATETHE#OAST#APITAL 3AVINGS)NNOVATION#ENTRE4HISPARTNERSHIPPROVIDES EXPANDEDSERVICESTOBUDDINGENTREPRENEURS!S THEFREEON CAMPUSSTART UPINCUBATOR SUPPORTING STUDENTS FACULTY STAFFANDRECENTALUMNIFROMALL DISCIPLINES THECENTREHASBECOMEAVIBRANTAND DYNAMICINCUBATIONHUB /VERTHEPASTMONTHS WEHAVESEENANINCREASE OFMORETHANPERCENTINENTREPRENEURIALACTIVITIES ASSISTEDWITHMORETHANVENTURES METWITHMORE THANPEOPLETOEXPLORESTART UPPOSSIBILITIESAND HAVEASSISTEDINCLOSETOSTART UPLAUNCHES #ELEBRATINGITSSECONDANNIVERSARYON-AY THE goal of the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre INCUBATORISTOPROVIDEGUIDANCETOENTREPRENEURSIN DETERMININGWHETHERANIDEAISCOMMERCIALLYVIABLE ATAVERYEARLYSTAGE)DEASRANGEFROMADDRESSING

InSights

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global issues around water and energy TOCREATINGASUSTAINABLEANDORGANIC HAIRTIE /VERTHEPASTTWOYEARS )HAVELED the Coast Capital Savings Innovation #ENTRE)HAVEHADTHEOPPORTUNITY to work with hundreds of ENTREPRENEURSINVARIOUSCAPACITIES WITHINTHE56ICCOMMUNITY )TTAKESCOMMITMENT PERSISTENCE COURAGEANDAVASTAMOUNTOFTIME ANDRESOURCESTOSTARTANEWVENTURE I applaud our entrepreneurs as many of THEMJUGGLEEXPLORINGVENTURESWHILEBEING FULL TIMESTUDENTS ORASRECENTALUMNITRYING TOSERVICESTUDENTLOANSANDCREATENEW VENTURES ORASFACULTYMEMBERSWITHAFULL WORKLOADWHILECOMMERCIALIZINGRESEARCHFOR SOCIETYSBENElT !LONGWITH%NTREPRENEURSIN2ESIDENCE OUR MENTORS┬ИAVIBRANT network of business experts FROMACROSS 6ICTORIA Canada and internationally ┬ИWEWORK together as a team to guide and support entrepreneurs to gain TRACTION BUILDRESILIENCEAND CREATEPOSITIVESOCIALANDECONOMIC IMPACTFOROURCOMMUNITY University students spend between three to ямБve years in undergraduate studies and up to seven years INGRADUATESCHOOL!SARESULT SITUATINGTHE#OAST Capital Savings Innovation Centre within the university CREATESARICHSPACEWHERELEARNING THINKING DIVERSE SKILLSETSANDINNOVATIONCONVERGEANDHAVETHE POTENTIALTOADDRESSTHEGREATESTCHALLENGESOFTHE STCENTURY Jerome Etwaroo is the associate director of the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre at the University of Victoria.


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DARREN STONE PHOTO

Alan Winter, the province’s new innovation commissioner in front of Fort Tectoria in downtown Victoria. He says seven per cent of British Columbia’s GDP is derived from technology related industries — “more than forestry or fisheries.”

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PUBLIC SECTOR

4%#(./,/'9#(!-0)/. New innovation commissioner Alan Winter has a big job: Find ways for B.C. technology companies to grow LINDSAY KINES

W

hen the NDP and B.C. Green Party signed a deal last summer to toss the Liberals from office and set up a minority government, the parties committed to working together on more than two dozen policies. Most of the attention at the time focused on high-profile promises to ban big money from politics or hold a referendum on proportional representation. The agreement, however, also included key planks from the Green Party’s campaign platform that could have a significant impact on expanding the technology sector in Greater Victoria. Among other things, the Greens and NDP agreed to establish an innovation commission and appoint an innovation commissioner to champion B.C.’s tech sector. In February, Premier John Horgan began following through on those commitments by naming Victoria’s Alan Winter as the province’s first innovation commissioner. The former head of Genome B.C. is tasked with advocating for the province’s tech sector in Ottawa and abroad, attracting investment and recommending provincial programs to assist the sector. A few weeks later, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston introduced legislation to expand the mandate of the B.C. Innovation Council and rename it Innovate BC. The Crown agency will give broader support to the tech sector by making it the single point of contact for entrepreneurs looking to expand or needing financial help, Ralston said. Still to come, the NDP has promised to act on another Green Party idea by establishing an “Emerging Economy Task Force that will look at how to capitalize on the changing nature of business over the next 10 to 25 years.” Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said the hope is that, by taking such steps, government can find ways to help companies grow and prosper without having to leave the province. “What we are very good at in B.C. is we are very good at having ideas that we get to the $1 million company that we sell,” he said. “What does not happen in B.C. is we take it to the next level, and therein lies the problem. “Sure there’s been a bunch of great successes, but they’ve been bought up and shifted to Silicon Valley. “So one of the purposes and goals here is not to micro-manage the tech [sector]. You cannot micro-manage innovation; innovation by its very definition is bottom up.

“But what you can do is create the regulatory framework that allows it to continue to grow and not crush it.” Winter, who has held senior positions in both government and the tech sector, said the province needs to figure out ways to compete with Washington and Oregon that are more used to having bigger companies. He noted that about seven per cent of B.Cs GDP comes from tech-related industries. “It’s pretty good,” he said. “I mean, that GDP is more than forestry or fisheries.” The GDP from tech in nearby states, however, is much higher, he said. “In Washington, it’s about 20 per cent. “The good news about that is we’ve got lots of potential. We can do more. The issue is that to do more and develop bigger companies that are not just sold south of the border, we have to create an environment here that encourages those companies to grow here.” Dan Gunn, chief executive of the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council, said it’s too early to say how effective Innovate BC will be. But he said similar moves have worked effectively elsewhere. “Typically other jurisdiction have contributed a great deal more budget and effort to their innovation economies,” Gunn said. “So we look forward to seeing what the matching budget and resources are going to be for this

new organization with an expanded mandate. “But it’s a step in a direction that resembles things that worked in other jurisdictions.” Gunn said there’s definitely a role for government to assist the sector providing it doesn’t try to “steer the ship” too much. “There are certain things that companies need to help them achieve a greater success,” he said. “Whether that’s education or support services, it depends on the stage of the company. “The biggest thing they can do at a more general level is help make sure that it’s easy for us to bring in the talent we need from wherever it comes from in the world, and help us bring in the investment we need from wherever we need it in the world. And the fewer barriers to that, the more efficient and faster the companies can grow. “At that level they have a direct hand on the lever.” Gunn said he believes both the federal and provincial governments are aware of that and are trying to make things easier. He added that the protectionist anti-immigration attitude of the Trump administration in the United States means that more people are looking at Canada as the “Western world democracy opportunity for visible minorities to move and grow. “So I think there’s a real opportunity for us as a country and as a province.”

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 71


3PONSORED&%!452%BY#OASTAL#OMMUNITY#REDIT5NION

Improving ďŹ nancial health, enriching lives, and building healthier communitiesâ&#x20AC;Ś

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These three things are at the core of who we are and what we do at Coastal Community Credit Union. For over 70 years, our focus has been on building relationships with our members and clients in order to provide personalized expert advice and an excellent customer experience.


A

t Coastal Community, when you talk, we listen, because when you succeed, we succeed. Our focus is on understanding your needs so we can offer the right advice, services and products-delivered when, where and how it best suits you--across all of our business lines, including personal, business and commercial banking, general and commercial insurance, and wealth management. It is important to us to take the time to understand your complete ďŹ nancial picture so we can provide expert advice for your individual situation. One of our members, Greg Hill, recently shared with us what he appreciated about our approach.

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m the executive director of the Campbell River and District Association for Community Living, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done business with Coastal Community Credit Union over the 32 years Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been here in the North Island, both personally and for business. My ďŹ rst mortgage for my ďŹ rst home was done through Coastal Community. People at this credit union considered me when other ďŹ nancial institutions wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. I was given consideration and a leg up to start my journey of home ownership which has led to me now having a spacious rancher on a two acre lot on the beach. On the business side, my association, which is a $12 million annual budget entity, has done nothing but prosper with Coastal Community. This credit union gives the kind of personal service the large banks no longer do. You are taken care of at Coastal Community, whether you are a business or personal memberâ&#x20AC;Ś I really appreciate the integrity of having a personal relationship with the people who are looking after meâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;that to me is most important. When you feel that personal integrity in the relationship, then thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trust. And when it comes to money, you want to know you are doing the right thing. Trust is imperative. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also important that Coastal Community knows our local communities and what matters to them. You know, my local branch helped us out with a fundraiser and probably 80% of their staff showed up to support the event.

When we make meaningful community contributions, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re impacting the social and economic well-being of the very places we call home. Each year, Coastal Community invests upwards of half a million dollars into our island communities through our efforts that include donations, community funding grants, awards, sponsorships and our fundraising initiatives. At Coastal Community, we know that our achievements depend on working together with you to achieve Great Things. Whether we are providing expert advice to preserve your wealth, guiding you to achieving your life goals, simplifying your life with our digital banking solutions and other conveniences, or protecting what matters most to you, we look forward to helping you achieve your goals and dreams.

