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anti-counterfeit fight - NanoTech Security Corp.

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anti-counterfeit fight
Climate Change | page 6
B.C. forest firms
buying american
With B.C.’s Interior forests devastated
by pine beetles, the province’s biggest
forestry companies have engineered
a major marketplace recovery by
acquiring U.S. lumber mills
tips for building better business
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Wine Festival | PAge 25
Chung Chow
security | How
technology that replicates the reflective properties of
the blue morpho butterfly can help fight banknote fraud | Page 3
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February 24–March 2, 2015
Counterfeiting fight spawns real revenue potential
technology | Burnaby
company developing unique nanotechnology to battle banknote fraud
[email protected]
all it the butterfly effect.
While examining ways
to make banknotes even
more difficult to counterfeit, a
Simon Fraser University (SFU)
researcher took inspiration from
the optical properties in the blue
morpho butterfly’s iridescent
N a n o te c h S e c u r it y ( T S XV:NTS), an SFU spinoff, has developed technology that creates
images on banknotes as natural
light hits a grid of tiny – or nanosized – holes on the bills.
The effect is similar to how the
blue morpho’s wings interact
with light – a feature not seen on
any bills in circulation.
While some global firms are investing in fluorescent dyes and
magnetic strips to meet market
demand, no other company has
gone the route of Nanotech.
“It’s very difficult to do; it’s very
costly to get in the business,”
Nanotech chief development officer Igi LeRoux said. “It’s not
very highly competitive, but then
the market [for nanotechnology]
is not all that huge.”
He sa id that’s ex pected to
change when the security features
“hit the streets” in the coming
years. For now, much of Nanotech’s recent growth has been
coming from its legacy business.
Colour-shifting optical film
has been the industry standard
for banknote security since the
1990s. Depending on the angle
of view, colours change on security features printed on bills in a
way that the average person can
Because the nanotechnology
has yet to be fully commercialized, the optical film side of the
business is growing the most.
Purchase orders “in the low
seven digits” from three international customers were finalized in February, according to
the company.
And increased demand for the
optical film products prompted
Number of fake
notes per million
detected in
Canada in 2004
Number of fake
notes per million
detected in Canada
in 2010 after the
Bank of Canada
adopted Fortress
Optical Features
Source: Bank of Canada
Nanotech scientist Vahit Sametoglu holds up the security feature that replicates the reflective properties
of the blue morpho butterfly | chung chow
Getting a brand-new
security feature that has
not been used anywhere
before … [banks] are just
not willing to take a chance
on new things in general
when it comes to banknotes
Chad Wasilenkoff
CEO, Fortress Paper
Nanotech to add a second shift
at its Quebec cellulose facility, which was acquired – along
with the legacy business – from
North Vancouver’s Fortress Paper
(TSX:FTP) in August.
Fortress Paper CEO Chad Wasilenkoff said when discussions
began over the sale of Fortress
Optical Features (FOF) he was
immediately drawn to Nanotech’s
butterfly technology.
“Getting a brand-new security
feature that has not been used
anywhere before … [banks] are
just not willing to take a chance
on new things in general when
it comes to banknotes,” he told
Business in Vancouver.
“It will take a little while to
come to fruition, but we think
putting these two entities [Nanotech and FOF] together will definitely fast-track that.”
Counterfeiting hit its most recent peak in 2004, when 470 fake
notes per million were detected
across the country, according to a
2011 Bank of Canada (BoC) study.
The BoC developed and used the
FOF technology until 2010, when
counterfeit notes dropped to 35
per million.
Wasilenkoff, whose company
operates another banknote security firm in Switzerland, said
he was happy with the return on
investment after Fortress bought
the BoC assets for $750,000 and
sold them to Nanotech three years
later for $17.5 million.
“We were able to find a solution
that was really synergistic for
both companies,” he said, adding
that Fortress will receive preferential treatment on new security
features Nanotech develops.
Meanwhile, now that FOF is no
longer competing with a sister
company, LeRoux said there has
been “quite a resurgence” in the
legacy business’ technology.
Although at this stage the nanotechnology and optical film sides
of the business are slightly separate, he said there’s “a planned
convergence of these [products]
very soon.”
LeRoux added that acquiring
the legacy business was necessary if the nanotechnology was to
be taken seriously in an industry
that greets upstart companies
with skepticism.
“We have an established network, we have an established
market base, we have an existing
product and – most importantly
– we have an existing reputation
in the industry.” •
February 24–March 2, 2015
retiring rich | BMO study reveals retirement aspirations of affluent British Columbians
59 Average age at which B.C.’s wealthy expect to retire
$2.2 million Average amount survey respondents estimate they’ll need to live out their ideal retirement lifestyle
$3,065,889 Average amount survey respondents have in their investment portfolios
23% Percentage of B.C.’s wealthy who hold more than $2 million in their investment portfolios
92% Percentage of wealthy B.C. survey respondents who plan to spend their retirement in Canada
Source: “A Glimpse Into an Affluent British Columbian’s Retirement”– BMO Private Banking study of B.C. millionaires’ retirement bottom lines
High school student is living lesson in entrepreneurship
enterprise | Teen
gleans valuable experience opting to start a business rather than work for others
By Jen St. Denis
This might not be the next
Facebook. … But it will give
Andrew all the tangible
experiences that any
employer would like to see
[email protected]
pending your evenings and
weekends working might
be typical behaviour for a
17-year-old trying to save money
to travel or for university.
Andrew French works a little
harder than most teenagers, but
he says he’s created a more enjoyable and lucrative job for himself
by starting Quarry Clothing.
The company prints T-shirts
and other items with school or
event logos and employs 30 other
teens in high schools across North
Vancouver, West Vancouver and
Vancouver as commissioned
“I’m very proud and happy at
what he has done so far,” said Alex
Jacobs-Hajian, a consultant at
Accenture and an Ivey Business
School alumni who has mentored
“This might not be the next Facebook you’d sell for X-million
dollars. But it will give Andrew
all the tangible experiences that
any employer would like to see,
in a very low-risk environment.”
French, who lives in North
Vancouver but attends Mulgrave
School in West Vancouver, said he
was inspired to start Quarry after
participating in a business case
competition for high school students run by Western University’s
Alex Jacobs-Hajian
consultant, Accenture
Andrew French is a high school student who was inspired to start his
own business. He now employs 30 other people, all under the age of
19 | Rob Kruyt
Ivey Business School. French estimates he spends between 15 and
25 hours a week working on the
business in addition to his Grade
12 courses and homework, but he
says it’s better than his previous
job at a store.
“I worked in a minimum-wage
job, and no teenager really wants
to do that,” he said. “It was
something I wanted to get out of
and experience this.”
