Matters Vol. 6 Issue 5
www.victoriachamber.ca #100-852 Fort Street, Victoria BC V8W 1H8
Replacing the Bridge Publications Mail Poste-Publications
ABOUT BUSINESS MATTERS Business Matters is the news magazine of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. It is published six times per year and distributed free-of-charge to members of the GVCC.
September/October 2010 I vol. 6 issue 5
Content Editor: Shannon Renault Layout Editor: Tessa Cogman Business Matters’ content is copyrighted: Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Victoria, B.C., Canada.
Loan vs. Taxes: Paying for the New Bridge
feature article Victoria Integrated Court
2010 Business Services Show
BC Hydro Success Story
in every issue 4 5 14 16
Messages from the Chair and CEO Member News
Greater Victoria Development Agency
Ask an Expert
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also inside Co-operative Education Success Story
The Chamber accepts no responsibility for unsolicited submissions. The business profiles, and the views and opinions expressed by advertisers in this publication are not necessarily those of the Chamber.
Please respect the length guidelines as outlined below. Longer items will be edited. Member Letters: 200 words Ask an Expert: 300 words (include high resolution photo and position title) Member News: Standard one page media release Please put “Member Letters”, “Ask an Expert”, or “Member News” in the subject line of your email.
Dave Marshall Chair
Much of the advocacy work of the chamber centres on articulating the business
perspective when decision makers – at any political level – are considering issues of concern to our members and to the broader business community. During the past number of weeks, the Chamber has been very involved consulting with our members on the options available to the City of Victoria for the Johnson Street Bridge. We heard from a number of members that the amount of time the bridge could be out of service under the rehabilitation option would simply have too great an impact on their operations. Indeed, some expressed their view that they might well have to close under such circumstances. We ensured that those concerns were heard by the City and are pleased that they have decided on the replacement option – that which also is the less expensive of the two options overall. The bigger question now is one of financing – both of securing a positive decision in the fall referendum and of the overall state of the City of Victoria’s debt picture. These issues are explored in more detail in the lead article in this month’s publication. This is a significant business issue and is worth the attention and voice of the business community. Elections for the chamber’s Board of Directors takes place in mid October. The work of the Board of Directors is extremely satisfying and I know that my colleagues share my belief that we are fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute to the betterment of our community. Members will all receive a call for nominations in early September. I would encourage you to consider bringing your perspectives and talents to the Board table and to join us in the work of making our business community better. Should you be interested, any Director would be pleased to share her or his experiences and talk with you about the work of the Board. Finally, I would like to take a moment to thank George Fuller for his work in setting the direction for our Board of Directors in 2010. As some may know, George has stepped down as Chair. We thank George for his guidance, counsel and contributions and are delighted that he has agreed to serve as a Director and as a member of our Executive Committee. As your Executive Vice Chair, I was asked to carry on that work and complete the 2010 term as Chair before leading the Board in 2011, as had been intended. I am most honoured to do so and, together with all of my colleagues on your Board of Directors, look forward to serving our members and our Community.
Bruce Carter CEO
Quicker than one could think possible,
fall is once again upon us. And with that comes a number of events from the Chamber, and issues to attend to in the community. We are pleased to once again be hosting the largest business to business trade show on the Island. The Business Services Show is only one of the array of events that will take place in October. The show, early in the month, is followed by a calendar of events during Small Business Week, the third week of October. We invite you to attend the Business Services Show and as many of the events of Small Business Week that suit the needs of your business. We will also bring members information on the City of Victoria by-election candidates and further information on the referendum question that will be posed about borrowing for the Johnson Street Bridge project. Our goal is to bring you the information you need in order to make an informed decision in your voting, if you indeed vote in Victoria! We have been working closely, along with other industry partners, with the City of Victoria to assist in creating an economic development strategy. This strategy will guide the work of the City, to advance our economic recovery and create long term opportunities for continued growth. On the policy side, the Chamber will be attending the Canadian Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting later in September, bringing more of the issues that impact our business community to the national body for their support. While there, we will endeavour to have personal meetings with the ministers whose portfolios represent some of the important issues we are working on at the Chamber, such as infrastructure expansion, homelessness, tourism and economic development. We look forward to reporting back to our members on that work. From reports in the community, things are looking up for our region. We were less impacted than others by the economic downturn of late last year, and the economy is starting to turn around. We are cautiously optimistic about the business environment for the coming year. However, in recognition of the fact that the past year has been more difficult than many can remember, the Chamber is holding the line on member rates for 2011. We have been clear to our municipal governments that increased expenses to business through tax increases are not advisable after such a tough year while businesses are trying to recover, and we will lead by example on that point for 2011. We hope you hit the ground running as the generally busy fall schedule unfolds.
In 2010, the English Language Centre is celebrating 40 years of offering award-winning ESL programs at UVic. The ELC´s first programs were offered to French-Canadian bursary students in 1970. 40 years later, they have become one of the largest language centres in Canada, welcoming over 2200 students to our intensive English language programs each year. The story of the ELC´s success has been written largely by hard-working students and dedicated staff, but outside of class, a broad network of community ties also provide our students with invaluable support and services. Local homestay families, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, tour operators and attractions all play a part in creating unforgettable experiences for ELC students and making Victoria a ´home away from home.´ The 40th anniversary is a time for celebration and ELC passes on their thanks to their valued Victoria partners. Says Dr. Jackie Prowse, Co-Director, ELC “We look forward to many more years of positive community connections!” www.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc McAllister Media is proud to announce their new Director of Client Services, Krystal Adams.