7%2%02/5$/&7(/7%!2% s #OMMUNITY#REDIT5NIONISTHE largest ďŹ nancial services organization based on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands and among the largest credit unions in Canada s ###5HASBRANCHES INSURANCE ofďŹ ces, four regional business centres, one centralized contact centre with extended hours, plus a team of mobile experts and a full range of online and mobile services s !SCO OPERATIVE #OASTAL#OMMUNITY Credit Union is 100% owned by our members, and we keep our jobs, our earnings and our community efforts local. The decisions we make are grounded in local knowledge. s $EPOSITORSAREPROTECTED WITH protection provided by the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of British Columbia s /URMEMBERSANDCLIENTSHAVE ďŹ&#x201A;exible access to our experts through services like our innovative Interactive Teller Machines, which provide extended hours of live teller service including early mornings and evenings. s -EMBERSHAVEACCESSTOTHOUSANDS of surcharge-free ATMs throughout Canada through the Exchange Network, as well as easy and convenient account access through their mobile devices and online at cccu.ca. To learn more about Coastal #OMMUNITYVISITCCCUCAOR JOINUSONOUR&ACEBOOKAND 4WITTERPAGES * References to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Coastal Communityâ&#x20AC;? mean â&#x20AC;&#x153;Coastal Community Credit Unionâ&#x20AC;? **

References to â&#x20AC;&#x153;insuranceâ&#x20AC;? refer to the insurance services provided through Coastal Community Insurance Services (2007) Ltd., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coastal Community Credit Union

â&#x20AC; References to â&#x20AC;&#x153;wealth management,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;ďŹ nancial planningâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;investmentsâ&#x20AC;? refer to the ďŹ nancial planning and investment services provided through Coastal Community Private Wealth Group, a division of Coastal Community Financial Management Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coastal Community Credit Union

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 73


Living up to the navy’s motto: Portare per Omnia — Support for All

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fter more than half a century serving as the naval bastion on Vancouver Island, Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt continues to transform in 2018 as it prepares to meet the needs of the next generation of this nation’s warships and sailors. Supporting the Royal Canadian Navy of the 21st century and beyond is a monumental task — and it’s one we cannot accomplish without help from our Indigenous partners and the business community of Greater Victoria. CFB Esquimalt is in the midst of a decade-long $1.8-billion construction plan; to see this transformation through to reality will require the considerable expertise and dedication of this region’s construction firms, manufacturers and suppliers. Among the projects underway right now at CFB Esquimalt is the recapitalization of A and B Jetty, which has provided berths to friendly naval vessels for seven decades. This $781-million endeavour will create larger, more versatile capabilities and, in CAPT. (NAVY) conjunction with a $122.8-million harbour JASON BOYD remediation project, will address some of the impacts from past commercial and military operations. To maintain the ships of today and tomorrow and to strengthen what Rear Admiral Art McDonald recently called “the heart and muscle” of Maritime Forces Pacific, the $552.5-million reconstruction and renovation of Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton continues. We’re also working on the arteries of the base with a $26-million utility corridor to support infrastructure upgrades and our aviation assets, with the construction of an improved $155-million hangar facility for 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron.

InSights

74 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

Put together, the base is undergoing arguably the biggest transformation in its history. But even at steady state CFB Esquimalt is the third largest employer in the Capital Regional District and injects an estimated $800 million into the local economy in direct and indirect spending. As well, the disposable income of about 5,700 military personnel (3,946 regular force/1,745 reserve) and 2,100 civilian employees at the base is estimated to be $265 million a year. That’s in addition to the 3,000 military personnel who travel to Victoria every year to train at Naval Fleet School Pacific and the 3,600 who train at the school’s Damage Control Division. Those contributions extend beyond the purely financial. As leaders in hands-on training opportunities, base and lodger units offer more than 40 skilled trade apprenticeships, helping build the civilian workforce of tomorrow. Further, more than 80 college and university students are employed through the co-operation program in

fields ranging from engineering and finance to science and policy. However, it’s in the field of volunteerism that perhaps the community of CFB Esquimalt shines the most in its ties to the region. According to a 2017 survey, the average defence team member at the base provides more than 125 hours a year of volunteer service. During the 2017-18 National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign, the base raised $300,000 — and has donated more than $10 million to local charities since the 1990s. Whether it’s serving the needs of the region today or laying the foundation for readying the fleets of the future, 2018 promises to be another transformational chapter in the long history of CFB Esquimalt. Many thanks to everyone in Greater Victoria and beyond for helping us live up to our motto Portare per Omnia — or Support for All. Capt. (Navy) Jason Boyd is base commander of CFB Esquimalt


PUBLIC SECTOR

$781-million

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he replacement of two aging jetties at CFB Esquimalt continues to rank as one of the most expensive public sector construction projects on Vancouver Island. It’s now expected to cost $781 million to demolish and rebuild the A and B jetties, which were first constructed in the early 1940s and are well past their best-before date. Canada’s Department of National Defence says the project will transform the Dockyard and provide the Royal Canadian Navy with larger, more versatile jetties better able to handle modern vessels. Planning began in the mid-1990s and the first phase, completed in 2014, involved building an underground utility corridor to carry power, water and sewer mains to where the new jetties will be built. The second phase is underway and involves demolishing and rebuilding B jetty. Pomerleau Inc. of Surrey won a $55.4 million contract in January 2017 to complete the demolition by mid-2019. The rebuild will follow.

DARREN STONE PHOTO

jetties replacement will handle modern vessels

Replacement of the A and B jetties at CFB Esquimalt will completed in mid-2020s.

Once the B jetty is complete, work will begin in 2022 or 2023 to demolish and rebuild A jetty. The entire project is expected to conclude in the mid- to late2020s. Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said the massive construction project, which will create about 1,400 jobs, has important spin-off benefits for her community.

“The trickle down effect can only benefit us and the region,” she said. “There will need to be a whole set of subcontractors to help build those jetties. I’m not sure how we could measure it, but we certainly benefit considerably and we recognize that. The base is our greatest industry.” — Lindsay Kines

HMCS Chicoutimi arrives at CFB Esquimalt after more than 300 days at sea on March 21.

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 75


HORGANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S HIRES The NDP government has pledged to run smaller surpluses and use SOMEOFTHATMONEYTOREINVESTINPROGRAMSANDSERVICES4HATMEANS THE PUBLIC SECTOR WORKFORCE IS EXPECTED TO ENJOY MODEST GROWTH &EBRUARYS BUDGET SHOWED THAT FULL TIME EQUIVALENT STAFF IN CORE MINISTRIES WAS PROJECTED TO INCREASE BY  TO   IN   4HE EXTRA PEOPLE ARE NEEDED RUN CHILD CARE AND HOUSING INITIATIVES ASWELLASlLLFRONT LINEPOSITIONSFORSHERIFFS COURTSERVICESSTAFFAND CONSERVATIONOFlCERS

Budget 2018 promised money to build new schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and other infrastructure. The total cost is expected to hit $26.2 billion over the three-year ďŹ scal plan.

some cases, people are reluctant to move here for work given the difďŹ culty ďŹ nding an affordable place to live. Greater Victoria has some of the highest housing costs in the country and one of the lowest vacancy rates. Families also have trouble ďŹ nding child care and good transportation.

HELP WANTED

UNLUCKY 13

The public sector, like other sectors, has trouble recruiting and retaining employees in a region with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. With an aging workforce, the challenges are only expected to increase. The provinceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s WorkBC website notes that â&#x20AC;&#x153;over the coming decade, 70 per cent of all job openings will result from people leaving the workforce, mostly due to retirement. B.C. is forecast to have 917,000 job openings between 2017 and 2027.â&#x20AC;?

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s difďŹ cult to get 13 separate municipalities to agree on everything and that often stands in the way of major public sector projects. See sewage treatment. A recent report commissioned by the provincial government found local governments work together on an ad hoc basis and that key services such as transportation tend to suffer as a result. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has called the current governance system â&#x20AC;&#x153;crazyâ&#x20AC;? and urged reform. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No one can read this report and think that what we have is not badly broken,â&#x20AC;? wrote Catherine Holt, chief executive ofďŹ cer of the chamber.

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76 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

The high cost of living in the capital region creates real challenges for recruiting and retaining people. In


05",)#3%26)#% 302/543#!..!")3JOBS

Merchandise analyst is one of the positions being offered

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fe federal decision to legalize recreational marijuana across the Canada this summer m will have a significant impact on B.C.’s w public service. p It’s still early stages and the federal and provincial p rov ovinciall governments gov ov continue to shape policy on the fly. But the province has already established a 17-member secretariat at a cost of $3.1 million to oversee cannabis legalization and regulation. “I have to say that they have been doing amazing work,” Solicitor General Mike Farnworth told the legislature in March. “This is a significant public policy shift, the likes of which we have not seen in this country in a very long time.”

The Liquor Distribution Branch, which will handle the wholesale end of the business, has started hiring for multiple jobs. The branch created 12 new cannabis-related positions ranging from merchandise analyst to demand planner and supply chain director. “Cannabis-related positions will continue to be posted as LDB determines the

organizational structure that will be required for the cannabis division,” the province says. “The LDB is also gauging how many retail and warehouse jobs will be created for the initial launch of cannabis sale and distribution in B.C.” The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch is expected to need more people as well, in order to regulate retail cannabis business across the province. The branch is still assessing how many positions it will need. The 2018 budget documents note that the hiring of cannabisrelated positions is one of the reasons that the number of full-time equivalent positions in core government ministries will climb to 29,400 this year from 28,900 in 2017-18. — Lindsay Kines


Shelagh Macartney, owner of She She Bags and She She Shoes, says there are more consumers — and they are spending.

DOWNTOWN

REVIVAL

Storefronts are full thanks to a RESIDENTIALRESURGENCEANDTOURISM LOUISE DICKSON

L

orna Knowles gazes out the window of her niche clothing store on Government Street at the cyclists whizzing by. “The city is so much more cycle-friendly now,” says the veteran downtown retailer and owner of Hemp & Co. “You look out on the streets, you see lots of people on bicycles. That takes away the issue of the cost of parking downtown.” The unhealthy, vacant downtown of a few years ago has largely recovered, says Knowles. More people are living, working and shopping downtown. “It’s much more vibrant than it was six years ago,” she says. “When the financial meltdown hit in 2009-2010, there were a lot of empty spaces downtown. People are still thinking that way. But they’re living a perception of the past.” Victoria is fortunate to have a healthy tourist economy. On Saturdays, the streets are busy with well-dressed young people, she says. “And if you go to MEC at any time, all their bike racks are full.” Shelagh Macartney, owner of She She Bags and She She Shoes, has been a fixture in Trounce Alley for 30 years. The retail sector in downtown Victoria is doing just fine, she says. “People are spending and it seems like there are more tourists this year. People are looking for something different.” When she decided to close the shoe store earlier this year, the retail space got snapped up immediately.

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“The shoe store did really well,” says Macartney. “I just didn’t want to work this hard.” Gail Robinson, owner of Robinson’s Outdoor Store on Broad Street, says the store had record sales in 2016 and again in 2017. “People predicted brick and mortar would disappear with big box stores and online shopping,” says Robinson. “In truth, brick and mortar who are doing the job well are thriving. Online shopping will always have a place. But it’s not an easy time for big box.” Not every store in downtown Victoria is having an easy time. Robinson credits her success to customer service. “Staff who are well trained, well paid and who are engaged make a big difference to the experience,” she says. “When you start out, you have a building with stuff in it. The staff have to help the store stand out from the crowd.” When prospective employees apply for jobs, they’re asked: “What kind of backpack do you own? What kind of tent do you own? Where have you travelled?” says Robinson. Staff are hired based on how much travelling and trekking they’ve done.