Inspired by companies like
Tom s Sho e s a n d Sta rbuck s
(Nasdaq:SBU X), French has
committed to donate or invest a
quarter of his company’s profits
to help other young people start
businesses. The youth-driven
aspect of the business has also
helped him to make agreements
with Nike (NYSE:NKE), Oakley
and New Balance to carry their
“I t hou g ht of who c a n we
benefit and who can we help,”
French said. “The best person
I could think of to help was me
three months before [starting the
Jacobs-Hajian said it’s still relatively rare for someone as young
as French to start a business, but
he believes that French’s generation is more proactive when it
comes to preparing for the future.
He noted that while French attends a West Vancouver private
school, his parents have modest jobs: his mother works parttime in an administrative job at
Capilano University; his father
is a sales associate for a drywall
“Some people argue that [millennials] are an uptight, entitled
generation,” Jacobs-Hajian said.
“Some people using the same
evidence argue that this is a generation that set the bar high. They
want to be in charge of their work
or their life and their destiny, and
I tend to [agree] with the second
The Next Big Thing, sponsored
by Vancouver technology company Hootsuite, caters to the new
generation of entrepreneurs. The
program is open to 17- to 22-yearolds who have a plan for a startup.
(See “Young entrepreneurs bypassing B.C. business schools”–
BIV issue 1318; February 3–9.)
Jacobs-Hajian gave French advice while he was starting up the
business, and laid out different
scenarios involving high-risk or
low-risk businesses. French’s
business is relatively low-risk
and didn’t involve a big outlay of
capital to get started.
The experience will give French
an edge in the job market because
he’ll already know basic skills
such as networking and how to
pitch an idea, Jacobs-Hajian said.
He also encouraged French to
ask himself what the company’s
goal was.
“If it’s about helping other
people, maybe you don’t need high
revenue, but you can get other
people to come and work with
you and it’s more joyful … which
I think ultimately he decided.” •
Two Vancouver Shops, plus Richmond, Burnaby and the North Shore
Flatbed Printing & Cutting
Indoor & Outdoor Signage
Superwide Latex Printing
Procut Fabrication
Custom Signage
February 24–March 2, 2015
Startups moving beyond ‘shotgun approach’ to monetization
enterprise | Many
ditching free service model to target markets they know will pay a premium
entice users to spend more time include being able to detect when
on the site.
another user views a profile or
Founded in 2003, POF initially a personal message has been
generated money mostly through checked.
advertisements. The site has
But Walia said the “shotgun
since moved on to offering up- approach” – trying to attract as
graded memberships that cast a many users as possible by offerwider net for potential matches. ing free services before trying to
“What we’re trying to do is convert them to paying users – is
understand the value as perceived on its way out.
“You’re starting to see some
by the users and offer them something that will encourage them to that are just forgoing the free
become upgraded users,” Osinska platform and then going, ‘OK.
Hey, how much are you willing
Those membership benefits
to pay /forSize:
he said.
Client: HRMA
Junior, 5.8”
Business-messaging startup
Slack has attracted about 70,000
paying customers since launching
in February. Slack specifically
targets business clients willing
to pay between US$7 and US$100
for its services.
The strategy has paid dividends,
allowing the San Francisco-based
company, whose CEO, Stewart
Butterfield, lives and works in
Vancouver, to raise an additional
US$120 million in venture capital
in October and bring its current
$1.12 billion. x9.3”
/ to
/ BIV•
PlentyOfFish is moving away from relying on ad sales and looking
to convince users to upgrade their accounts to further monetize its
online dating service
[email protected]
f you had pitched Google
(Nasdaq:GOOG) or Airbnb to
Peter Hudson back in the day,
he’s not so sure he would have
invested in those ventures.
Of course, there were already a
number of search engines when
G oogle lau nched i n the late
1990s, and who would want to
rent out their own room to a complete stranger over the Internet?
“By definition, a good startup
idea is one most people think is
shitty. Unfortunately, that’s also
the definition of a bad startup
idea,” said the CEO of Vancouverbased BitLit, a service allowing
users to buy discounted ebooks if
they already own a physical copy.
“Monetization is hard, and there
is a phenomenal focus to monetize, especially among Canadian
angels [investors] and venture
Startups – even the ones with
great ideas – often struggle to
make money when founders with
a technical background aren’t
willing to make those cold calls or
send follow-up emails, according
to Hudson, who put his company
through the Highline (formerly
GrowLabs) business accelerator
to assist with its launch.
“The way you gain traction
there is by hustling. Software, no
matter how good it is, will never
sell itself,” he said.
BitLit signed a partnership
deal with HaperCollins in July,
bringing its catalogue of ebooks
up to about 20,000. Hudson, who
called Business in Vancouver from
Boston, where he was meeting
with publishers, said his company
is preparing to announce another
major deal in the coming weeks.
Similar to Highline, Vancouver’s Launch Academy provides
mentoring, office space and networking opportunities to earlystage companies.
Launch Academy executive
director Ray Walia said the issue
of monetization is one that constantly comes up among new
What we’re trying to do is
understand the value as
perceived by the users and
offer them something that
will encourage them to
become upgraded users
operational leaders
is key to our
Marlene Higgins, MBA, CHRP
Global Head and Director of HR
Kal Tire
Agata Osinska
Product director,
entrepreneurs he mentors.
“Over the last five years we’ve
seen so many free products and
‘freemium’ accounts and people
realizing, ‘Hey, I’ve got a product out there, we’ve got five million users but we’ve got no way
to make any money off of this,’”
he said.
He’s been pushing entrepreneurs to engage in more “customer validation” exercises by
getting out of the office, determining what features their customers like and how much they’d
be willing to fork over for those
D espite a l re ady b ei n g t he
world’s largest online dating service, Vancouver’s PlentyOfFish
(POF) recruited Agata Osinska
as its director of product over the
summer to help link potential
matches more effectively and
Meet an HR professional who is driving global growth.
Marlene Higgins oversees HR operations of more than 5,400 Kal Tire employees
in over 250 Canadian stores, as well as those who are part of Kal Tire’s Mining
Tire Group, in 17 countries.
A privately-owned company, Kal Tire is a BC success story. Its global expansion
strategy is based on careful acquisitions, which includes Marlene’s assessment of
executive and operational team capital. She views her role of integrating existing
companies with different languages, cultures and business practices as a unique
combination of business anthropologist and HR architect. “Leadership capital
isn’t reflected on a balance sheet, yet it’s essential to quantifying the opportunity
in new markets,” says Marlene. “When an acquisition becomes part of the Kal Tire
family, we provide HR infrastructure so each local company is empowered to grow
in their markets, their way.”