Krystal moves from Ontario to join McAllister Media. During the past decade Krystal has been building experience in the lifestyle sector, focusing her talents on branding, marketing and web site development. She has been the lead on multimillion dollar national branding campaigns that have spanned from Vancouver to Quebec, as well as planning and executing large global e-commerce sites, bringing an elevated element of web design and implementation knowledge to McAllister Media. McAllister Media is dedicated to helping small to medium sized businesses grow. A fast growing company, McAllister Media now has the capacity to accept additional clients and help them with integrated, highly developed marketing strategies. www.mcallistermedia.com Ideba, Sage Internet Consulting, Times Colonist and UVIC Faculty of Business are behind the new “Marketing Central, Victoria” initiative, designed to raise the bar for marketers in the Victoria area, and raise awareness of marketing as a core local industry. As a part of this initiative, the group is pleased to introduce “The Leadership Series” of lunchtime presentations by world-class marketers and business leaders from across Canada, the U.S and the UK. Visit the events section of www.marketingcentralvictoria.com
Cedarwood Productions is pleased to announce the launch of their new website to interact with their soon-tobe aired 13 episode TV series called Flavours of the West Coast. On www.flavoursofthewestcoast.com you'll be able to download recipes, upload videos of yourselves cooking those recipes, enter competitions and more. The television series begins on CHEK TV Sunday September 19th, at 6:30pm. GICdirect.com is celebrating 10 years of providing the high GIC rates - on average 1.5% higher than major banks. Based in Victoria, BC, services have expanded to over 100 associate offices, coast to coast, providing personal service in every province in Canada. GICdirect.com provides GIC services for individuals and organizations, such as associations, trusts, not-for-profits, strata councils, municipalities, and religious and fraternal organizations. With a network of over 40 Canadian financial institutions including chartered banks, trust companies, investment management companies, and credit unions, investments through GICdirect.com are all insured by either CDIC, CUDIC or CUDGC. www.gicdirect.com
LOAN VS. TAXES: Paying for the new
ow that the City of Victoria has made the decision to build a new bridge at Johnson Street rather than refurbish the old one, the more important question of how to pay for the work is taking centre stage. The City has to have permission from Victoria voters through a fall referendum question to borrow the money needed to fund the project. That’s no easy sell. And if they fail, taxes will sky rocket in amounts double digit. That’s the scenario we are in. How we got there and what the details of the situation are, is what we try to paint for you here. Dollars, Cents, and Options The cost to build the new Johnson Street Bridge is $77 million. The federal government is funding $21 million and the City has identified a small amount of funds found through juggling internal projects. So the dollar amount the City needs to borrow to pay for the project is pegged at $49.2 million. That cost may go down if the City is successful in finding other funding sources before the question goes to referendum in the fall. Still $49.2 million is a lot of money and voters may not be in the mood to take on such a debt due to concerns about our ability to repay the borrowing. Yet it appears that borrowing the money may be our best option. The City of Victoria has recently retired a significant debt. The payment on that loan amounted to $4.2 million annually, which equates to a borrowing capacity of $51 million. In theory, the City could borrow the money required for the bridge and taxpayers would simply continue making debt payments at a rate close to what they have been paying for the last number of years. Essentially if the borrowing referendum is successful, taxpayers will feel no hit to their pockets for the bridge.
If on the other hand, the referendum is not supported, the situation is very difficult. The bridge still has to be built, and still has to be paid for. That means there will be significant tax increases and those tax increases could cripple businesses in the city, as they will be incurred at the rate of approximately 3.6 times those that will be felt by residential taxpayers. In fact, if the referendum does not pass, businesses could close as a result of the increase. And if that happens with any frequency, the economic impact could be devastating. Spin offs of that are easy to predict – increased unemployment, empty storefronts, decreased business funds available to local charities, and upwards pressure on other taxpayers to make up for lost revenues to the City. Of course options other than tax increases are open to the City if borrowing is not approved. They could deplete their reserves to fund the bridge. However doing so is inadvisable as it would tie the City’s hands for years in terms of other projects and maintenance work. Other than that, the final option would be to simply decommission the bridge as its useable life winds to a close. Though that sounds dramatic, the City would have considerable liability concerns if they were to continue the service of the bridge after repeat engineering reports have deemed it unsafe. Decommissioning the bridge would itself have significant impact on downtown business and indeed on businesses west of the Bay Street Bridge who would suffer due to lost business resulting from increased traffic congestion. And the increased use of the Bay Street Bridge would have its own set of maintenance and capacity problems that have not yet even been discussed.
But How Can this be Made Cheaper?
Even though the City has indicated that there will be no direct tax increase attributed to the proposed borrowing of $49.2 million dollars, it’s still a lot of money, with a long repayment schedule. And one might naturally ask if the cost for the bridge could be shaved by simply doing an interim fix. These are important questions and we explored all those options at the Chamber and DVBA forum in early August. It appears that a maintenance job on the Johnson Street Bridge is not an option. Engineering reports note that the structure itself is close to the end of life, and simply fixing the problems in its moving parts will not stop the deterioration of the structure. Replacing component parts of the structure is clearly cost prohibitive. The original engineer’s report has been peer reviewed by other engineering firms that have come to the same conclusion; we really have no reason to doubt the reports of professional third parties.
one received in 2009, however the news was essentially the same. The bridge will and has come to the end of its useable life.
Why Aren’t Other Municipalities Helping?