RETAIL

DARREN STONE PHOTO

DARREN STONE PHOTO

“Experience is the new buzzword for the millennials. The great American dream was to own your own home. Then people wanted more time. Now they want experiences,” said Robinson. The store sends staff on trips to Russia, Scotland, Nepal. They’ve hiked the Inca trail and cycled in Morocco. When they come back, they share their knowledge and passion with customers interested in the same adventures. When MEC and Atmosphere moved in downtown, that should have been the end of Robinson’s, she says. “Instead, we’re one of the top 10 outdoor stores in B.C.” MEC is its own little centre, she says. First, MEC made a downtown, derelict building beautiful. Then they connected Chinatown to the rest of downtown. “Stores scrambled to be around it. Lululemon jumped in. LoJo stores got stronger. MEC grew the pie and our share grew bigger. MEC is one of the most trusted brands in the marketplace. They have trust because they’ve earned it.” But you don’t have to travel, trek or hike to find new experiences in downtown Victoria. Just going to the movies in theatres refurbished with large, reclining seats is a luxurious experience. There are tea shops, coffee shops, microbreweries offering tasting tours and restaurants with every kind of cuisine. Victoria’s iconic stores deliver hands-on shopping experiences. Shopping has evolved from clipping coupons and shopping for staples. Today’s consumers can sample the chocolate at Rogers, sniff the bath bombs at Lush, sip lapsang souchong at Murchie’s and flip through a world of books at Munro’s. Big box stores have hurt some kinds of retail such as the paint, lumber and appliance stores that were located in downtown Victoria. Consumers now go out to the big box stores for major purchases, says Victoria Coun. Geoff Young. The loss of surface parking to downtown construction and higher rates for parking have also hurt stores that require convenient customer parking, he says. “You can’t count on pulling up in front of a store anymore. You hear from a lot of retailers who say people don’t want to walk a long way with their purchases,” says Young. “One thing we have to be managing more carefully is adjusting our parking rates almost month by month and block by block to make sure there is always parking available. We want to make sure there is parking for people who just want to stop, run in, grab their purchase and leave. Those are really important purchases to downtown merchants.” Businesses on Fort Street have been significantly affected by the construction of protected bike lanes. Traffic congestion and confusion over parking spots have made the transition for businesses bumpy. Their regular customers still show up, but the walk-ins aren’t there, says Young. But all things considered, he believes the bike lanes will help the downtown by making it more pedestrian-friendly, by encouraging tourism and by encouraging younger people who want to live downtown and spend downtown. “There’s been an evolution in the downtown,” he says. “Victoria is fortunate to have a downtown where people want to live and where it’s attractive to live.” Lorna Knowles, owner of Hemp & Company, says more people are living and shopping downtown.

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Maestro Christian Kluxen and the Victoria Symphony play for crowds and land and sea in the Inner Harbour during the Symphony Splash. ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

When was the last time you checked out downtown Victoria with fresh eyes?

R

ight now, downtown is experiencing a breathtaking renaissance. Exciting new retail shops, unique cutting-edge restaurants and lounges and valued national brands all encompass the re-emergence of downtown as being the place to be. You have heard many of the positive statistics about Victoria: s #ANADASMOSTROMANTICCITY!MAZON s "ESTCITYTOBEAWOMANIN#ANADA#ANADIAN#ENTREFOR Policy Alternatives) s 3ECOND BESTSMALLCITYINTHEWORLDAND#ANADASFRIENDLIESTCITY (CondĂŠ Nast). s6ICTORIAISTHE.OCHOICEIN"# AND.OIN#ANADA FORMILLENNIALS Both airline and B.C. Ferries trafďŹ c were up from last year, and cruise trafďŹ c continues to increase. The rest of the Canada and the world have taken note of Victoria. So, too, have residents. In the downtown core, there are 1,571 new rental units and 1,733 condos that will soon become available. The downtown core is continually welcoming new residents and businesses. In fact, our retail vacancy rate is 3.77 per cent, down from more than 10 per cent just four years ago. The reality is this: Our city is shaping itself into an JEFF BRAY urban centre with a neighbourhood feel. Like Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best-loved cities, we are seeing the reshaping of downtown into one of the best urban centres to visit, live, work and play. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why you are also seeing a range of urban neighbourhood services thriving here â&#x20AC;&#x201D; everything from dentists, doctors and specialists to artisan butchers, ďŹ&#x201A;orists and bakers. There are great restaurants, from our tried and true favourites to exciting new eateries. We have live music, theatre, movie houses and the Bastion

InSights

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Square Market. Downtown also hosts numerous events, including YYJ Car Free Day (June 17), Canada Day celebrations, Symphony Splash (B.C. Day) and Downtown Victoria Buskers Festival (Labour Day). Downtown Victoria is alive and vibrant. The new residents, entrepreneurs and the natural beauty of the area all work to create a thriving urban centre. Yet underneath it all, what makes this a great place to visit for tourists is that the city isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t built for tourists. In fact, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re the opposite of the one-size-ďŹ ts-all inclusive destination. Instead, we are more like a unique buffet of experiences and options. Visitors love it here because we, the people of Victoria, are creating a city we love. In a way, we function like a big family, here to support each other, grow with each other and evolve. And sure, like any family, we have some challenges and a range of ideas and opinions. But the fact is, what I see and hear on the street, in the shops and businesses that make up our urban neighbourhood is that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in this together, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re committed to making this a vibrant, inclusive, prosperous downtown. If you or your family have not been downtown in a while, make plans to come down and explore. There is something for everyone. Shopping, dining, lounging or just strolling around can make for a satisfying day. I invite you to schedule a date with downtown Victoria, a place the rest of the world is excited to discover. Jeff Bray is the interim executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association


RETAIL Art Gallery representative Kim Hammond at the pop-up gallery on Fort Street.

FACTS:

POP IN

ENJOY ART

T

he Pop Up Shop at 833 Fort St. is bringing the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria into the heart of downtown. People looking for a new retail experience can pop into the store, which is an extension of the art gallery’s gift shop, and art rental and sales program. “We want whoever comes in to walk around our gallery. We’ve tried to curate it to the best of our ability so that it feels like a show,” says gallery representative Madeleine Beach. “We want people to walk away inspired knowing there are local artists in Victoria who are doing all these wonderful pieces.” Parc Retirement Living gave the retail space as a gift to the art gallery last fall. The pop up opened just before Christmas and will stay open until July or until construction begins on the Parc Retirement development, says Beach. “They wanted to liven Fort Street up a little bit and

approached the gallery with the idea of bringing art downtown. It’s really great. We’re very excited to be here,” says Beach. “It’s something we’ve been wanting to do. And we’re hoping to find another location after this to stay downtown.” Abstract art hangs on the left, landscapes on the right. Dozens of smaller paintings are displayed on the back wall. But the collection changes all the time. Sometimes people rent a painting just to make sure it feels perfect in their home, she says. Sometimes they return one work and get another. “It’s not too big of a commitment, $30 to $40 a month.” The Pop Up Shop is a reminder that the art gallery is here, says Beach. “We’re in the community. We’re putting on events all the time.” — Louise Dickson

s Retail vacancy rates for downtown street fronts decreased from 5.46 per cent in 2016 to 3.77 per cent in 2017. This occurred even with new building inventory being added. Real estate firm Colliers expects that all retail spaces will benefit from an increased demand and lower vacancy rates as the Victoria market strengthens. They predict that downtown retail space, in particular, will see a significant decrease in vacancy and an increase in rental rates due to positive market fundamentals for 2018. s There have been increasing tourism rates throughout the region, with all points of arrival showing increases in numbers from 2016. s B.C. Ferries traffic increased by 2.56 per cent and Victoria Airport arrivals and departures increased by 4.2 per cent from 2016 to 2017. s The cruise-ship industry brought almost 600,000 visitors to Victoria in 2017, a 7.7 per cent increase from 2016 and contributed more than $100 million to the Greater Victoria economy. s Visits to the Business Hub to utilize DVBA services were up by more than 20 per cent in 2017 from 2016. s In 2017, the City of Victoria issued 4,840 total business licences in 2017 (1,283 new licences and 3,557 renewals) — up from total licences issued of 4,716 from 2016. s Downtown rental development: 1,571 new units in 2017. s Downtown Condo development (pre-construction or under construction): 1,733 new units s There are 1,120 restaurants and caterers in Greater Victoria, generating about $1 billion in revenue in 2017. Many of the newest ones are downtown. This is about 216,000 visits to restaurants daily. s There are 14,000 people working in restaurants in Greater Victoria. Of the total jobs, one in four are youth restaurant workers between 17 and 24 years old. –Statistics provided by the Downtown Victoria Business Association

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THE BOOM CONTINUES .EWCONSTRUCTIONISEVERYWHEREINTHECAPITALREGIONÂ&#x2C6; and nowhere more evident than Langford

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BUILDING CARLA WILSON

Colin Glenn with Fenway Construction frames a new home in Phase 5 of the Nova Lands development in the Westhills area of Langford.

ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

D

errick McKee has watched Langford change dramatically over the three decades he’s lived there, and he sums it up in one word — progress. “We have pretty well everything in Langford right now,” McKee says. Mary Purdy, a 12-year Langford resident, adds: “There’s no pay parking. That’s a big thing. You don’t have to go downtown [Victoria]. We have everything here.” The combination of shopping, services, new schools, infrastructure and sporting and arts venues is drawing people to the growing municipality. Susan Lawrence regularly goes to the Langford Westhills Y, opened in 2016, which has “become a community nucleus.” Langford leads the region in housing starts as developers respond to strong demand for single-family homes and condominiums. Many buyers being priced out of the market in the core areas are finding affordable places here. Development has boomed as houses, often with suites, go up on small lots on land less costly than many other parts of the region. Langford has fast-tracked its approval processes to welcome developers and encourage investment. “We don’t have a lot of expensive homes out here,” says Langford Mayor Stew Young. “We are building homes for families and I’ve said that all the way along for 25 years.” With increased housing, recreation venues and other amenities such as trails, bike lanes and new roads follow. Development creates job opportunities and as the municipality matures, densification is taking place in and around commercial areas. Ledcor Properties announced last month that is spending $200 million to build 440 housing units on land once home to the former Belmont Secondary School. That development is across the street from where heavy equipment is carving out a new shopping centre that will include a Thrifty Foods. William Fox, president of Ledcor Properties, was at the Belmont Residences’ ground-breaking when he praised Langford. “What a tremendous attitude that you’ve got. I wish everybody had this great enthusiastic attitude toward developers and finding homes.” Hundreds of new houses have been built at the Westhills, where Langford approved zoning for 6,000 homes in a mix of housing types. Heavy equipment is on the job, clearing land to put up more homes. Construction firms are active throughout Greater Victoria, working on housing, commercial, institutional and industrial projects. Cranes are looming over building sites all over the region. “It is exceptionally robust, to say the least,” says Rory Kulmala, CEO of the Vancouver Island Construction Association. Knappett Projects Inc. founder John Knappett is working on Camosun College’s new Centre for Health and Wellness, a 56-unit housing project in

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 83


DARREN STONE PHOTO

The Encore at Bayview Place condominium tower rises in the skyline in Vic West.