Learn more about leading
human resource professionals at
February 24–March 2, 2015
Climate Change
Shrinking timber supply sends B.C.
companies on U.S. mill buying spree
forestry | No
B.C. industry
has been
hit as hard
by climate
change as
forestry, which
has lost close
to 60% of
timber to the
pine beetle
Mill migration numbers
of B.C.’s
timber wiped
out by the
pine beetle
of Interfor’s
that now
comes from
its U.S. mills
of West
that now
come from
its U.S. mills
Workers at Interfor’s Acorn
Division mill in Delta
Interfor’s Acorn Division sawmill in Delta is one of five mills the company owns in B.C.; it owns nine in the United States
In this second instalment in its
ongoing climate change series,
BIV examines the impact warmer
temperatures are having on the
province’s vital forestry industry.
The first instalment in the series,
“Climate change looms as major threat to key B.C. industries,”
appeared in issue 1320; February
By Nelson Bennett
[email protected]
t first blush, year-end
financials and stock prices
for B.C.’s largest forest
companies would suggest the
province’s forestry sector is well
on the road to recovery after a
decade-long slump.
Interfor Corp. (TSX:IFP), for example, posted record sales of $1.4
billion in 2014 and record production of 2.2 billion board feet.
Stock values and market caps of
B.C.’s three largest forestry companies – Interfor, Canfor Corp.
(TSX:CFP) and West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (TSX:WFT) – have
soared since the end of 2011.
Ca n for’s sha re prices have
increased almost 180%, West
Fraser’s more than 220% and
Interfor’s a whopping 410% since
the end of 2011. Based on market
cap ($6 billion), West Fraser is
now B.C.’s seventh-largest publicly traded company.
But that increase in production and stock value is largely attributable to recent acquisitions
of sawmills in the U.S., not to a
boom in their B.C. operations.
In fact, Canfor and Interfor have
both closed mills in B.C. in recent
Warmer winters that led to a
massive die-off of pine from the
mountain pine beetle infestation
are largely to blame.
B.C.’s largest forestry company, West Fraser, now owns 15
American sawmills, compared
with just seven in B.C. and five in
Alberta. About 36% of its shipments of lumber now come from
its U.S. mills, said Rodger Hutchinson, West Fraser’s vice-president of investor relations.
Interfor owns five sawmills in
B.C., nine in the U.S. and will add
another four U.S. mills this year.
About 43% of Interfor’s current
production capacity is in B.C.,
57% in the U.S.
Canfor owns 12 sawmills in B.C.,
one in Alberta and 10 in the U.S. It
also owns four pulp mills in B.C.,
one wood bioenergy plant in Alberta and one in B.C.
While B.C. companies were
buying up mills in the U.S., they
were closing or selling mills in
B.C. West Fraser’s B.C. head
count has dropped from 3,700
in 2009 to 3,100 today, thanks
largely to closures of its Houston sawmill and Eurocan paper
mill in Kitimat. Last year, Canfor
permanently closed its Quesnel
sawmill and earlier closed oriented-strand-board and plywood
mills in Fort Nelson.
The U.S. acquisitions come
down largely to log supply. In
B.C., it’s shrinking – thanks to
a mountain pine beetle infestation that wiped out roughly 60%
of B.C.’s merchantable timber,
reducing the provincial annual
allowable cut by 20% – whereas
in the U.S., there is a substantial
undercut, thanks to a prolonged
recession and a steep drop in new
housing starts.
“You have contracting supply
in B.C.; you have growing supply for logs in the U.S. South,”
said Martin Juravsky, Interfor’s
senior vice-president of corporate development and strategy.
“The cost of log supply in the U.S.
South is more attractive than it is
in Canada right now.”
West Fraser bought its first two
Building a bridge over
troubled housing
waters on the backs of
mountain pine beetles
Ironically, the mountain pine beetle
infestation helped the B.C. forest
industry bridge one of the worst
downturns in its history.
As new housing starts plummeted
in the U.S. during the subprime
mortgage meltdown and recession,
a new market for junk wood was created in China, which bought beetlekill lumber in large volumes, mostly
for construction framing.
In other words, the B.C. forestry
sector managed to build a lifeboat
made of beetle-kill wood. But that
timber supply has run out, and the
industry now faces decades of
constrained timber supplies in B.C.,
which has begun to drive up costs
of logs. In addition to a shrinking
timber supply, the industry also laments other high operating costs
in B.C.: property taxes, the PST and
rising electricity costs.
“In terms of increasing costs, B.C.
has gone from probably the most
competitive region in North America to one of the least competitive
regions,” said Rodger Hutchinson,
West Fraser Timber’s vice-president of investor relations.
The one advantage Canadian
sawmills have over American mills
is the low Canadian dollar. It’s been
American mills in 2000; since
then it has bought another 13.
“We could see back then the
challenges that B.C. would have
with the mountain pine beetle,”
Hutchinson said, “although we
never … thought it would be as
extensive as what it’s turned out
to be in terms of the damage.”
However, there are other advantages to owning American
particularly beneficial for Canadian
pulp mill owners like Canfor.
B.C. is still a major player in the
pulp and paper industry, said Stewart Muir, executive director for
Resource Works. In 2014, B.C. producers shipped $4.3 billion worth of
pulp and paper compared with $8.2
billion in wood products (lumber,
logs, plywood, etc.).
Pulp prices, which fell below
US$700 per tonne in October 2012,
have been steadily rising and now
sit at a 14-year high of US$1,060 per
tonne. A 20% difference on the Canadian dollar is a bonus for Canadian
pulp producers like Canfor.
“For the Canadian side of production, it has the impact of being
$1,200 Canadian,” Muir said. “So
that’s a significant increase in income and profitability here.”
Despite a decade-long slump,
and despite the investment B.C.
companies have been making in the
U.S., forestry products remain B.C.’s
top export, generating $15.7 billion
in revenue in 2013, according to a
January economic impact study of
the B.C. forest industry. The sector
accounts for 63,000 direct jobs and
another 82,800 indirect jobs in B.C.
Forestry will remain an important
part of the B.C. economy, according
to Council of Forest Industries CEO
James Gorman, but it will contract
as more mills close, due to the
shrinking timber supply.
sawmills than just access to a
good log supply: lower shipping
costs, for one, because the lumber
is closer to buyers. (The U.S. is
still the largest market for B.C.
Owning American mills could
also be a hedge against tariffs that
could be levied after the current
softwood lumber agreement expires later this year.•
February 24–March 2, 2015
Junior mining investment model on life support
Resources | Industry
By Nelson Bennett
[email protected]
here are interesting para l lels between m i n i ng
and the pharmaceutical
Both involve high risk and long
payback periods for investors,
but offer potentially big payoffs.