An oft expressed concern in the region is the fact that transportation planning and infrastructure development is not done on a regional Visable rust on the current Johnson Street Bridge. basis. Rather it is in the purview of the municipalities. As residents have been talking about this most will acknowledge, this causes problem, there has been no progress a number of problems. Because we made to change the current state. do not have a regional body with And without a unified voice on our the authority to plan and implement transportation priorities, it is very projects for the region, we are left difficult to get the Province to the with a hodge-podge of projects that funding table as they receive multiple are at time not cohesive, with no requests for different projects, with no regional focus.
If the borrowing referendum is successful, taxpayers will feel no hit to their pockets for the bridge.
It’s not as though this is a surprise, though some have said the issue of the deteriorating bridge has come out of the blue since the last municipal election. In fact that is not true. The City received an engineering report on the state of the bridge’s repair in 1999 by Graham and Murray (now Stantec). At that time, the City was advised that there was about 15 years of life left in the bridge, bringing the date to consider decommissioning to 2014. The assessment in 1999 was not to the same level of detail as the
real regional vision for the long term benefit of the community. Who has their eyes on the larger projects that would provide greater economic benefit and improved quality of life for all in the region? These are projects like an extension to the airport runway, the redevelopment of Belleville Street Terminal, the possibility of Light Rapid Transit, prioritizing road improvements, and yes, replacing the Johnson Street Bridge. It is truly unfortunate that for the years our local politicians and
Many people have raised the fact that the Johnson Street Bridge is a regional infrastructure amenity; in fact it may well be used by residents of other municipalities more so than by those of Victoria. It is therefore argued that the bridge replacement should be funded regionally. The City of Victoria itself has drawn a line in the sand by stating unequivocally that there will be no railway component to the bridge without regional funding. The Chamber agrees with the necessity for regional transportation planning and implementation. In fact we have been advocating on that issue for years. However, one cannot present just the Johnson Street Bridge as a regional issue. So too is the need
to finish the Spencer Road overpass and address issues at Sayward Road. The Admirals Bridge is also used regionally but its replacement last year was funded solely by Saanich.
will have no increased tax implications for residents and businesses of other municipalities.
Thatâ€™s because regional planning and funding is not our current reality. The bridge replacement is unfortunately a responsibility of only the City of Victoria to be funded only by City of Victoria tax payers. While it would be preferable that that were not the case, this is not now a regional issue. But the problem with the bridge is now.
Chamberâ€™s Support and Work Going Forward
This is an important point. There is a danger that focusing on pushing for regional funding for the bridge will simply encourage non-support of the funding referendum in the fall. And for reasons already discussed, losing the opportunity to borrow to replace the bridge will have significant negative consequences for businesses in Victoria and for those that are employed in the businesses that will be impacted by the drastic increase in taxes required to pay for the bridge. Losing the referendum
All these factors weighed into the decision of the Chamber to support the referendum as an important business action for all business
There is a danger that focusing on pushing for regional funding for the bridge will simply encourage non-support of the funding referendum in the fall.
borrowing. Whether that means that you get out and vote or support your employees to vote for securing their own jobs, this is important enough an issue that we collectively focus on its success as a business community.
owners. In fact, if you own or operate a business in Victoria that could be at risk of cost increases to the level that could be incurred if the referendum fails, it would be in your best interest to also encourage support for the referendum on
However, while supporting the referendum for borrowing is the most immediate and most important work, it is by no means the only item to focus on. We need to continue to focus on sound financial management at the
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Victoria City Hall
Victoria City Council meeting
Why was there not significantly more reserve funds allocated to this forseeable expense? municipal level. As noted, the City has known the state of deterioration of the bridge for eleven years. Why was there not significantly more reserve funds allocated to this foreseeable expense? Why is the City spending reserve funds on discretionary items, such as the purchasing of hotels for housing, when they do not have sufficient reserves to fund their direct responsibilities, such as the replacement of the bridge? Why have
the reserve funds not been built up at a rate sufficient to the replacement needs of our aging assets? As a region, we have significant infrastructure needs â€“ not only in Victoria. We also have a looming bill for sewage treatment. Plus there is still no evidence of any of our municipalities trimming internal budgets so as to avoid any tax
increases for core operations. Taxpayers cannot afford the continuing climb and our future focus on municipalities needs to be on fiscal accountability and sustainability. Our immediate focus in Victoria is keeping business doors open by funding the bridge replacement costs through a successful borrowing referendum.
A Spicy Work Term to understand best practices. “Sharing an office with a recruitment officer and human resources coordinator and seeing what they do is a great way to learn how to deal with many different scenarios,” says Steward.
Daintry Van Cleave of Victoria Epicure, and co-op student Tristan Steward.
hat do spices, psychology and human resource management have in common? Co-operative Education (co-op) student Tristan Steward! Steward began his post secondary education with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Carlton University in Ottawa, and upon completion of his degree quickly came to understand the importance of having experience to go along with education. Following a move to Victoria, Steward developed an interest in human resources, and when he discovered that Camosun offered a co-op option in the HR program, he was sold! Currently enrolled in the Human Resource Management advanced diploma program, Steward is completing a work term at Victorian Epicure. This has not only exposed him to an office environment as part of a close team but has helped him
Daintry Van Cleave, acting director of human resources at Victorian Epicure, strongly supports the co-op program and is pleased to have an HR student this year. She finds co-op students demonstrate great enthusiasm to gain relevant work experience and to learn. “An effective co-op student lightens the work load of regular staff and frees up time for other things.”
products locally using the best ingredients available in today’s world market, and manufactures and markets more than 190 top quality spice blends, recipe selections and professional quality cookware. Victorian Epicure received two prestigious awards in 2009 – Employer of the Year at the Crystal Awards for Business Excellence and also the Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award for a business of more than 76 employees.