Sidney and a sports complex at Brentwood College — just to mention a few. “Right now, we are seeing an industry that’s as busy as it has been in the last 30 to 40 years,” Knappett said. Greater Victoria’s construction firms benefit from the mix of funding behind development. Local, provincial and federal governments pay for everything from schools and hospitals to roads and bridges. The private sector is largely behind new housing and commercial development. “In the Greater Victoria area, we have a good blend and balance within the construction economy,” says Kulmala. The region’s construction sector has a “lot of resiliency, a lot of diversity,” he says. “We have a very strong housing market. That’s quite evident everywhere you look.” Greater Victoria’s hot real estate market is driving construction. High-rise residential work is “really strong,” he says. A major challenge for the industry is the rising costs of materials, says Kulmala. “There’s an extremely high demand for construction materials. That inevitably drives up costs, particularly because it’s who

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can get what out the door the quickest,” Kulmala says. Builders may have to wait before they can get what they need, or pay a premium in order to meet their schedule. Another challenge is finding enough trained workers. “We are struggling with a workforce that is declining and we are trying to bring in more people. We want to have more labour on the ground and more skilled trades,” Kulmala says. “We have trades working at 100 per cent capacity.” Those workers have the option of relocating to major centres such as Vancouver or heading north to work on major projects, Kulmala says. “They [employers elsewhere] are trying to make those jobs more attractive so they can get the workers.” The lack of affordable housing in Greater Victoria also affects the ability of the construction industry, as well as other sectors, to attract workers, Kulmala said.


BUILDING

InSights

STEW YOUNG

S

MAJOR PROJECTS s Johnson Street Bridge replacement:

Time is money

ince incorporation, Langford has worked hard to build its economy, welcome new businesses and provide a safe and vibrant community where families want to live, work and play. These goals for Langford have been achieved by building strong partnerships, reducing red tape and investing in our community while not overtaxing our residents. Our community partners include the development community, sports organizations and the non-profit sector, among others. We are encouraging developers to increase the supply of rental housing, successfully partnered with Metchosin and the Beecher Bay First Nation for a historical land swap to bring more development and jobs to the region, joined forces with Rugby Canada to build a high-performance training facility, teamed up with the M’akola Housing Society and Pacifica Housing to expand below-market housing options, and have partnered with B.C. Ambulance to ensure the best possible service for our citizens. All of these partnerships work toward providing a diversified and sustainable employment base, strengthening the real estate sector and building a more complete and thriving community. We also continue to find ways to reduce bureaucracy and red tape, especially those that might stand in the way of more affordable housing being created. Nowhere is the old adage that “time is money” more true than in the development industry. Obstacles, delays and red tape imposed by local and regional governments add, at a minimum, 15 per cent to the cost of any project. Thanks to the direction of Langford council and staff, we have an enviable reputation for breaking this pattern with streamlined processes. Rezoning

applications are considered in terms of months, not years, and building permits are issued in as little as 48 hours. We also know that investment in the community and not over-taxation is a better way of encouraging new development and increasing the supply of housing that is affordable for families. For example, Langford recently opened the West Shore Parkway connecting Goldstream to Sooke, and will soon complete Bear Mountain Parkway linking Westhills Stadium and downtown Langford to Bear Mountain. The new YMCA-YWCA facility is proving to be very popular, with more than 14,000 members. We are working with our partners to extend utilities to undeveloped parts of the community and the city is providing additional resources to support its first responders. These investments encourage the increased supply of housing options, support the equity that people have in their homes and ensure that Langford’s tax base grows so that the city can more readily invest without making significant increases in individual taxes. This is critical, as the broad-brush application of new taxes risks damaging affordability, hurting the economy and eroding existing equity. Going forward, we will continue to partner with diverse organizations, minimize bureaucracy and red tape, and invest in the infrastructure needed to build our community. This will ensure a continued supply of housing options in Langford, support the real-estate sector and build a community where businesses can thrive and hard-working families can live, work and enjoy all that Langford has to offer.

$105 million. s 2EPLACE!AND"*ETTIESAT#ANADIAN Forces Base Esquimalt and remediate Esquimalt Harbour: $781 million. s "ELMONT2ESIDENCESIN,ANGFORD,EDCOR Properties Inc. is spending $200 million to build 440 housing units in seven buildings over the next five years. s "LUE3KY0ROPERTIES ADIVISIONOF"OSA Properties: $70-million, 209-unit rental project on Pandora Avenue. s %SQUIMALT'RAVING$OCK!THIRD $15.8-million electrical substation is under construction. In the past four years, the federal government has spent $175 million on the dock. s 0OINT(OPE-ARITIMEGRAVINGDOCK $50 million s 3EWAGETREATMENTPLANTMILLION s #AMOSUN#OLLEGE)NTERURBANCAMPUS $43-million-plus for new health education centre s -AYFAIR3HOPPING#ENTREEXPANSION and improvements: $72 million s 4HE3UMMIT MILLIONCENTREWITH 320 units for residential and dementia care at 955 Hillside Ave.

BY THE NUMBERS GREATER6ICTORIABUILDINGPERMIT VALUES INCLUDINGALLTYPESOF CONSTRUCTION January 2018: $151.3 million January 2017: 89.7 million #ONSTRUCTIONEMPLOYMENT IN'REATER6ICTORIA Feb. 2018: 15,700 Feb. 2017: 14,200 High month for 2017: July with 16,500 Average in 2017: 15,200 Average in 2016: 13,300 Housing starts data from Canada -ORTGAGEAND(OUSING#ORP Jan. 2017- Dec. 2017 Greater Victoria total: 3,862 Langford: 963 Langford population: 2016 census: 35,342 2011 census: 29,228 2006 census: 22,459 Langford private dwellings: 2016: 14,906 2011: 12,731

Stew Young is the mayor of Langford

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SKYLINE

#ONDOMINIUMCONSTRUCTION TAKESOFF BUTWILLNEWGOVERNMENT RULESANDTAXESCOOLTHEMARKET

ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

RISING Construction cranes tower over downtown streets.

CARLA WILSON

C

ondominium buildings are rising throughout the region as developers strive to keep up with the insatiable demand for housing. But will it last? The real estate and development sectors are sounding warnings about newer and tougher taxes and rules from governments, worried they may dampen prices and curtail construction of new homes. The B.C. Real Estate Association paints a grim picture of the impact of a price drop, saying owners would lose equity in their homes, jobs could be lost and the economy is about to suffer. The provincial government has a different view of the implications of its new taxes, designed in part to bring existing homes into the market at a time when inventory is tight. The province is also promising to spend $7 billion over the next decade to create 114,000 homes and tackle the affordability concerns. Many people are priced out of the housing market as prices continue climbing, leading some buyers to give up on a dream of owning a house in favour of buying a condominium. Single-family houses in Greater Victoria’s core hit a new benchmark high in March of $859,400. But as prices rose for those houses, sales declined. A total of 487 single-family houses sold in March of last year, but March 2018 saw that figure slide by 30 per cent to 337. New federal mortgage qualification rules — which brought in a stress test for uninsured mortgages — have already dampened some demand within the province, says the B.C. Real Estate Association. Tighter mortgage rules combined with rising interest rates and elevated home prices will combine to reduce sales numbers this year and next, the association predicts. On the other hand, it expects that demand for new houses will to stay above B.C.’s 10-year average. Greater Victoria’s tight inventory of properties for sale is a key factor in the competition for homes. In March, 1,766 properties were listed. The capital region is a long-standing destination for Canadians seeking a new home, one without brutal winters and with all the experiences and scenery the west coast is famous for. Andy Stephenson, a Victoria real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada said demand is strong in the $700,000 to $1.1 million range. In the capital

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region’s market, it is not unusual to see a home sell for above its asking price. Stephenson believes that Vancouver buyers will help sustain the Greater Victoria market. He has been working with a couple from Vancouver who visited Victoria. When they saw how quickly properties are moving, they decided to sell their mainland home first before making an offer here. And B.C.’s new foreign-buyer tax of 20 per cent, which has been extended to Victoria and Nanaimo after being imposed in Vancouver last year, scuttled a purchase by other clients. A couple living in New York had wanted to purchase a $1.5 million condominium, but backed out because of the additional tax for a foreign buyer. The wife is Canadian and the husband is American, meaning that his share of tax would have been $150,000, Stephenson said. They are still planning to move to Victoria, but will rent until the husband achieves residency status and does not have to pay the new tax. The lost sale had economic impacts in the community because the sellers could not purchase another property and the money the couple would have put on renovations won’t be spent now, Stephenson said. B.C.’s announcement of a new speculation tax for empty homes raised worries among those with a second or vacation home, many on Vancouver Island. The province moved to modify the tax and exempt cabins and properties valued at less than $400,000, but the tax remains in most jurisdictions and some property owners are still trying to fully understand its implications. Communities including Langford, Sidney and the Regional District of Nanaimo have asked to be excluded from this tax.