Just as big pharmaceutical companies rely on small biotechs to
discover new drug candidates,
big mining companies need junior
explorers to find new deposits.
But just as investors have gone
cold on pharmaceutical companies that invest in early-stage drug
discovery, so too have they abandoned junior exploration, said
David Harquail, CEO of the gold
royalty and streaming company
Franco-Nevada (TSX:FVN).
Investors are no longer playing
the long game and have become
increasingly focused on shortterm payoffs, he said.
“The market now is valuing
higher those pharmaceutical
companies that don’t do R&D
and drug research. The market
has figured out that you can make
more money in the near term by
not doing R&D. I think they made
the same assumption on the exploration business and mining
fears too many juniors chasing too few dollars will equal too few new mines
Harquail made the comparison
during a keynote speech at the Association for Mineral Exploration
BC’s (AME BC) annual Mineral
Exploration Roundup in the last
week of January.
Last year, Franco-Nevada invested $900 million in new mining projects. But Harquail said his
company does not invest in junior
exploration because the market
won’t support it.
“Franco-Nevada has tried to
make exploration a business. We
can’t figure out a way right now
to make money by investing in
grassroots exploration.”
And that is worrisome, Harquail
said, because as mines are exhausted, shareholders will wake
up one day and ask why no one
was investing in the next generation of mines.
Harquail lays much of the blame
at the feet of mining executives
and directors who catered too
much to investors. Good miners know that commodity cycles
come and go, so they time a mine’s
development to catch at least a
couple of higher price cycles during its expected lifespan.
But investors no longer have
that kind of patience. Harquail
said they’re interested only in the
latest upswing, not the next one,
and too many mining companies
Franco-Nevada CEO David Harquail addressing January’s AME BC
Mineral Exploration Roundup: “we can’t figure out a way right now to
make money by investing in grassroots exploration” | Nelson Bennett
have high-graded their operations
and focused on big-budget, highvolume, low-grade deposits.
“There’s been too much catering now to the marginal investor,
which right now tends to be the
traders and hedge funds that only
invest for the nanosecond,” Harquail said.
Yet even when gold prices hit
all-time highs during the last bull
run, big mining companies failed
to reward investors because their
costs had gone up.
“The big mining companies
have concentrated on big, as opposed to profitable,” Till Capital
(TSX-V:TIL) CEO Bill Sheriff told
Business in Vancouver.
About 35% of Till Capital’s
assets are invested in resource
“In keeping with the bigger-isbetter [principle], all these exploration companies kept drilling
and drilling and getting bigger
and bigger [on] lower and lower
grade deposits that need a $1
billion or $2 billion capex.”
Sheriff said there are too many
juniors chasing too few dollars.
He expects many will simply
“We say the junior model’s
broken,” he said. “We think it’s
irreparably broken, and by irreparably, I mean at least 20
Harquail urged mining companies to stop thinking like investors. That, he said, means
spending money when investors
don’t want them to, buying assets
for the next cycle when they are
cheap and accumulating cash in
the good times instead of handing
out dividends.
Despite the current slump, some
juniors have financed their projects through alternative sources,
including private venture capital,
said Gavin Dirom, CEO of AME
BC. Some have also managed to
strike partnerships with large
foreign companies.
Fjordland Exploration Inc.
(TSX-V:FEX), for example, has
partnered with Sumac Mines Ltd.,
a subsidiary of Japan’s Sumitomo
Metal Mining Co. Ltd.
Ultimately, though, it may fall to
the large mining companies to finance the next generation of discoveries, something Dirom said
has already started to happen. •
Building Long Term
Mr. and Mrs. L were introduced to us 17 years ago by an existing Pacific Spirit client. They
owned a professional business which was thriving. We worked with them to create a
retirement plan and then managed their investment funds in accordance with the plan, all
while coordinating with their accountant. In 2014 the L’s announced that they were retiring.
We updated their plan with illustrations of alternative retirement income scenarios. We
also provided them with advice on pension income splitting, CPP pension splitting, and
other tax planning ideas. The L’s are now thoroughly enjoying their retirement.
Dream It, Plan It, Live It.
Vancouver’s Premier Wealth Management Team
Pacific Spirit | Investment Management Inc.
Tel: 604-687-0123 | 1-800-337-1388 | [email protected]
1100 – 800 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2V6
February 24–March 2, 2015
B.C. Budget 2015
High rollers and lax lotteries are changing outlook for BC Lottery Corp.
The BC Lottery Corp. (BCLC) says highlimit table games at casinos are booming,
but lottery ticket sales are sagging.
The Crown gambling corporation sold
$1.032 billion in lottery products in 201314 but is projecting a decline to $971 million for the fiscal year ending March 31,
according to the Crown agency’s threeyear service plan published on February
17, provincial budget day. Casino and
community gaming revenue of $1.685
billion in 2013-14 was forecast to rise to
$1.773 billion this fiscal year.
“The fastest-growing segment of our
revenue – high-limit table games in casinos – is heavily dependent on an international player base and is largely tied to
the health of the tourism industry,” said
the service plan. “The recent slowdown
of international economies and currency
restrictions presents risks for the growth
of business.”
The report doesn’t name China, but
that country has become Vancouver’s
biggest offshore tourist market and Great
Canadian Gaming’s River Rock Casino
Resort experienced a 30% jump in table
game net revenue during 2014’s Chinese
New Year compared with 2013.
BCLC recorded $1.175 billion net income
in 2013-14 and is forecasting $1.2 billion
net income by the March 31 end of the
current fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the British Columbia Liquor
Distribution Branch’s (BCLDB) service
plan came with a gallon of uncertainty
because of the April 1 launch of a new
wholesale pricing system and introduction of alcohol sales in select grocery
The service plan for the taxpayer-owned
beer, wine and spirits distributor and
retail chain did not include any assumptions about the impact of grocery store
sales on its bottom line.
T he BCLDB is forecasti ng a stable
market share and product mix but is expecting net sales to remain flat in 2015-16.
The Crown agency’s service plan said
a combination of inflation and volume
growth will increase annual sales by 2%
from 2016-17 onward.
The BCLDB posted $877 million in net
income on $2.745 billion in 2013-14 sales.
It forecast $2.8 billion in sales and
$907.6 million net income through March
31 of this year. Its 2015-16 forecast is
$880.6 million in net income on $2.842
billion in sales.
The BCLDB maintains a percentagebased markup on products, so a reduction in supplier prices would mean less
revenue for the branch, if volume stays
constant. The service plan said that each
percentage point change in the cost of
wine, spirits and refreshment beverages
has a $9 million impact on its revenue.