Both Steward and Van Cleave agree that co-operative education is the best path for today’s student. Van Cleave says “Co-op is a critical part of preparation for the workplace. Learning about professionalism and how to interview effectively is extremely important.” Steward advises co-op students to take time to research prospective employers and target companies of interest as it is important to be passionate about where you work.
New ideas. Creative minds. From our schools to you.
Victorian Epicure produces food
Call Greater Victoria’s co-op and career programs to find the right student for your hiring needs. Co-operative Education and Student Employment www.camosun.ca/coop 250.370.4410 Co-operative Education Program and Career Services www.uvic.ca/coop 250.721.7628
Co-op student Tristan Steward hard at work.
business services sh w
get what your business needs
SPECIAL INVITATION TO THE
BUSINESS COMMUNITY Free Admission • Win the Grand Prize!
• Only complete business show in Greater Victoria • Access to over 90 exhibitors from the business community • Over 1000 business people attended last year • Local and regional business awareness through high profile location and exposure • Win an outdoor backyard package from Capital Iron!
OCTOBER 6, 2010
Date: October 6, 2010 Location: Crystal Garden 713 Douglas St. Tradeshow Hours: 12 p.m. — 7 p.m. Set-up: October 6, 9 a.m. — 11:30 a.m. Networking Reception Hours: 5 p.m. — 7 p.m.
CRYSTAL GARDENBusiness Matters
Don’t miss out. Come check out these exhibitors: 2nd Globe Studios Academy of Learning Adrena Line Zipline Adventure Tours AMICA Mature Lifestyles (Somerset & Douglas House) Aspect - B.C.’s Community Based Trainers BC HAZMAT Management Ltd. Belfry Theatre Best Western Chemainus Festival Inn Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island BMO Bank of Montreal Business Examiner Camosun College Co-operative Education Camosun College School of Business, and School of Trades & Technology Canadian Payroll Association CanAssist Caorda Web Solutions Capital Regional District (CRD) CFB Esquimalt Lookout Newspaper Chamber of Learning Network (Etraffic Solutions) Chard Development Ltd. Commissionaires Victoria, the Islands & Yukon Communication Connection Inc. Costco Wholesale Canada Cube Global Storage Custom House Datagirl.ca Edible Arrangements Elite Sportswear and Awards Enterprise Project Management Ltd. Expedia Cruise Ship Centers - Mt. Doug Express Employment First Memorial Funeral Services Graphix Promotionals Inc. Greater Victoria Development Agency H2O Zone Pure Water Hartman Business Machines Hatley Memorial Gardens
Hazmasters Hone People Development Consulting IdeaZone.ca Investors Group - Yates Janice Mangano, Realtor, Pemberton Holmes Ltd. Kenmore Air Maximum Express/ Maximum Furniture Home & Office Monk Office Nerds On Site Old House Village Hotel & Spa Out of the Blue Designs Pacific Coastal Airlines Page One Publishing Ltd. Price’ s Alarms Public Works and Government Services Canada R.G. Properties Ltd. Save On Foods Memorial Centre Royal BC Museum Shark Club Bar & Grill Signs of the Times Enterprises Inc. Sooke Harbour House Hotel Restaurant Gallery & Spa Staged N Sold Properties Inc. Sunbelt Business Brokers TD Merchant Services Team Sales Vancouver Island Ltd. Three Point Motors - Mercedes Benz/Smart Dealership TigerTel Communications Torbram Electric Supply Union Club of British Columbia University Canada West Vision 2000 Travel Group - Blaney’s Travel Vivid Solutions Wealth By Design Wells Gray Tours (Victoria) Ltd. West Coast Mail Services West Shore U-Lock Mini Storage Ltd. WildPlay Element Parks YWCA Hotel
Note: The above is a list of exhibitors who have registered prior to August 25, 2010. Check www.victoriachamber.ca for exhibitors who have registered after this date.
Matters STREET • 713Business DOUGLAS
13 • GET WHAT YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS
September 2010 Monday
CEO Coffee Hour
A one hour policy discussion with Chamber CEO, Bruce Carter Chamber office #100-852 Fort St. 8:30 am-9:30 am Members only please
Rapid Transit Information Session
Rapid Transit next steps 8:00 am-9:00 am Chamber office #100-852 Fort St.
Prodigy Group September Mingle
5:30 pm-7:30 pm Victoria Executive Centre 915 Fort St., 3rd Floor
Business Education Series
Sponsored by Sector Learning Solutions Inc. Meeting for Results: How to Plan Meetings that Deliver Real Action 11:45 am-1:00 pm Chamber office
Business Education Series
Prodigy Group Golf Tournament
Hosted by Ruffell & Brown Interiors 3:00 pm-9:00 pm 5:00 pm-7:00 pm Members & their guests only Prospect Lake Golf Course 4633 Prospect Lake Rd. please 1-2745 Bridge St.
Sponsored by Sector Learning Solutions Inc. Information Systems for Your Business in a (shiny little) Box 11:45 am-1:00 pm Chamber office
For more information or to register, visit www.victoriachamber.ca
Business Education Series • September 15 Susan Low
Directis Consulting Meeting for Results: How to Plan Meetings that Deliver Real Action Learn how to plan a meeting that meets the needs of all stakeholders, get the most creative and productive participation from the attendees, and ensure follow-through on the decisions and commitments made.