REAL ESTATE

InSights The dire consequences of the speculation tax

T

his year, the overarching theme for the Victoria real estate market has been demand, KYLE KERR which has left the real estate industry begging for supply, and the provincial government spying an opportunity for fast tax revenue and a shallow publicity win under the guise of improving affordability. How did we get where we are today? The Victoria real estate market has experienced ongoing low inventory for the past 18 months. This created a seller’s market, which put pressure on pricing as people competed for limited inventory. Concern was raised at a local and national level that housing prices were increasing too quickly, and so there was a government response to slow the market. The new year brought with it increasing interest rates and a new mortgage stress test and, according to federal budget documentation, these measures were working. “Following rapid growth in prices and sales in recent years, housing market conditions have become more balanced in Toronto and Vancouver, and their surrounding regions,” notes the federal government’s budget package. Regardless of the federal position, and our board’s data showing the market returning to balance, our provincial government doubled down on demand measures and levied a 20-percent foreign buyer property transfer tax and the promise of a fall speculation tax. It is technically a tax on speculation, but also a tax on local and international owners of second homes in select areas of the province. In fact, the tax will not impact actual speculation as it does not apply to condo pre-sales and assignments. What does this mean for real estate in Greater Victoria this year and into the future? Will the government’s war on demand mean lower-priced housing? Likely not. And if it does, it will do so at the cost of all current homeowners’ equity. If housing prices are to come down, current homeowners must lose money on their home investments. How much home equity should existing homeowners lose? Does the government

get to dictate what a home should be worth? And how low should prices go? This hardly seems fair or appropriate in a free-market economy. If your home were worth 25 per cent less tomorrow, how would that impact your financial situation and your future planning? The unintended consequences of a tax that has not been researched, modelled or forecasted are serious and span beyond the simple cost of a condo downtown. There are serious and longterm repercussions across our city if the market were to take a sudden downturn. Because of the tax, development will be slowed to a near halt, secondary services such as home design, moving companies, carpenters, plumbers, contractors, landscapers and lawyers will be negatively impacted as will services that these industries employ. This means jobs will be lost. Longer term, even the government’s bottom line will suffer, as real estate, rental and leasing make up 18.36 per cent of our province’s GDP, more than oil and mining in Alberta. Though our market’s current theme is demand, we need to unpack what is causing the demand instead of making things more expensive. The demand is a symptom of our city’s success. Victoria is truly the jewel of the West Coast of Canada, and our municipalities have invested great effort to create a beautiful and safe place to live. We all need to analyze how to create more housing opportunities for people who don’t fit into the current market. Penalizing homeowners by diminishing their equity in their home does not open opportunity for potential home buyers, but it does cost current homeowners dearly. The government can help by looking at wages, supporting the creation of better paying jobs, investigating creative new housing models, supporting industry and community growth and tying tax dollars to housing projects that create opportunities for more diverse financial situations. Solutions need to be fair for all citizens, not shift the burden from one group to another.

FACTS: March property sales:  Greater Victoria: benchmark price:   Capital region core (Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Saanich, View Royal):   West Shore:   Saanich Peninsula:   Condominium benchmark price in Greater Victoria:   Townhouse benchmark price in Greater Victoria:   s 'REATER6ICTORIASTIGHTRENTALMARKET WITH 0.7 per cent vacancy rate, is helping drive construction of rental homes and condos as developers strive to meet demand. The region is suffering from a lack of affordable housing, something the province is trying to tackle in a $7-billion-plus commitment over the coming decade. s )NTERESTRATESALWAYSPLAYAROLEINTHE health of any housing market. The Bank of Canada has raised rates since summer 2017. This affects those holding a variablerate mortgage and homeowners facing a renewal of fixed-rate mortgages. Canada’s new stress test for uninsured mortgages led to a burst of real estate sales before the end of 2017 in Greater Victoria. The intention of the stress test, which came into effect this year, is to protect homeowners in case interest rates climb or if their personal financial circumstances deteriorate. The lending guideline was brought in to make sure that borrowers could continue paying their mortgage loan. Purchasers who have a down payment of 20 per cent or higher (a low-ratio mortgage) and who are not required to have mortgage insurance, must now go through a stress test. The minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages now has to be the greater of either the five-year-benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada, or the contractual rate plus two percentage points. A contractual rate is the total monthly payment of the principal and interest by a borrower.

Kyle Kerr is the president of the Victoria Real Estate Board

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 87


30/.3/2%$&%!452%"96!.)3,%7).$/73

Forty years ago, we opened our doors as a manufacturer and installer of windows and patio doors here at 404 Hillside Avenue in Victoria. In those days we were manufacturing single glazed aluminum products and inside storm windows. In anticipation to a major shift in the industry, a vinyl shop was built in the early 1990's and as the popularity of vinyl continued, so did the company's focus on meeting the new demand.


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Residential home with painted black windows and custom trim.

O

ur operations have grown significantly since 1978 and today we employ 80 people who work in various departments from manufacturing, shipping, sales, accounting, administration, installations and management. In addition to our factory here in Victoria, which comprises of an insulated glass shop, a vinyl fabrication shop, an installation department and a paint shop along with our showroom and sales office, we have showrooms in both Nanaimo and Courtenay and we supply and install our products Vancouver island wide as well as the Gulf Islands. I am extremely proud to be the General Manager of Van Isle Windows Ltd. and of all the people I work with. The team here is committed to excellent customer service, and everyone goes the extra mile to take care of our customers needs by providing quality products, and delivering professional, helpful service and assistance before, during, and after their customers requirements are met. We know that a satisfied customer is a customer for life. Because of everyone's efforts, this past year we were the recent 2017 recipients of the Better Business Bureau Torch Awards in Windows and Doors and in November the Times Colonist People's Choice Award in Windows in December. Forty years in business is not just a milestone, but a true accomplishment and I thank all those customers who have supported us over this time. We pride ourselves in being a local manufacturer, supporting our local economy and providing our customers with quality products and service. I look forward to assisting our past and new customers in our future and to what our next 40 years brings. Thank you for your support! Linda Gourlay, General Manager

Van Isle Windows is not just a distributor of windows; we are the manufacturer! We know to the untrained eye all vinyl windows look similar. But when you take the time to look a little closer you’ll see how much better Van Isle Windows are than the average window. Just as your home is unique, every window is too. We invest in the best materials available to ensure your new windows will perform to your expectations. From the PVC vinyl extrusions, the quality of glass, all the bits and pieces of hardware, right through to the steel and aluminum supports hidden inside the finished frames, Van Isle Windows are expertly designed for the rigorous demands of our climate on Vancouver Island.

/52#/--)4-%.4 From our factory in Victoria, Van Isle Windows has been manufacturing and installing windows all over Vancouver Island since 1978. We are Islanders, just like you! We know how the wind blows down your street in November, and how the sun punishes your home in July. We listen for things like traffic and wind noise. We discuss the building and fire codes with you to make sure you, your children or grandchildren, and your pets are safe. We ensure you have the right window so that it becomes an enjoyable part of your life. And, when you trust us for your window project, your investment supports our Island economy.


From left: Helen Bailey, senior research engineer for West Coast Wave Initiative, Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, David Castle, vice-president of research at the University of Victoria, and Brad Buckham, director of the West Coast Wave Initiative take part in a federal funding announcement for wave-energy technology at UVic.

RESEARCH AT WORK

Sometimes the best education is far from the classroom ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

RICHARD WATTS

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ook anywhere in Greater Victoria — rented offices, existing businesses or community groups — and you can find various elements of academia at work. It can be someone working alongside paid employees and entrepreneurs. It can be technicians at work in an industrial park or a self-standing facility situated far away from any campus. Or it can be somebody raising money for a local non-profit. As an example, Camosun College has a program called Camosun Innovates. Businesses or organizations apply to have particular issues solved and students and faculty are dispatched to assist. Richard Myerscough, founder and CEO of Ocean Rodeo, a Victoria kiteboarding company and maker of cold-water marine gear, signed up with Camosun Innovates three years ago. Ocean Rodeo needed help testing a piece of equipment the company had invented. “I was so impressed with the work they did I convinced my own son to go there for mechanical engineering,” said Myerscough. Since then, he has also hired four Camosun graduates to work for Ocean Rodeo. Meanwhile, the University of Victoria has at least 15 separate research centres. Many are off campus, with permanent staff, technicians, attached students and researchers all working under the centre’s own budget. Most are funded with grants and donations, all of which can be counted as economic infusions into the local economy. For example, Prof. Afzal Suleman of the engineering faculty is director of the UVic Centre for Aerospace Research. Its test work is done at a special hangar at the Victoria International Airport. With an average annual budget of about $1 million, the Centre for

90 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

Aerospace Research has 25 people working there. They include 10 professional engineers and 15 students, ranging from undergraduates working a co-op program to post doctoral. On a bigger scale is the UVicconnected Ocean Networks Canada, with an annual budget of $13 million from the federal government, IBM Canada and others. Ocean Networks has 129 staff, including 27 working in Sidney at UVic’s Marine Technology Centre. Workers include engineers, equipment specialists, technicians, faculty and a variety students and post graduates. UVic also operates the Vancouver Island Technology Park on Markham Street near Camosun College’s Interurban campus. The technology park has 191,000 square feet of space for technology companies, researchers and wet labs and is nearly full with tenants paying market rates. Even Royal Roads University, which

does much of its instruction online and at a distance, has experiencebased exercises at work in the community. In one, students are asked to form teams of five, each of them contributing $1. They are then asked to contact any local non profit agency and design a fund-raising campaign. The winner raises the most money. Other Royal Roads community efforts include emergency preparedness for seniors and engaging youth as climate leaders. David Castle, UVic vice-president of research, said areas such as aeronautical testing, marine research, consultations with First Nations and health sciences force academics off campus. “There is a lot of research work going on out there in the community,” said Castle. “There are just some things we absolutely have to do off campus.”


EDUCATION

HIGHER LEARNING

Co-operation key among regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s post-secondary institutions Greater Victoria is uniquely poised as a hub of learning where education, research and inquiry boost, fuel and sustain the local economy, say educators and leaders. With three mid-sized post-secondary institutions â&#x20AC;&#x201D; University of Victoria, Camosun College and Royal Roads University â&#x20AC;&#x201D; southern Vancouver Island is well served with skills-training geared to a variety of students and learners. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s further strengthened by the presence of Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo and North Island College with its campuses in Courtenay, Campbell River, Port Alberni, Port Hardy and a learning centre in Ucluelet. Allan Cahoon, president and vice-chancellor of Royal Roads University since 2007, said Greater Victoria and all Vancouver Island have a special advantage he has seen nowhere else. Its post-secondary institutions collaborate in ways others wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even consider. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you go to Vancouver, you have more institutions, but they operate pretty independently,â&#x20AC;? said Cahoon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There seems to be a bit more sibling rivalry.â&#x20AC;? But he said UVic, Camosun, Royal Roads and other Island institutions all work co-operatively. For example, on a recent trip to the Philippines promoting Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s education opportunities, Cahoon said he carried a single brochure listing all - Melanie Mark, minister of the institutions and the various offerings of each. advanced education, skills and â&#x20AC;&#x153;People were actually surprised we are as training collaborative as we are,â&#x20AC;? he said. An element of this co-operation is the ease with which students move between institutions, perhaps starting at Camosun, then transferring to UVic and after graduation and some time at Royal Roads for executive enrichment. Cahoon cited the high-tech industry starting to take root in Victoria as a good example of how post-secondary education and the economy work together in a chicken-and-egg kind of togetherness. UVic is there with students studying computer science and software engineering. Camosun is there with students studying computer technology and related technical ďŹ elds. And Royal Roads is there with niche-level business courses geared toward further plans such as transforming a ďŹ ve-person startup into a 35-person operation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The kinds of differences in terms of what each institution can provide complement each other.â&#x20AC;? Melanie Mark, provincial minister of advanced education, skills and training, said Victoria and Vancouver Island are now operating with a wide enough selection to attract students and keep Island students at home. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also part of a larger commitment the provincial government is making to turn B.C. into a North American cluster of learning and expertise, said Mark. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Victoria is deďŹ nitely a deďŹ nitely a destination for higher education,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People from outside Victoria choose to come here and people who grow up here choose to stay,â&#x20AC;? she said.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Victoria is deďŹ nitely a destination for higher education. People from outside Victoria choose to come here and people who grow up here choose to stay.â&#x20AC;?