According to its service plan, BC Pavilion Corp., the Crown corporation that
runs the Vancouver Convention Centre
and BC Place stadium, is predicting $37.8
million in losses for the next three years.
– Bob Mackin
Premier lauds new budget, B.C. economy in Surrey
Premier Christy Clark trumpeted the
provincial government’s budget in Surrey February 18, touting B.C.’s diversified
economy as the province’s gross domestic
product looks to outpace Ontario’s in 2015,
and as Alberta braces for a likely recession
as global oil prices remain low.
Speaking at a Surrey Board of Trade
luncheon at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel,
she outlined the financially sound state of
the province amidst slumping neighbouring markets.
“We have one of the most diverse economies in Canada. If you have one customer, they set the price, and that’s the
difference between us and Alberta.”
In 2014, Alberta sent 90.2% of its international exports to the United States,
while Ontario sent 79.3%. B.C relied on
the U.S. for 50.6% of its international
exports, with 37% going to Asian countries such as Japan and China. Clark noted
B.C. is currently the only province in the
country without a budget deficit, except
for Saskatchewan, which has yet to release
its 2015 financials.
– Patrick Blennerhassett
K Go online to read these stories in full, along with much more business news updated daily at
Corner the market
on Corner offiCes.
Give your career breakthrough power with classes in these management areas:
• Project Management (classes beginning in May & June)
• Financial Literacy for the Non-financial Manager (classes beginning in June)
• Communications (classes beginning in March & June)
• Business Operations Management (classes beginning in March & June)
register online at or call 604.984.4910
•Medical Services Plan premiums will
increase by 4% on January 1, 2016. For a
family of three or more, that represents
an increase of $6 a month to $150.
•Health spending will increase by nearly
$3 billion over three years. Government
will spend an extra $10 million to increase the number of hospice beds.
•Total government spending of $45.8
billion in 2015-16 on revenues of $46.3
billion with a projected surplus of $284
•K-12 education will get an extra $564
million over three years, largely to cover
labour agreements.
•The budget surplus for 2014-15 is now
forecast at $879 million, nearly double
the prediction in December.
•The debt will increase to $66 billion in
2014-15 from $63.8 billion.
•Government predicts 2.3% economic
growth in 2015, rising to 2.4% in 2016.
•The cement industry will receive $22
million in incentives over three years to
produce its product more cleanly.
•The Ministry of Energy and Mines will get
an extra $6.3 million to improve permitting and mine oversight.
•Community Living BC will get an additional $106 million over three years
to serve adults with developmental
•Families can claim a children’s fitness
equipment tax credit worth $12.65 per
child annually.
•Income assistance programs will receive
an additional $20 million in 2016-17.
•Government will spend $25 million over
three years to modernize B.C.’s water
laws, regulate groundwater use and
improve water management in the
– Victoria Times Colonist
February 24–March 2, 2015
Vancouver Web Fest to help producers seek payoff from online entertainment
Whether watching or producing a web
series – scripted entertainment released
online as opposed to over TV – Suzette
Laqua is constantly drawn in by a simple
“A web series isn’t governed by the rules
of your standard TV channels,” said the
creator of the Vancouver-based series Last
Chance Casting.
“People can come in and they can do it
the way they want it without any regulations or without any getting permission
from the board, the producers, the directors, that sort of thing. They can go in and
do what they see fit and be proud of it.”
When the second annual Vancouver Web
Fest (VWF) returns to the city March 6 to
8, Laqua will be right on Granville Island
celebrating what other web series producers have developed.
“It was hard this year. We had 220
submissions from around the world,”
V WF founder Laqua told Business in
“Expectations, again, are much higher
this year.”
In addition to web series screenings produced in Asia, Europe and North America,
the 2015 VWF is adding workshops and
panels throughout the weekend to teach
producers everything from sound design
to attaining rights and clearances.
B.C. productions that made the official
selection include the sci-fi series Standard
Action and Disrien and the reality series
Garage Sale Diaries.
Meanwhile, panellists from U.S. entertainment website CollegeHumor, Google
Canada and Dailymotion will be on hand
to offer advice on how to make a web series successful.
Local telecom giant Telus (TSX:T) is
offering one of its experts from Optik TV
to present a case study on the creative process surrounding web series development.
One of the keynote speakers – Bernie
Su, co-creator of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries – will be there to discuss what makes
a show successful.
“Lizzie Bennet Diaries is one of the few
web series that has actually made money,”
Laqua said, adding that part of the festival’s goal is to prove these projects can be
economically viable and more than just a
labour of love for artists.
The festival is also featuring selections
from Hollywood actors such as Judd
Hirsch (Taxi, Independence Day) and Tom
Skerritt (Alien, Top Gun), who were behind
the web series Small Miracles and Stroller
Gangs, respectively.
“[Last year] exceeded our expectations,”
Laqua said.
Matthew MacCaull plays Dante on the B.C.
web series Disrien
Employee raises to slow as oil prices fall
Optimizing mobile apps should be priority for sellers: study
Falling oil prices and overall economic
uncertainty have caused a number of
companies in British Columbia and
across Canada to cut their forecasts
for non-union employee raises.
T he Conference Board of Canada
asked a number of employers last summer how much more they expected
to pay for employee compensation in
2015. It asked the same question again
in December and early January, and the
forecasts had fallen.
B.C. employers now anticipate giving raises of 2.3% in 2015 – down 0.2
percentage points from when they were
first asked.
The same drop was found countrywide, with anticipated salary increases
slipping from 2.9% to 2.7%.
“Many organizations are waiting
to see how the economy fares before
finalizing plans,” said Ian Cullwick,
the Conference Board’s vice-president, leadership and human resources
“The next few months will be challenging for employers as they balance
the need to retain top talent with affordability,” Cullwick said.
He said that in particular companies in Alberta and Saskatchewan may
further downgrade their forecasts for
raises and may start enforcing pay
freezes as energy companies cut back.
Countrywide, the biggest forecast
downgrade was found in retail and
wholesale trade jobs, which fell 0.5
percentage points from 2.8% to 2.3%.
The only sector that has increased its
forecast was communications and telecommunications, which expects raises
of 2.4% – up 0.1 percentage points.
Businesses that sell products and services online should increase their focus
on optimizing mobile sites, according to a PayPal Canada report released
February 18.
More and more, Canadians are turning
away from their desktops and laptops
and picking up their phones and tablets
when it comes time to make an online
In 2013, Canadians spent $3.45 billion
on mobile commerce alone. By 2016,
that number is expected to increase
142% to almost $5 billion.