Business Education Series • September 29 Gerry Brimacombe Sector Learning Solutions
Information Systems for Your Business in a (shiny little) Box Business owners, especially small business, need simple, flexible systems to efficiently share information. Microsoft SharePoint, with well over 100 million users, provides a secure, web-based, simple, and amazingly flexible way for businesses and non-profits to share schedules, to-do lists, documents, contacts, and much more. Join us to learn how to make the most out of this tool.
October 2010 Monday
small business week October 18–22, 2010
CEO Coffee Hour
A one hour policy discussion with Chamber CEO, Bruce Carter Carl McLean/Dominion Lending Centre & Cruise Holidays Pacific 270-2950 Douglas St. Members only please
Small Business Week —>
See the chamber web site for more details! www.victoriachamber.ca
r ina Sem
Prodigy Group Mentorship Dinner
7:00 pm-8:30 pm Hotel Rialto 653 Pandora Ave. www.prodigygroup.ca
Thursday * For more information visit www.victoriachamber.ca
2010 Business Services Show
sM nes i s • Bu
Prodigy Group Apprenticeship Fundraiser
11:00 am - 3:00 pm Location TBD www.prodigygroup.ca
Business Education Series
Sponsored by Sector Learning Solutions Inc. Who’s Looking at Your Company Data? 11:45 am-1:00 pm Chamber office
A day of networking and trade booths provided by local 14 Business Education business service providers. Series 12:00 pm-7:00 pm Sponsored by Sector Learning Crystal Garden Solutions Inc. 713 Douglas St. Times Colonist Tour and Q&A Free admission for Small Business Owners 13 Business Leaders 10:30 am-12:00 pm Series Times Colonist 2621 Douglas St. Featuring Don Thompson, President, Oil Sands s! Prodigy Group Developers Group Plu 11:35 am-1:30 pm October Mingle Harbour Tower Hotel & Suites 5:30 pm-7:30 pm 345 Quebec St. Sitka 538 Yates St. 20
ast akf e r B ber em
For more information or to register, visit www.victoriachamber.ca
Business Education Series • October 14
Business Education Series • October 27
CEO of Priority 1 Computer Service
Times Colonist Tour and Q&A for Small Business Owners
Who’s Looking at Your Company Data?
If you are interested in getting the inside scoop on what newspaper editors look for in a great business story, join us for our Annual Times Colonist Tour and Q&A Session. Hosted at the Times Colonist building.
Your business clients, costs, profit reside on your computers. Do you know if it has been compromised? It is the law to protect clients' data and you can be liable. In this session you will learn how to do more to protect your company’s proprietary information and receive tools to make your business more secure.
Roger Skillings Chair The Greater Victoria Development Agency has been very busy over the summer months building on the successful mission to China and reaching out to local companies to help identify new export opportunities. The GVDA recently helped host the Mayor of Nanning and his delegation as a follow up to Mayor Fortin’s visit to Nanning, China. The group was introduced to regional stakeholders in the tourism industry and toured companies in the region’s technology sector. Following on that delegation, the GVDA also hosted the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology for China. A roundtable organized for the delegation included the Deputy Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development for the province, as well as senior leaders from the region’s academic institutions and key industry stakeholders. Several new opportunities for collaboration and new business development were identified for both regional partners as well as the province of British Columbia.
The GVDA exists to serve the needs of local businesses and entrepreneurs. If you need advice on developing new markets for your products, or help with any other issue facing your business, please do not hesitate to give us a call. Our Economic Development Officer, Sasha Angus, would be happy to help. Contact the Greater Victoria Development Agency for all your business growth needs. www.gvda.ca
For the second straight year the GVDA is letting the world know Greater Victoria is open for business with the 2011 edition of Business in Greater Victoria. Produced in partnership with Page One Publishing Inc. the publication will be distributed to main Canadian cities, San Francisco, Seattle, and to the Department of Foreign Affairs in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The aim of the publication is to invite investment and further diversify our local economy and all its sectors. An important regional initiative, the publication highlights Greater Victoria’s key business sectors, economic strengths, labour force, as well as lifestyle qualities including real estate, climate, commuting, transportation and green and safe neighbourhoods. The region has a tremendous story to tell regarding economic opportunity, and Business in Greater Victoria will help paint that picture for investors and businesses around the world.
Local Office Supply Company Sharpens Pencil on Electricity Costs The team efforts have borne fruit. Since 2006, Monk has reduced electricity consumption by 17%, reduced waste sent to landfill by 70%, and cut water consumption by a whopping 95%.
James McKenzie, CEO, Monk Office.
Monk Office tackles energy efficiency – and much more
hoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, hasn’t met the folks at Monk Office, Vancouver Island’s largest office products provider and the largest independent stationer in BC. The firm was founded in 1951 and has experienced steady growth for decades, now operating 10 retail stores plus a distribution centre, and four lines of business with about 120 staff. It was in 2006, however, that it really started to show how new thinking can make a big difference. That was the year when CEO James McKenzie decided to found Monk’s ECO Team. “Our ECO Team has been the driver,” says McKenzie. “We determined that power, natural gas, diesel, water and paper are the main things we consume that impact the environment. So we’ve set up conservation goals and then we brainstorm how we, as the ECO Team, are going to get to those goals.”