FACTS: 5.)6%23)49/&6)#4/2)! s3TUDENTS UNDERGRADUATEANDGRADUATE s&ACULTY s%MPLOYEESINCLUDINGFACULTY   s!NNUAL/PERATING"UDGETMILLION s!NNUALEXPENDITURESINCLUDESOPERATIONS SPONSOREDRESEARCH OTHEREXPENSES MILLION s!NNUALECONOMICIMPACTBILLION s%XPANSIONSANDIMPROVEMENTS  %XPANSIONTOCOMPUTERSCIENCEANDENGINEERING MILLIONTOESTABLISH)NDIGENOUSLAWDEGREE MILLIONRENOVATIONTO/CEANSAND#LIMATE LABIN"AMlELD Source: Annual Review and Ministry of Advanced Education

ROYAL ROADS UNIVERSITY: s3TUDENTS INCLUDINGPROFESSIONALANDCONTINUING STUDIES  s&ACULTYANDSTAFF s!NNUALOPERATINGBUDGETMILLION s!NNUALVISITS TOURISTS COMMUNITYEVENTS RENTALSANDCONFERENCES TO  s%XPANSIONSANDIMPROVEMENTS#ENTRE FOR%NVIRONMENTAL3CIENCEAND0ARTNERSHIPS NOW UNDERCONSTRUCTIONANDEXPECTEDTOEMPLOY FULLTIMESTAFFANDPROVIDEATOTALMILLIONIN ECONOMICBENElTSTO6ICTORIA Source: Royal Roads communications and Ministry of Advanced Education

#!-/35.#/,,%'% s3TUDENTS  s0ROGRAMSINCLUDINGUNIVERSITYACADEMIC transfer s&ACULTY s4OTALEMPLOYEES  s!NNUALOPERATINGBUDGETMILLION s!NNUALTOTALEXPENDITURES INCLUDINGSALARIES SERVICES REPAIRSANDMAINTENANCEMILLION s!NNUALECONOMICIMPACTBILLIONYEAR s%XPANSIONSAND)MPROVEMENTSMILLION HEALTHSCIENCESCENTRENOWUNDERCONSTRUCTION  EXPANSIONTOTECHNOLOGYANDWEB TECHNOLOGY MILLIONTRADESBUILDINGOPENED IN Source: Camosun and Ministry of Advanced Education

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Richard Watts

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 91


EDUCATION CAMOSUN INTEGRAL TO

InSights

REGIONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S LEARNING HUB

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rom engineering, electrical and accounting to athletic therapy, nursing and nautical training, Camosun College educates critical thinkers and skilled professionals who help our community ďŹ&#x201A;ourish and our economy grow. Camosun ďŹ ts as an integral cog in Greater Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;learning hubâ&#x20AC;? of advanced education. SHERRI BELL Our strategic direction prioritizes applied education, innovation, educational and community partnerships, diversity and cultural understanding â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all supporting an extraordinary student experience. Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s through one of our 320 co-op work terms, internships, lab options, or industry collaboration projects â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Camosun provides applied learning opportunities in almost every area, and I believe this is what sets Camosun apart. About 12 per cent of our students arrive on campus already with bachelor or post-graduate degrees. They are looking for hands-on skills to complement their previous education. Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s building robotic devices for people with disabilities, collaborating on the issue of homelessness or providing preventative dental care to our community, Camosun students are actively engaged, gaining practical, life-changing skills.

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Here to Serve You! tÄ&#x17E;Ä?Ä&#x201A;ĹśĹ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;ĹŻĆ&#x2030;Ç&#x2021;ŽƾÇ Ĺ?Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Í&#x2014; Íť /žžĹ?Ĺ?Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜÄ&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161; Ĺ?Ć&#x;Ç&#x152;Ä&#x17E;ĹśĆ?Ĺ&#x161;Ĺ?Ć&#x2030;Ć&#x2030;Ć&#x2030;ĹŻĹ?Ä?Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜĆ? Íť sĹ?Ć?Ĺ?Ć&#x161;Ĺ˝Ć&#x152;sĹ?Ć?Ä&#x201A;Ć?Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x201A;Ä&#x161;Ĺ?Ä&#x201A;Ĺś WÄ&#x201A;Ć?Ć?Ć&#x2030;Ĺ˝Ć&#x152;Ć&#x161;Ć? Íť ĹľĆ&#x2030;ĹŻĹ˝Ç&#x2021;ĹľÄ&#x17E;ĹśĆ&#x161;/ĹśĆ?ĆľĆ&#x152;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ?Ä&#x17E; Íť /ĹśÄ?ŽžÄ&#x17E;dÄ&#x201A;Ç&#x2020;Ä&#x17E;Ć?Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;KĆ&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152; &Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;ĹŻdÄ&#x201A;Ç&#x2020;Ä&#x17E;Ć?Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;ĹśÄ&#x17E;ÄŽĆ&#x161;Ć? Íť Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x201A;Ä&#x161;Ä&#x201A;WÄ&#x17E;ĹśĆ?Ĺ?ŽŜWĹŻÄ&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161; KĹŻÄ&#x161;Ĺ?Ä&#x17E;^Ä&#x17E;Ä?ĆľĆ&#x152;Ĺ?Ć&#x161;Ç&#x2021; Íť sÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;ĹśĆ?ÄŤÄ&#x201A;Ĺ?Ć&#x152;Ć?Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;DĹ˝Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E; ŽŜĆ&#x161;Ä&#x201A;Ä?Ć&#x161;ĹľÇ&#x2021;ŽĸÄ?Ä&#x17E;ĨŽĆ&#x152;Ä&#x201A;Ĺś Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x2030;Ć&#x2030;Ĺ˝Ĺ?ĹśĆ&#x161;ĹľÄ&#x17E;ĹśĆ&#x161;Í&#x160;

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As one of the top 50 research colleges in Canada, Camosunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s faculty researchers and students deliver innovation services to help Island businesses prosper. Our Camosun Innovates department attracts $2.3 million in research grants each year. Through our new Babcock Canada Interaction Lab, with prototyping, manufacturing and design services, our students get a chance to collaborate with clients like local kite-boarding company, Ocean Rodeo, and global vehicle giant, Toyota. In terms of educational partnerships, Camosun works together with the University of Victoria, Royal Roads and other B.C. universities to offer 280 transfer opportunities combined, allowing our ďŹ rst and secondyear arts and science students to continue seamlessly onto the next level of their education. Our educational partnerships extend to high school and international students, as well as organizations abroad. Camosun delivers one of the most comprehensive dual-credit high school programs in B.C. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the South Island Partnership. More than 1,000 Grade 11 and 12 students from our ďŹ ve lower island school districts come to Camosun to get a valuable head start on their college education. For local international students, Camosun, UVic, Royal Roads and School Districts 61, 62 and 63 recently signed a partnership that allows international families and their children to complete high school in Victoria and move on to Camosun or the universities with an ease unavailable in other provinces. From our new Camosun Coastal Centre on the Songhees Nation land that delivers marine-related training to our pipe-ďŹ tting trades program with Arusha Technical

College in Tanzania, Camosun holds numerous local, national and international partnerships that foster education, innovation and community development. Diversity and global understanding are also key at Camosun. Close to 2,000 International students enroll each year from as far away as Vietnam and Zimbabwe. International students bring fresh intercultural perspectives to campus, and many stay in Canada after graduation to live and contribute to our Canadian economy. Through our Centre for Indigenous Education, EyeÂŻ? Sq?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;lewen, we lead B.C. in providing culturally relevant programs and services to more than 1,100 Indigenous students each year. As educators, we are deeply committed to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, and we have developed a thoughtful, comprehensive Indigenization and Reconciliation Project Charter to guide us as we move forward in our future Indigenization plans. With our spectacular new Centre for Health and Wellness facility under construction at Interurban campus, 160 programs, 19,000 students, 1,100 employees, and an annual budget of $126 million, Camosun College generates an impressive $1 billion in economic impact for the Victoria region annually. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more important, however, is the enormous and invaluable impact Camosun students and graduates make, armed with the latest skills and knowledge, on the social, cultural and economic success of our region.

Sherri Bell is president of Camosun College


HEALTH

Dr. Shane Greek, left, and technician Yves Gagnon in the MRI area of Royal Jubilee Hospital. DARREN STONE PHOTO

3T CINDY E. HARNETT

brings the latest in medical imaging NEW TECHNOLOGY CAN ELIMINATE SOME INVASIVE PROCEDURES, DIAGNOSE DISEASES EARLIER AND DETERMINE THE RIGHT TREATMENT

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ife-saving detection of brain tumours and heart conditions in hospitals will vastly improve when the Island’s first publicly funded $2.7-million MRI scanner for clinical use arrives this fall. “It’s better at everything and twice as good,” says Island Health diagnostic and interventional radiologist Shane Greek. Royal Jubilee Hospital is awaiting the arrival of a 3.0 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanner, called a 3T MRI, in mid-October to be operational in early 2019. It replaces a 17-year-old scanner — the oldest in clinical operation in the province, said Yves Gagnon, medical radiation technologist for Island Health. The 3T’s technical name belies its magnetism and star power. As technology continually advances, publicly funded hospitals struggle to fund the best. “There is an underlying expectation that diagnostic medicine is perfect, and it has never been and probably never will be, but this is certainly a

big step in getting closer to 100 per cent accuracy,” says Greek. “This is an enormous step.” Greek says the more detailed imaging technology can eliminate some invasive procedures, diagnose diseases earlier and determine the right treatment. “Having 3T on the Island is going to put us in a position that nobody is ever going to have to be referred to Vancouver,” said Greek. The province’s only publicly funded 3T MRI for clinical use has only been operational since November 2017 at B.C.