“We are at the dawn of a mobilefirst era,” said Alexander Peh, PayPal Canada head of mobile and market
“At PayPal, we’ve seen our mobile
growth rise from less than 1% of our
payment volume in 2010 to more than
20% in 2014.”
I n t he pa s t 1 2
months, almost a
fifth of all online
shoppers report
having used their
smartphones to
make purchases.
A further 15% say
they used tablets.
Shoppers using
their mobile devices say they prefer using apps as opposed to mobile
Perhaps not surprisingly, millennials
– defined as those between the ages of
18 and 34 – are leading the charge when
it comes to smartphone-based purchases. Slightly more than half – 52% – of
those in this age range say they’ve used
this method of buying online.
Human resources
Goldcorp takes US$2.3 billion writedown on mine
More Canadians expect to work past 65
than to be fully retired, study finds
Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) has reported a
US$2.4 billion net loss for 2014’s fourth
quarter, attributable almost entirely to
a massive impairment charge recorded
for its Cerro Negro mine in Argentina.
The miner took a US$2.3 billion writedown on the mine due to “the decline in
market valuations of future exploration
potential and the ongoing challenging
fiscal conditions in Argentina.”
The loss for the quarter was more than
double the US$1.1 billion loss recorded in
the same period last year. Loss per share
in the most recent quarter was US$2.94
compared with US$1.34 in Q4 2013.
Excluding the writedown and other
adjustments, adjusted net earnings for
the quarter were US$55 million, or $0.07
per share. This fell below analysts’ expectations of US$0.14 per share.
Overall results for the year, however,
were more favourable than in 2013, with
the company reporting a US$2.2 billion
loss this year, compared with a loss of
US$2.7 billion last year. Loss per share
in 2014 was US$2.67, compared with
US$3.27 in 2013.
Goldcorp said it achieved record gold
production of 890,900 ounces in the
fourth quarter – up almost 16% compared with the same period last year.
Company president and CEO Chuck
Jeannes said the company expects increased production in 2015.
“Expected production growth of an
additional 20% in 2015, coupled with
rapidly declining capital expenditures, provides a clear path to achieving significant free cash flow this year,”
Jeannes said.
“Coupled with our investment-grade
balance sheet, Goldcorp possesses the
flexibility to pursue growth opportunities that will further support our future
Do you plan on retiring by age 65?
More and more, Canadians are answering “no” to that question. Sun Life’s
seventh annual Unretirement Index
study, released February 18, found that,
for the first time, more respondents expect to be working at age 66 than to be
in full retirement.
The survey found almost one-third
of all Canadians – 32% – expect to be
engaged in full-time employment after
age 65. Only 27% say they expect to be
fully retired by age 66.
“This really is a tale of two retirements,” Sun Life Canada president Kevin
Dougherty said.
“It is striking that in today’s economic
environment, they’ve developed a view
of retirement that previous generations
of workers would not recognize.”
By contrast, in 2008 the study found
K Go online to read these stories in full, along with much more business news updated daily at
that 51% expected
to be fully retired
a t a g e 6 6, a n d
only 16% thought
they would still be
This gap actually
widened further
i n 2 0 0 9, w h e n
55% said they’d be fully retired and 16%
expected to be working full-time. Coinciding with the recession, by 2010 the
gap had narrowed considerably (28%
expecting to be retired versus 20% still
working). And this trend continued consistently until this year.
In the most recent survey, 27% of respondents said they expected to be working part-time and 12% said they weren’t
sure. One per cent said they didn’t believe
they would still be alive at age 66.
February 24–March 2, 2015
A selection of apps and tools to boost your productivity in 2015
whenever a blog gets published.
Slack (web, iOS, Android)
Cybele Negris
ork smarter, not
harder – that’s one
of my resolutions for
2015. Here then are some of
my favourite tools for working
IFTTT (web, iOS, Android)
IFTTT (If This Then That)
streamlines productivity by
automating online tasks. It uses
“recipes” that you either create
yourself or choose from a collection it provides. Users have
to define what will trigger the
tasks, then what the details of
a task will be. This can range
from posting on social media,
sending an email or automatically adding a note on a different
For example, one recipe that
a lot of businesses are using is
automatically creating a post
Founded by Flickr co-founder
Stewart Butterfield, Slack is
billed as “team communication for the 21st century.” Essentially, you can share all team
communication in one place
that can be searched at any time
from anywhere.
Slack allows users to create
“channels” such as messages,
files, comments, inline images
and more. Aside from the chat
and collaboration aspect of the
app, Slack really shines when
you combine it with Asana
(see below). Integrating it with
Asana can help organizations
communicate faster, discuss
projects and quickly assign
tasks. It also makes file sharing
much easier when integrated
with Google Drive or Dropbox
by eliminating the need to send
edited documents.
Asana (web, iOS, Android)
Asana is a project and task
management app that reduces
internal emails. It allows teams
to share, plan, organize and
track the progress of each task
and project.
Once a project has been
launched, Asana users can also
create sub-tasks and assign
them to the appropriate team
members or departments.
up during the morning to remind users about appointments
on their calendar.
Microsoft Office
Wunderlist (web, iOS, Android,
Windows Phone)
Businesses that rely heavily on
Microsoft products can benefit
greatly from the MS Office app.
With MS Office, you get the
complete package, in a mobilefriendly format. Businesses can
also use the OneDrive app to
sync files automatically, eliminating the need to constantly
send over the right versions of
Task management
Todoist (web, iOS, Android)
A highly effective task and light
project management tool for
desktop and mobile, with further integration into mail clients
such as Outlook and Gmail.
Tasks can be categorized,
tagged and given due dates, and
a karma system helps reward
completing tasks on time. (iOS, Android)
A strictly mobile app, is
a to-do list manager that’s similar to most of the top to-do list
managers. However, one of its
greatest features is its “
Moment”– a message that pops
Another to-do list manager,
Wunderlist lets users quickly
sort and organize important
upcoming events, tasks and appointments. Wunderlist shines
over its competitors because of
its no-frills interface. Google Keep (web, iOS, Android)
Allows users to compile to-do
lists and take notes wherever
they have access to Google.
Simple note-taking with good
integration into Google’s ecosystem of apps.
of information to provide more
value to users. It can sync with
Facebook and LinkedIn to create
entries on upcoming birthdays,
events and meetings, and will
tell you the weather, provide
directions to your next appointment and even send an email to
people invited to a meeting.
News and information
Yahoo News Digest (iOS, Android)
For business owners and professionals who don’t have a lot of
time to read the news or catch
up on global events, Yahoo
News Digest is the perfect app.
It displays six headlines when
you open the app and makes
reading the news easier.