As part of its ongoing work to improve environmental performance, Monk recently undertook several lighting retrofits with the help of BC Hydro’s Product Incentive Program. The work has includes swapping old T12 fluorescent tubes for energy-saving T8s, exchanging older halogen and incandescent lights for screw-in LEDs, shifting to LED exit signs, and adding occupancy sensors to switch lights off when not needed.
and down the island will be a much better place if we all do our part in terms of minimizing our impact on the environment.” If your company wants to sharpen its pencil on energy costs like Monk Office, visit bchydro.com/incentives or call 1-866-522-4713. If you are interested in how to activate a Green Team or to learn more about other Power Smart programs for business please contact Eric Beevor-Potts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Together, the lighting retrofit projects are expected to save $3,500 per year in electricity and nearly $900 in maintenance. The work also qualified for a rebate of $6,051 from BC Hydro – proof, as McKenzie notes, that although Monk’s environmental commitment is inspired “because it’s the right thing to do,” it also makes good business sense. CEO James McKenzie says the BC Hydro rebate program is an important tool in helping businesses make changes. “It’s a valuable program to really show that the province and BC Hydro are committed to energy consumption reduction. And it helps, every little bit helps – it shortens the payback time on the investment considerably.” McKenzie has agreed to help promote BC Hydro’s message by signing on as a Power Smart Community Leader, a local ambassador for energy conservation. “Monk is family owned, and operates primarily on Vancouver Island,” he says. “A result of that is a huge connection to the community. We think that our communities up
Victoria Integrated Court
treet crime is an ongoing issue for business and residents alike. Crimes that are viewed as petty in the continuum of severity are ongoing problems in the day to day realities of business owners and the quality of life for residents. This is particularly true in the downtown core. The types of crimes that are most frequent and of most concern to business are vandalism, break and enter, theft, street level drug dealing, and public disorder. And what is most problematic is that these types of crime do not appear to be dealt with in any meaningful way. The public sees instead a constantly revolving door in the justice system. Offenders appear before the court and are let out with certain conditions, only to commit more and more offenses. The system was not working. That is until the introduction of the Victoria Integrated Court. The Victoria Integrated Court quietly went into operation on March 16, 2010. There was no new building, no new staffing and no new funding. The integrated court simply went into operation through the realignment of the existing service provision in the judiciary and the introduction of a new way to approach a very old problem. The integrated court is run using the philosophy and approaches of a community court, well known for its successes in places like New York City. The goal of the court is crime reduction through addressing both the crime itself and the underlying causes of crime. The approach of the court is to bring offenders, generally repeat offenders with a history of drug and alcohol addiction and perhaps mental health problems, before the courts in an expedited manner. The process has offenders working with a consistent team of professionals and appearing before only one judge.
Law Courts, Victoria, BC.
The integrated court works to close the cracks in the system and bring rehabilitative measures into the sentencing options. One of those cracks is the wait time between the occurrence of an offence and the court hearing â€“ which can normally be weeks. By that time the offender has often been involved in a number of offences and does not necessarily relate the hearing to any particular action. The integrated court speeds up the process, thereby connecting the commission of a crime to a consequence. This is accomplished by compiling a strong team consisting of a dedicated Crown counsel, professionals from police, probation, social workers and non-profit counsellors and defence counsels working directly in a team environment. The Victoria team meets together every Tuesday morning to discuss the individuals and charges that have been brought forward. Not only is the crime discussed, but also the history and state of the accused in order to propose an appropriate and hopefully rehabilitative sentence. The cases that are to be brought before the judge are introduced later the same day. Sentencing received through the Victoria Integrated Court
include options beyond incarceration, such as more innovative support in the community to assist in dealing with the issues that have led to criminal activity. That may be addiction and mental health issues; it could be poverty and housing. Each case is looked at on an individual basis. Components of sentencing could include participation in a drug rehabilitation program, required money management programs, community work services or a combination of any of those items. The hope is that by addressing the root causes of behaviour and making efforts to assist in integrating people back into society, there will be a greater likelihood of changing future actions. However, Administrative Judge Quantz is quick to note that â€œwhile the emphasis is on addressing the underlying causes of criminal conduct, this court Administrative Judge Quantz. is not a diversion program Photo credit: Times Colonist. and the court also seeks
to hold these offenders accountable for their criminal conduct. This often includes a custodial sentence in addition to the community supervision. It is also a strong expectation of the court that the offender, with this support from the community, will no longer be involved in Criminal Code offences or in activities which harm our community, including using drugs or consuming alcohol in public areas.â€?
of the Chamber and the more active involvement of the Downtown Victoria Business Association, the advocacy efforts to move forward with a community court in Victoria have continued. And though there was no provincial funding available to replicate a second pilot in Victoria, the concerns of our region were recognized.
Integrated Court. Yet there are also challenges that have been readily identified. One significant challenge is the lack of residential drug and/or alcohol treatment programs on Vancouver Island. A considerable portion of the offenders identified for referral to the integrated court, have drug or alcohol addictions that contribute to the criminal behaviours. A part of the sentence sought by the judge may be to have the individual sent to a rehabilitation or treatment program. The court can hold the offender for a short period while a residential program is found, but if one is not, the offender cannot be held for an inordinate time. Indeed they may serve their full sentence before treatment is found. Without treatment, the likelihood of the individual simply returning to criminal behaviour to support drug or alcohol addiction is high.
The integrated court works to close the cracks in the system and bring rehabilitative measures into sentencing options.
Though the program is very new with only preliminary results, to date the outcomes are encouraging. Those involved in the judicial system note that the majority of the accused that come before the integrated court are dealt with in only one appearance in front of the judge. For those who are brought before the court a second time, they will find themselves in front of the same judge who already knows their story and their history. There is little opportunity for the door to revolve when it always leads back to the same judge.