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Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 93


— 3T brings the latest in medical imaging Children’s Hospital, although there is a research 3T MRI at UBC used for clinical patients, says Scott McCarten, Island Health director of medical imaging services. “Installing the latest and greatest is always a good thing for our patients,” says Scott McCarten, “The 3T is so much better for imaging for things like epilepsy, brain tumours, stroke, cardiac imaging, prostate cancer and breast imaging.” To see it, the massive MRI scanner looks like a large cylinder ringed by a circular magnet with a conveyer belt-like examination table that slides into the centre of the magnet. A computer processes the data in an adjoining viewing room. It will take “three large renovations” starting in June — driving the MRI’s ticket price up to $5.5 million — to create a new space beside the current 1.5 T MRI. It’s hoped the old model can still be used when additional capacity or research is needed. Unlike a CT scanner for hard tissue such as bone and cartilage, an MRI is better at imaging soft tissue because it relies on the properties of water molecules in the body. An MRI essentially works like a transmitter-receiver, says Gagnon. Radio waves are sent through the body and received by radio channels. The 3T has more channels, and the more channels, the more data collected. Also, the higher the Tesla (magnification strength measurement) the more of an electronic signal that can be acquired, says Gagnon. That data is essentially “decoded” by computer software, he said,

to produce detailed pictures, usually of the body’s brain, chest, abdomen, pelvis, vascular and lymph-node system. Neurological imaging will be more accurate because there will be more detail, and cardiac imaging will improve because of increased speed, says Gagnon. Greek is particularly excited that the new machine can produce what’s called 4 Dimensional flow to look at blood flow and its direction at any point in time, which is important in diagnosing heart abnormalities. As well, it is currently “quite difficult” to distinguish whether a patient has a thick heart muscle because of their athleticism, which requires no action, due to high-blood pressure, in which case they may need medication, or whether they have one of two life-threatening conditions. The 3T’s accuracy will change that. It’s also better at detecting whether all of an excised brain or liver tumour,

for example, has been removed, says Greek. “It’s hard to give one example” of its life-saving possibilities, says Greek. The technology’s shorter exposure time will also allow technologists to capture a still image from patients who can’t control their movement. It’s also quieter, bigger and faster, which allows more types of people to be scanned. Greek is on a provincial committee determining the cases in which 3T should be the first choice to help doctors streamline patients. Of the total pricetag, $2.4 million comes from two donations to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. One is from the estate of a donor dedicated to improved medical imaging technology. The other is from a donor who “is alive today” because of an MRI directed biopsy, says Melanie Mahlman, the foundation’s president.

Partners and technology make for better care

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ncertainty can be unsettling, especially when you or your loved one is ill. When you’re in pain, you want to know why, and you want to feel better as quickly as possible. For many years, physicians and other medical professionals relied almost exclusively on the practice of “ruling out” illnesses to eliminate a suspected disease or condition. The introduction of medical imaging in 1895 removed a lot of the guesswork in reaching a diagnosis. And with every technological advance since that first primitive x-ray machine, doctors and their patients have better information, more accurate diagnoses and, ultimately, many more lives are saved. Island Health has six MRI machines from Victoria to Campbell River and Port Alberni to Nanaimo. We perform more than 38,000 KATHY MACNEIL scans a year. With a growing and aging population across Island Health, demand for this important service increases, and so does our investment. We are working closely with the Ministry of Health to support patients and further reduce MRI wait times.

InSights

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Helping us achieve the commitment government has made will be our new 3T MRI. It produces better images and the time to perform scans is shorter than current MRIs. This means we can scan more patients each day and more patients can get the tests they need. This advanced technology is important because MRI scans can illustrate more clearly than ever before the difference between healthy and diseased tissue, and can provide important information about the brain, spine, joints and internal organs. It can also lead to early detection and treatment of disease, allowing your physician to determine the most appropriate treatment for you. This technological breakthrough is made possible with a significant donation from our wonderful partner, the Victoria Hospitals

Foundation, which contributed $2.4 million to this $5.5 million project. One of the two main donors to the 3T MRI is alive today after receiving an MRI-directed biopsy. That’s what technology is really all about — helping people get extraordinary care. And because of its advanced capacity, this valuable tool will also help us research illnesses. Every one of us at Island Health is passionate about supporting the health and care of the 767,000 people we serve. With the support of partners such as the Victoria Hospitals Foundation and state-ofthe-art tools like the 3T MRI, we will continue to improve access and provide even better quality care to our patients.

Kathy MacNeil is president and chief executive of Island Health


HEALTH

Provincial health minister Adrian Dix plants ďŹ&#x201A;owers with Bryony Graham, who recently had knee replacement surgery at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

PROVINCE BOOSTS FUNDING FOR MRIs

The B.C. Health Ministry has injected $11 million into magnetic resonance imaging to allow an additional 37,000 exams to be performed throughout the province by March 2019. With funding ďŹ&#x201A;owing from the provincial budget, 225,000 MRI exams will be completed in 2018-19, up from 188,000 in 2017-2018 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a bold step, says Health Minister Adrian Dix. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The increase will be close to 20 per cent,â&#x20AC;? said Dix. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We know that by rebuilding and expanding capacity in the public system, we will improve access to care and patient outcomes.â&#x20AC;? Island Health is estimated to do 38,000 MRIs in 2017-2018, and with the new funding their estimate is 48,000, says the Health Ministry. Overall wait times for scheduled MRI exams in B.C. remain long, with 50 per cent of patients waiting more than 41 days, and 10 per cent of patients waiting more than 199 days, according to the province. B.C.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s per capita rate for public MRI exams is currently 37 per 1,000 British Columbians â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a full third below the national average of 55.5, says the Hospital Employees Union. HEU secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside says the 37,000 additional MRI exams along with other new initiatives â&#x20AC;&#x153;puts B.C. ďŹ rmly on the road to renewal when it comes to building the capacity of our public health-care system.â&#x20AC;? Further increases are planned for 2019-20, says Dix. The plan to push through more scans includes operating existing machines longer and installing already-planned MRI machines. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Cindy E. Harnett

MRIs ON VANCOUVER ISLAND BY THE NUMBERS: sDAYS7AITTIMESIN&EBRUARYFORPERCENTOFNON URGENT-2)S sDAYS7AITTIMESIN*ANUARYFORPERCENTOFNON URGENT-2)S s4WO-2)SAT6ICTORIA'ENERAL(OSPITAL s/NE-2)AT2OYAL*UBILEE(OSPITAL s/NEPRIVATELYRUN-2)IN6ICTORIAANDPRIVATELYRUN4 s/NEPRIVATELYRUNMOBILE-2)THATTRAVELSTOSMALLERCENTRES OUTOF.ANAIMO s.EW-2)SINBOTH#AMPBELL2IVERAND#OMOX6ALLEYCAMPUSES INSTALLED FORTHEFALLOPENINGSOFTHE.ORTH)SLAND(OSPITAL s.EW.ANAIMO-2)ISEXPECTEDTOBEINSTALLEDIN

FACTS: Island Health serves a population of about 767,000, including an Aboriginal community of 40,550, on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and Johnstone Strait, and the mainland communities north of Powell River. sBILLIONBUDGET s HEALTH CAREPROFESSIONALS TECHNICIANSANDSUPPORTSTAFF s MEDICALSTAFF s PLUSFACILITIES s ACUTECAREANDREHABILITATIONBEDS s MENTALHEALTHANDSUBSTANCEBEDS s VOLUNTEERSANDAUXILIARYMEMBERS s VOLUNTEERANDAUXILIARYHOURSANNUALLY s -2)SDONEIN  s -2)SDONEIN ESTIMATEDASOF-ARCH s -2)SPROJECTEDFOR  Source: Island Health Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 95


HERE COMES THE SUN GREG ADAMS’ LAKETOWN RANCH SITE PUTS ISLAND ON THE A LIST FOR CONCERTS, FESTIVALS

Greg Adams sees his vision for Laketown Ranch — and the Sunfest Music Festival — come to fruition as the main stage is under construction near Lake Cowichan in June, 2016. Now the venue is attracting major festivals and bands.

MIKE DEVLIN

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ith a few big moves in a few short years, Greg Adams has rejuvenated the Vancouver Island festival landscape. And he will be an even bigger part of it if his plans come to fruition. Adams played professional hockey for several NHL teams — including the Vancouver Canucks — before moving on to a career in construction development. He co-owns Wideglide Entertainment, the company behind the multi-use Youbou property Laketown Ranch. The 172 acres near Lake Cowichan has hosted several high-profile events since launching in 2016, most notably the annual Sunfest Country Music Festival. He put in years of service at Sunfest’s former location, the Cowichan Valley Exhibition Grounds. But with the move to Laketown Ranch, Adams entered the big leagues as a venue operator and concert promoter on Vancouver Island. “I didn’t pay for huge studies to be done,” Adams said of the impetus behind the site switch. “I just talked to people, and observed, for 10 or 15 years.” The demand was there, but Adams said he needed to take a leap of faith in order to see the project through. The site is now being used by third-party concert promoters, which was part of his original plan. “I just saw that valley, with the mountains in the background, and the trees, with the stage ... I just had this vision. My vision was also that promoters would buy into it and see the opportunity. But what I realized is you’ve got to build it first so people can see it.”

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The Laketown site with the largest permanent stage in the province — which enabled Adams to book headliners such as Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town and Toby Keith — introduced Sunfest to a new, considerably bigger audience, drawing an average of 15,000 fans during its two editions there. The upcoming edition of the festival, which is set for Aug. 2-5, is expected to break Island attendance records. Wideglide Entertainment has added several events to its stable in the two years since Laketown Ranch opened, and could be in line for several more. Adams recently entered into a partnership with Vancouver executives for Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promotion company. Live Nation will be counted on to bring acts to the table for Laketown Rock, a classic rock festival set for June 29 to July 1. Wideglide is also producing a series of threeday Laketown Shakedowns (May 18-20; June 8-9; and Aug. 31-Sept. 2), joining third-party events


ENTERTAINMENT

FACTS: A warm breeze and the sound of music is the perfect combination for residents of Vancouver Island during the summer, making the area one of the premiere locales for festival-goers. There’s everything from country to classical, and the results couldn’t be sweeter. Here’s a short list of the best the area has to offer in the coming months.