Pocket (iOS, Android)
Evernote (iOS, Android)
Evernote’s success can be attributed to its simplicity. Being
able to quickly take notes, store
information you find online and
create task lists makes it one of
the best apps around. Calendar
Sunrise (web, iOS, Android)
Sunrise is a powerful calendar
app and incorporates a variety
Pocket has been around for
some time and is one of the best
apps for business owners and
professionals who are always
busy but want to read interesting articles. With Pocket, users
can quickly save copies of important articles on a “read later”
list. •
Cybele Negris ([email protected]
ca) is president, CEO and co-founder
of, Canada’s original
.CA registrar.
Plenary Speakers
DANiel PiNk
Shifting HR’s role in today’s business reality.
Rethink HR at Western Canada’s top HR conference, April 28-29, 2015
in Vancouver, BC at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This year’s
event presents leading business leaders, thinkers, speakers
and educators in a dynamic environment designed to challenge,
inspire and invigorate.
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February 24–March 2, 2015
B.C. budget 2015 | Upbeat outlook
“We have one of the most diverse economies in Canada. If you
have one customer, they set the price, and that’s the difference
between us and Alberta” – Premier Christy Clark on B.C.’s
comparative resilience to the economic impact of low oil prices
Premier Christy Clark touted B.C.’s economic sturdiness during a February 18 speech to the Surrey Board of Trade. See budget stories and analysis: pages 9, 20, 27
Auto dependency on the rise among working poor
transit | For
many low-income workers moving to city, public transportation is not an option
By Patrick Blennerhassett
[email protected]
ith the transit plebiscite
fast approaching, a new
campaign spearheaded
by the Surrey Poverty Reduction
Coalition (SPRC) is underlining
the city’s deep reliance on cars
for work-related transportation.
Approximately 83% of employees
in Surrey use a vehicle to get to
work compared with 71% across
Metro Vancouver. Only 13% use
public transit compared with the
regional average of 20%, according to Statistics Canada’s 2011
National Household Survey.
“People don’t have access to adequate public transportation in
Surrey,” said SPRC co-ordinator
Alice Sundberg. “We know that
you can save a lot of money by
taking public transit. But if you
don’t have access to it, or if it
takes you two and a half hours to
get to work via public transportation, you’re not going to use it.”
Even though the tax is regressive, meaning low-income people
will be more affected than higherincome taxpayers, Sundberg said
her organization is urging a yes
vote because good transit can be
an important benefit to people
Alice Sundberg, co-ordinator of the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition, says public transit is not an option
for the city’s working poor | rob kruyt
who are living in poverty.
At $45,462, Surrey’s median
income is below the Metro Vancouver average ($50,016), and
there are approximately 14,632
households and 20,610 individuals in Surrey relying on income
assistance, according to the
Ministry of Social Development
and Social Innovation. This represents about 23% of the 62,512
income assistance cases across
Metro Vancouver.
Brent Toderian, former director of city planning for the City
of Vancouver, said the issue is
part of a North American trend
in which poor people are being
financially pushed out of cities
into suburban areas. The migration forces many low-income
workers, who previously relied
on public transportation, to purchase vehicles.
“There’s a saying that the suburbs are no place to be poor,”
Toderian said. “If you’re poor
and in the inner city, you have
options. If you’re poor in the suburbs, you have to own a car.”
Toderian noted this trend could
be applied to Surrey because the
SkyTrain essentially serves only
a small portion of the city.
Surrey public transportation
upgrades are featured in the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation’s wish list.
“The biggest benefits [of transit]
are that it allows households to
reduce their car ownership – and
the effect is huge,” said Todd Litman, executive director of the
Victoria Transport Policy Institute. “The average household
in a car-dependent community has one car for every adult,
so even low-income households
are spending $10,000 a year on
owning and operating their car,
where that same household in a
multimodal community would
be spending half as much.”
A year’s worth of monthly transit passes in Metro Vancouver
would cost an adult commuter
Toderian added the savings are
possible only in suburbs with adequate public transportation as
an alternative to commuting by
vehicle, which Surrey does not
“If you happen to live close to
the SkyTrain you’re OK, which
most don’t,” he said. “The bus
systems in Surrey are challenged
when it comes to being an attractive alternative to car ownership.
And even if you don’t need a car to
get to work, if you live near transit
and take transit to work you still
potentially need a car for all the
other trips that you have in your
life. ”
He noted many North American
suburbanites are finding themselves in even deeper levels of
poverty now that they’ve added in
longer commute times in vehicles.
“And it’s not because these
people don’t want transit. It’s
because in many cases the suburbs have been designed to make
transit unappealing.” •
–With files from Jen St. Denis
Hear our visionaries speak and learn what’s on the horizon, what’s hot, what’s not,
and the key strategies that are taking innovative brands into the future.
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April 23, 2015
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February 24–March 2, 2015
Malaysia’s teetering state investment fund plagued by scandal
multimillion-dollar properties
in the United States on behalf
of the prime minister’s stepson,
film producer Riza Aziz.
Much of the significant reporting on the issues around
the management of 1MDB has
been done by The Edge, Malaysia’s bestselling business
newspaper, which is owned by
Tong Kooi Ong. Tong is well
known in Canada as the owner
of Toronto-listed Taiga Building
Products Ltd., the largest
wholesale distributor of building materials in Canada and
California. Tong has filed a suit
against Low, who Tong believes
was behind a defamatory blog
attack after The Edge published
details of 1MDB’s troubled internal affairs.
The latest reports from Kuala
Lumpur are that all employees
of 1MDB have been ordered to
take their office-issued computers and smartphones to
the company’s information
technology department to have
their hard drives wiped clean.
The company says the move is
to counter an attempted hacking of the fund’s system. But
some observers have noted that
when Tong’s legal action gets
to examination for discovery,
there will be nothing in 1MDB’s
records for his lawyers to find. Tong isn’t the only one pushing back against blog attacks
associated with criticism of
1MDB. Another is the prime
minister’s brother, banker Nazir
Razak, who has also launched
legal action against Low. Nazir, head of CIMB, Malaysia’s
fastest-growing bank, has had a
very public falling-out with his
brother Najib over the flaunting
of excessive wealth by the prime
minister and his wife. In January last year Nazir wrote a long
article for an online business
news site about their father,
Malaysia’s second prime minister, Abdul Razak, and his absolute refusal to use public funds
for his own and his family’s personal expenses.