History of Advocacy
The Victoria Chamber has been an active advocate on this issue since 2006. It was at that time the provincial government first indicated in their budget documents that they would allocate three million dollars to pilot a community court in BC. We led the local advocacy on that issue to have pilot project set up in Victoria. Unfortunately the decision of the province at that time was to invest in a community court in Vancouver only. The Vancouver Downtown Community Court opened in the fall of 2008 and the program is still in the pilot phase. The initial results reported at one year of operations were certainly encouraging; however a full evaluation of the pilot wonâ€™t be undertaken until the court has been operating for two years. After the full evaluation, the province will be in a better position to determine whether expanding the investment in community courts is worth pursuing. However, the focus of the province on the Vancouver pilot did not stop the interest and drive of stakeholders in Victoria. With the ongoing support
Led by Administrative Judge Ernie Quantz, the judiciary began to evaluate how they might be able to reconfigure their model of service delivery to, in effect, have a process in place similar to what would be followed in a traditional community court. Thanks to the dedication of Administrative Judge Quantz and the teamwork of all the stakeholders in the judiciary, corrections, policing, health authority, community service providers and the business community, we have been able to pull together a made-at-home solution, called the Victoria Integrated Court. The team in Victoria, without a funding increase and with the much appreciated help of the DVBA in furnishing the courtâ€™s conference room, has introduced its own problemsolving approach to crime, addressing the underlying health and social problems that lead to criminal behaviour.
Challenges yet to be addressed Early indications are positive with the Victoria
expediting the court proceeding, whether or not the integrated court adds value with tangible outcomes needs to be examined. The outcomes to be measured are both those that represent community improvement and life improvement for the offenders. Victoria Police Department transportation The Victoria team is working to establish expanded community work service opportunities. Giving back to the community that has been harmed with the goal of strengthening community connections for the offender is a core feature of the integrated court process. More work is being done with the stakeholder team and the DVBA to identify a variety of suitable opportunities for this feature of the integrated court program. The integrated court team is also conscious that there will need to be a formal evaluation of the Victoria model as we move forward. Apart from
The community needs to see a reduction in the types of street level crime that have become so prevalent and costly to business and an improvement in the confidence that we as citizens have in the judicial system. And though not in the purview of the integrated court, an improvement in the support services for addictions and mental health treatment on the Island would go a long ways in helping the court reach its own successes. A fully supported integrated court process could lead to increased positive outcomes for offenders, with greater opportunity for them to reconnect with the larger community and have a future less
encumbered by the ties that bind them to repeat criminal activity. Quantz holds no illusions about his being an easy task. “There are no quick fixes to stopping the community harm caused by these offenders,” says Quantz. “However, as a person who has worked in the justice system in BC for over 30 years, with approximately 20 years as a prosecutor, I firmly believe the solutions will be found through services, and intensive supervision, provided by interdisciplinary teams that have direct support from the court and the community at large. The challenges are great but I am confident that by working together we can make significant improvements to the lives of these persons and the community at large.” The business community applauds the leadership of Administrative Judge Ernie Quantz in working within his jurisdiction with colleagues to bring forward the Victoria Integrated Court. We look forward to the findings of the evaluation and will continue to work to support this made-in-Victoria solution for the benefit of all concerned.
new members 24SEVEN365DESIGN We build Websites! 24-7/365 Support. p: 250-385-2469 e: email@example.com w: http://www.247365design.com Abstract Developments Inc. NATIONAL AWARD WINNING BUILDER. Building Victoria’s finest homes. p: 250-883-5579 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.abstractdevelopments.com Adrian Lise Drywall Ltd. Drywallers. p: 250-418-1385 e: email@example.com Artisan Painting Plus Painting - residential - commercial. New construction & repaints. p: 250-514-7302 e: firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP Meter Ink We sell postage meter ink cartridges for Pitney Bowes, Neopost, Francotyp-Postalia and Secap mail machines. We also assist businesses in finding: postage meters, folding/inserting machines and address printers. p: 604-805-2345 e: email@example.com w: http://www.asapmeterink.com Beach Club Resort The Beach Club Resort, located on beautiful Parksville Beach features luxurious hotel rooms and is rated 4 1/2 Stars by Canada Select and 5 Keys by the Green Key Eco-Rating Program p: 250-248-8999 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: http://www.beachclubbc.com Canadian National Institute For The Blind CNIB CNIB passionately provides vital community based support, knowledge and a national voice to all Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. p: 250-595-1100 e: email@example.com w: www.cnib.ca Christopher Nordell Denturist Inc. Life is too good to go without a smile! p: 250-995-1663 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: http://www.toothguy.ca Earl’s Kitchen + Bar Try an ice-cold Stella and sirloin, or a just-shaken raspberry crush with hickory back ribs. Find your equation in our dining room, lounge or private room. p: 250-381-1866 e: email@example.com w: http://www.earls.ca
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Nickole Goeujon - Realtor Nickole Goeujon specializes in residential real estate, offering clients the best consultative service tailored to their needs. p: 250-686-0078 e: email@example.com
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Bringing Local Issues to the Federal Stage Coming off of success at the BC Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting, chamber staff and the Chair will be heading to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting. At the national level, we will be continuing to advocate for the policy positions that support our business community, including a change to the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive program. While in Ottawa for the AGM, we will also be meeting with Ministers whose portfolios include our member issues. We have put in requests to meet about issues related to our infrastructure development needs in Greater Victoria, tourism issues, strengthening our shipbuilding industry, and the business impacts of homelessness. Talking Budgets The Chamber has submitted budget recommendations to the federal Standing Committee on Finance. The recommendations will be considered as part of the work in building the 2011 federal budget. Items the Victoria Chamber noted were: • The economy and managing debt reduction; • Tax policies that impact on our important tourism industry; • Municipal funding to municipalities and the impact on municipal costs on business; • Increasing the effectiveness of existing program spending on homelessness; • Introducing fair tax treatment for real property investments to stimulate the multi-unit housing construction market; and, • Revitalizing the marine industry.