CAR FREE YYJ - June 17 A staple of Father’s Day weekend for the past three years, the fourth annual Car Free YYJ is expected to grow even further in 2018. The ability to walk down a closed-off Douglas Street, with grass under foot, is the appeal for many.

TD VICTORIA INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL - June 22-July 1 Heritage acts (Dee Dee Bridgewater, Spanish Harlem Orchestra) are mixed with tasteful new-schoolers (St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Gogo Penguin) for one of the city’s strongest, most dependable events.

ROCK THE SHORES - July 13-15

DARREN STONE PHOTO

This outdoor festival returns to the West Shore after a year off, setting the stage for what should be a triumphant comeback. Three days of sun-soaked fun, with an array of notable performers expected.

SUNFEST COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL - Aug. 2-5 Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town, and Toby Keith are among the alumni who’ve played the biggest festival on Vancouver Island in previous years. Eric Church — a huge star in U.S. country music — heads up this year’s roster at the Youbou festival.

VICTORIA SYMPHONY SPLASH - Aug. 5 that include the Otherworld Festival (June 22-25), the opening ceremonies of the B.C. Summer Games (July 19) and the High Times Cannabis Cup (Aug. 24-27). Adams is hoping Live Nation can bring to life his dream of an A-list festival at the site, one that could be compared to the biggest and best ones in the country. “It takes time, even for Live Nation,” Adams said. “A year from now, I don’t know what it’s going to be, but I think it’s going to be interesting.” Adams is proud of what he’s built, and so he should be. Laketown Ranch offers something for everyone, from

flush toilets and plumbed showers to picturesque viewing locations. “We’ve seen [other B.C.] festivals implode, but they’ve imploded through incredibly poor management, and some of it is saturation,” he said. “Just because a business is successful, it doesn’t mean 10 other people should try and do the same thing. It’s got to be run properly, and it’s got to meet what the market wants and be customer driven. We run our festival like a well-organized business. We don’t run it like a party and hope it all works out.”

One of the city’s most popular events (more than 30,000 attend each year) peaks with the orchestra’s rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. There is plenty more to offer, including a fireworks display.

VICTORIA FRINGE FESTIVAL - Aug. 22-Sept. 2 Theatre fans support this festival en masse each year. The Fringe Festival is in its 31st year, making it one of the longest-running festivals of its kind in Canada. The shows range from comedy to drama to magic to puppetry during Fringe’s 10-day run.

RIFFLANDIA - Sept. 13-16 The granddaddy of modern-day music festivals in Greater Victoria passed the 10-year mark in 2017, and posted its best audience totals to date.

ENTERTAINMENT BY THE NUMBERS 2017 %VENTSHELDATTHE3AVE ON &OODS-EMORIAL#ENTRE &ILMPERMITSISSUED 3PECIAL EVENTPERMITSISSUED -USICIANSWHOPERFORMEDAT4$6ICTORIA)NTERNATIONAL*AZZ&ESTIVAL 6ENDORSWHOPARTICIPATEDIN#AR&REE99*  0EOPLEWHOATTENDEDCONCERTSAT#AMERON"ANDSHELLIN"EACON(ILL0ARK  0EOPLEWHOATTENDED#ANADA$AYCELEBRATIONS  4OTALATTENDANCEFOREVENTSAT#ENTENNIAL3QUARE Source: City of Victoria Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 97


ENTERTAINMENT

The talented musician is wearing yet another hat as artistic director of the Victoria Conservatory’s new Chwyl Family School of Contemporary Music — and he’s loving the role. MIKE DEVLIN

V

DANIEL LAPP

ictoria is a city on the move when it comes to its arts and culture community. No one knows that better than Daniel Lapp, an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist who has played with Spirit of the West, 54-40, Rickie Lee Jones and Gord Downie’s Country of Miracles. Lapp, who moved from Prince George to Victoria in 1983, is now the artistic director of the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s new Chwyl Family School of Contemporary Music. He was given the job in 2014 to bring a new generation of musician through the doors of the storied institution. Lapp is the perfect choice, having run for decades the B.C. Fiddle Orchestra, the Joy of Life Choir and Joy of Life Festival, among other projects. With more than 9,575 jobs in arts and culture in the province, according to a 2016 Statistic Canada study, the future is only getting brighter for students choosing this path. With that in mind, we asked Lapp to give us his thoughts on where Victoria has been and where it is headed.

Musician Daniel Lapp: “I’d love to see more outdoor concerts and a better use of our gorgeous Beacon Hill Park.” ADRIAN LAM PHOTO

98 | Capital PROGRESS 2018

A Conversation with

What is the one thing about Victoria most people in the arts community across Canada don’t know? I think all Canadians are surprised to discover how small our city is when they first visit here. Maybe because it’s the capital city of the province, but also because of its reputation for producing such great art I think it’s assumed it’s a bigger centre than it actually is. Our small size (compared to big brother across the pond) attracts a constant influx of creative folk from small B.C. communities including the Gulf Islands who really enrich our arts community. I suppose I’d be considered one of those immigrants.

How has the city grown during your time in Victoria?

I first arrived out of high school to study the trumpet at UVic in 1983, so I’ve seen plenty of changes. The city can only grow in a couple directions since it’s on the edge of the ocean, but it’s been absolutely bursting to the west and the north in the past 10 years especially. We are starting to see an arts scene develop in these outer neighbourhoods as artists seek more affordable rent and find an audience only too happy to not have to drive the 20 minutes into the city centre.

How is it going to grow going forward?

While the cost of real estate has an impact on self-employed income earners, it also does force a wider arts reach to spread. It’s also worth mentioning that communal living is on the rise as a result and that fosters a unique supportive environment for artists. It’s less likely to find a painter or musician here renting their own studio to work in and far more common, out of necessity, for people to share space. Of course this has its drawbacks, but it also has some really positive outcomes that energize the community.

What do we desperately need?

The arts scene in Victoria would benefit greatly from more direct support from patrons and the city. We have seen a large decline in venues because of strict drinking laws that have impacted our live music culture. So, musicians try and put on more of their own concerts, but these are costly and risky. Our city is filled with folks who love the arts, but many of these folks also love nature and sports and it’s challenging to draw them into sit-down venues when it’s a beautiful evening. I’d love to see more outdoor concerts and a better use of our gorgeous Beacon Hill Park to this end. We also have an amazing visual-arts community who have been very creative in finding locations to show their work, but this is under threat like never before with the shortage of rental spaces. This community would benefit greatly from more patron support and the city’s support in finding affordable gallery space and loosening the red tape involved in hosting public events in some of places that could be used.

What are your future plans?

I’m thrilled to be part of the new direction that the Victoria Conservatory of Music is going, bringing ‘all’ music to the fore in a variety of learning environments. After trying my hand in business with the House of Music in Esquimalt, it was clear that a larger organization would need to bring this idea to light. We are building many exciting programs for music lovers of all ages, including a two-year post-secondary music performance program with Camosun College. And besides that hat that I wear, I have many music ideas of my own that I need to yet pursue. The next 20-plus years will find me writing and playing as much as ever — and making music with my own children becoming more of a priority. As long as I can take a breath and swing my arm, my trumpet and fiddle will stay out of the case.


JACK KNOX

Crowds at the opening of the new Johnson Street Bridge on March 31. DARREN STONE PHOTO

SEVEN years later ...

M

aybe this is what it felt like when the Berlin Wall fell. “Is it true, Heinz, is it open?” “Ja, you go first.” No point sticking one’s neck out. That’s not in keeping with the New Year’s resolution I made for 2018 (and 2017, 2016 and 2015) when I vowed to be in the initial wave across the new Johnson Street bridge. Truth is, it’s kind of scary when something unlikely — such as the bridge actually opening — becomes reality. The capital region in particular has a long history of talking and talking and talking (or, as we call it, “making progress”) about things we’re pretty confident will never come true — amalgamation, rapid transit, regional policing, affordable housing, tsunamis, Victoria Mayor Stew Young — so it’s unsettling when they do. Traditionally, construction decisions are not made rashly, if at all, here in Dysfunction-by-the-Sea. Nothing gets built overnight, or even overyear. We prefer process to results. Yet here we are today, Sisyphus stunned to find himself atop the mountain, watching the rock roll down the other side, or at least to Vic West. A less charitable writer might point out that it has in fact take more than seven years (the entire Second World War was fought in less than six) to build a bridge whose length a decent golfer could easily clear with a nine iron. This would be unkind, so I shall instead take a more positive tack and note that for many this is the first time they can remember a major infrastructure project ACTUALLY BEING FINISHED. What’s shocking is the bridge is not the only example of Greater Victoria’s newfound get-’er-done attitude. At this very moment construction equipment is trundling around the site of a new sewagetreatment plant at McLoughlin Point (the previously unspoiled Eden of Esquimalt, if critics are to be believed). In addition, there’s a freshly drilled

passage under the harbour that will house a sewer pipe running from Ogden Point to McLoughlin (BTW, this is also the route refugees will take the next time Esquimalt and Victoria descend into civil war and the drawbridge is raised). Drilling of the cross-harbour passage went much faster than expected, resulting in the revocation of Vancouver Island residency permits for all involved. Admittedly, we’re still not sure how the resulting sewage sludge will be piped from Esquimalt to the Hartland landfill (please, Lord, don’t let it involve Kinder Morgan, or the protests will bog this down for years) and we’re not sure what we’ll do with the sludge once it’s there, but we’re far enough into construction of the $765-million project that Victorians should no longer feel compelled to follow every visit to the smallest room in the house with an apologetic e-mail to Seattle.

And there’s more! Every day, drivers stuck in the Colwood Crawl are treated to the sight of Tonka Toys heavy equipment working the edges of the Trans-Canada Highway as the McKenzie interchange slowly takes shape. OK, maybe it’s not going as fast as first promised. The $85-million project was initially supposed to be finished this coming autumn, but that deadline got pushed back until the summer of 2019, with the finishing bits not completed until the end of that year. For commuters watching this daily diorama unfold, that’s like being stuck in the kitchen on Christmas day, staring at the oven, watching the turkey cook. It will be ready at 5:30 p.m. Wait, no, 7 o’clock, but no stuffing or cranberry sauce until 8. Never mind, it will be worth it when it’s done. We hope. The important thing is progress is being made. It’s unnerving.

Capital PROGRESS 2018 | 99


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Capital Progress  

2018 Capital Progress Edition

Capital Progress  

2018 Capital Progress Edition