of State for Small Business and Tourism. The meetings also had 12-18 stakeholders in attendance, who had the opportunity to present the details of their specific industry concerns to the ministers. Addressing Local Matters The Chamber, along with the Downtown Victoria Business Association, held a forum for members on the issues related to the Johnson Street Bridge. Subsequent to the forum and other methods of gathering member input, the Chamber stated its support for the replacement of the bridge as well as its support for the referendum for borrowing. That issue is explored in detail in the article in this issue. On September 14th, we will be hosting an information session from BC Transit on the ongoing work for a rapid bus transit system. Transit staff will share the feedback they have received from interviewing and conducting surveys with businesses in the affected areas and talk about the next steps and issues to consider in finalizing their route selection. There are three routes on the table; utilizing Douglas Street only both north and south bound, utilizing Douglas Street along with a Government Street loop, and utilizing Douglas Street along with a Blanshard Street loop. Members are invited to register on-line.
The full presentation can be found on the News and Policies are of the chamber’s website, posted under “Published Articles.” Meeting with Ministers Over the summer, the Chamber hosted two meetings with federal ministers of state, bringing regional business issues to the attention of the ministers responsible for them. Those included a meeting with Minister Rob Moore, Merrifield of State for Transport and with Minister Rob Moore, Minister
ask an expert Why You Should Care About Copyright Reform
>> Hugh Stephens: Senior Advisor, International Relations and Public Policy, Time Warner Inc.
>> Paul Holmes: President, IdeaZone.ca
On June 2, the Harper Government introduced Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act, a long-overdue update of Canada’s copyright laws.
Did you hear about that new business mixer in Victoria? I’m sorry if you can’t make it, because most of your clients go. Tonnes of prospects, too.
In summary, the Bill’s stated purpose is to provide clear, predictable and fair rules to support the knowledge economy; to adopt internationally recognized norms; to provide rights holders with recognition, remuneration and the ability to assert their rights; to enhance user access; and to enhance the protection of copyright through recognition of technological measures. Laudable goals—ones that the Canadian Chamber of Commerce fully supports.
Some of the people there talk about your industry, often looking for people like you who are the best in the business. In fact, your company actually comes up in conversation from time to time.
For anyone in business, a basic principle is that you need to get paid for your work. Copyright provides the basis by which creators and owners of products such as software, music, films/TV programming, and books can obtain compensation for consumption of their products. To do this, they need to be able to control distribution, to set the terms of sale, and have remedies against those who traffic in pirated content.
And it’s not just Victoria. In fact, millions of Canadians are members, and hundreds of thousands of Canadians attend daily. Interested in the U.S. market? The group is even bigger there!
Canada’s copyright laws have not kept up with the digital age. The laws governing “file sharing” and unauthorized distribution on the internet by intermediaries are vague. As a result, Canada has become a preferred location for copyright pirates. This is unfair in terms of our basic values, undermines legitimate business, jobs, and investment, and unnecessarily antagonizes our largest trading partner, the US. The Office of the US Trade Representative has put Canada on its “Priority Watch List” of Intellectual Property offenders (along with countries such as Algeria, China, India, Pakistan and Russia). This is one more cross-border irritant that we don’t need. Bill C-32 needs to be passed. Earlier versions died prematurely when minority governments fell or early elections were called. Each time this happens, Canada gets further behind the standards of the international community. This legislation should be a government priority and opposition parties should cooperate in its early passage.
Hugh can be reached at email@example.com
And, it’s huge! The people there come from every demographic group, career, gender, race, religion, education, and economic status.
Don’t worry, it’s not expensive. Actually, it’s free. But that’s OK, I know you’re too busy to find new clients, and you’re certainly too busy to meet with old ones. Business development, networking, new opportunities, and marketing are just not what you and your company are all about! The mixer I’m talking about, of course, is Social Media. Two things I learned about business early on were, “location, location, location” and “to meet the customers’ needs, you have to first meet the customers.” Business recommendations and referrals, right here in Victoria and around the world, take place daily on LinkedIn. A casual introduction on Twitter is now, easily, the best way to meet new people in Victoria. And, like it or not, the best place to connect with thousands of Victorians, and millions of Canadians is the location, location, location called Facebook. But, as you said before, you just don’t have time for this sort of thing. Besides, it’s probably just a big fad, and will all go away soon! Nearly half of Canadians use Facebook; they could be wrong! Paul Holmes is President of IdeaZone.ca, a website design and social media marketing company, and 10-year member of the GVCC. He is co-organizing the upcoming Social Media Camp event at the Victoria Conference Centre on October 3rd.
Paul Holmes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Take advantage of our “Summer Sizzle” package that includes Villa Suite accommodation, 18 holes of championship golf, golf car for two, and a $50 food voucher for use in one of our ﬁne restaurants. At $139 per person (based upon double occupancy) it is a sizz sizzling deal! Our resort caters to Vancouver Island business people. We want your business.
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