The 1MDB questions also spark
memories of unresolved questions around the 2006 murder of
Mongolian model and interpreter
Altantuya Shaariibuu – who allegedly was Najib’s ex-mistress
– by Najib’s bodyguards. Najib
was then the defence minister,
and French investigators have
found his policy adviser, Abdul
Razak Baginda, was paid over
$200 million in bribes by the
French manufacturers of three
submarines Malaysia was buying
for $2 billion. •
Nuclear deal reached
Remittances roll in
Coup hasn’t helped economy
Agency downgrades France
Currency swap deal expires
Sri Lanka’s new president, Maithripala
Sirisena, has emphasized his move
away from the dominant relationship
with China under the previous
administration by signing a nuclear
agreement with India. Tensions
between Colombo and New Delhi grew
during the previous administration of
Mahinda Rajapaksa, who welcomed
closer ties with China. Sirisena took
over the Sri Lankan administration
last month. The agreement with New
Delhi will allow Indians to train Sri
Lankans in nuclear technology and
provide for the shared management
of radioactive waste, nuclear disaster
mitigation and environmental
Several years of encouragement
by the Hanoi government for
Vietnamese to work abroad are
paying off as the country enters the
top 10 recipients of remittances.
Latest figures from the Western
Union company, which handles
money transfers worldwide, show
the country received about $13
billion in remittances last year, up
from about $12 billion in 2013. A big
encouragement is that recipients
of remittances do not have to pay
income tax on the money, nor are
they required to convert the transfers
into the local currency, the dong.
Remittances now account for 8% of
Vietnam’s gross domestic product.
Last year’s military coup in Thailand,
designed to end political and social
upheaval dating back to 2006,
has so far failed to stimulate the
economy. Last year clocked up its
slowest growth since 2011. Overall
growth was only 0.7% last year,
in line with the median estimate
of analysts polled in a Bloomberg
survey. Coup leader and selfappointed Prime Minister Gen.
Prayuth Chan-ocha attempted
to kick-start consumption with a
$12 billion stimulus package. But
the export of both agricultural and
manufactured goods fell for the
second consecutive year for the first
time in over two decades.
In a sign of things to come, China’s
Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. Ltd.
agency has downgraded France’s
sovereign credit rating to A from A+.
In a report last week Dagong said the
debt repayment climate in France
remains stable, but the economic
outlook is clouded by the failure of the
Paris government to pursue structural
reforms. “The fiscal deficit and the
debt burden ratio have climbed
up further, which have weakened
the government’s debt repayment
capacity.” Dagong was founded about
two decades ago and remains far less
well known than western credit rating
agencies, though it has begun to
attract more attention in recent years.
Officials in South Korea and Japan
are playing down speculation that
the ending of a bilateral $10 billion
currency swap agreement has more
to do with political tensions between
Seoul and Tokyo than with economics.
The 2001 agreement expired on
February 23. The pact allowed each
country to use, in an emergency, its
own currency to get U.S. dollars from
the other at a predetermined rate.
Since she came to power two years
ago, South Korea’s president, Park
Geun-hye, has not had a bilateral
meeting with Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe, apparently because
of territorial disputes and other
y meeting a repayment
deadline for the first time
in months, Malaysia’s
troubled sovereign wealth fund,
1Malaysia Development Berhad,
seems to have staved off a debt
crisis that threatened the country’s entire banking system.
Reports in Kuala Lumpur say
Malaysian billionaire Ananda
Krishnan came up with the $693
million that the fund, known as
1MDB, was due to repay by February 18 to the country’s largest
bank, Malayan Banking Bhd, and
a smaller financial house, RHB
Capital Bhd.
While the payment appears
to have given 1MDB some
breathing space after the fund
repeatedly failed to meet debt
repayment deadlines, it has
done nothing to remove questions about the $14.5 billion in
debts the fund has accumulated
since its founding in 2009.
1MDB was created as a vehicle
for investment of state profits
from the country’s oil and gas
resources. But it has borrowed
heavily from local banks to
invest in power plants. 1MDB
plans a public offering of shares
in these assets some time this
year, with the aim of raising
around $4 billion.
But from the start, 1MDB has
been surrounded by questions
and scandal. Many of the questions stem from the fact that the
fund’s “chief economic adviser”
is Malaysia’s prime minister,
Najib Razak. Although no direct lines are drawn, media and
political criticism of the travails
of 1MDB frequently include
references to the extraordinary amounts of money being
spent on property and luxuries
by Najib’s family and close
At the same time, a flamboyant young Malaysian financier,
Jho Low, who persuaded Najib
to set up 1MDB, has bought
Asian outlook
JOnathan Manthorpe
Petronas Twin Towers dominate
the skyline in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia has narrowly averted a
financial crisis stemming from
a scandal-ridden investment
fund | r.nagy/Shutterstock
Jonathan Manthorpe (jonathan.
[email protected]) has been
an international affairs columnist for
nearly 40 years.
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February 24–March 2, 2015
Anvil a dead weight on New West office market
largest office tower still vacant a year after completion
By Frank O’Brien
The city’s office vacancy
rate is now 16.8%, and
more than a quarter
of Class A space in the
Royal City is dark
[email protected]
shiny new – and empt y – of f ic e towe r h a s
b e c om e a n a nv i l-l i ke
weight around the neck of the
New Westminster commercial
market. Built on speculation by
the City of New Westminster and
sold to investors a year ago, the
14-storey tower has failed to attract a single tenant.
The 137,000 square feet of vacant space in the Anvil Centre,
now owned by CRS Group of
Companies and Joseph Segal of
Kingswood Capital Corp., has
pulled the New Westminster office sector into negative territory
for the first time in 10 years and
driven the vacancy rate to the
second-highest level in Metro
The city’s office vacancy rate
is now 16.8%, and more than a
quarter of Class A space in the
Royal City is dark, according to
an Avison Young survey.
Su k i Sek hon, CEO of CR S
Built on speculation by the City of New Westminster, the 14-storey
Anvil Centre has failed to attract any tenants
Group, confirmed that no office tenants have yet signed, but
added, “Interest has been very
The biggest office building in
New Westminster, Anvil Centre
is situated next to a SkyTrain station in the city’s core.
Sekhon said the owners have
always known it was going to
be a one- or two-year run to get
most of the building filled with
tenants. “This is a long-term vision,” he said. “This is something
we want to get leased up with a
quality tenant. You don’t want to
put in tenants for the sake of putting them in. We prefer to have a
good tenant mix there.”
A rapid lease-up, in fact, would
trigger payments to the City of
New Westminster, which sold the
tower for $35.5 million. Under the
terms of the sale, the purchasers are paying in instalments.
After putting down a $5 million
non-refundable deposit upon
signing the purchase and sale
agreement, the purchasers provided an additional $5 million in
December 2014, when the sale
closed (and held back another $1.5
million until some construction
deficiencies are addressed). The
remaining money will be paid
to the city, with interest, within
three years of the December 31,
2014, closing date.
If the building reaches substantial leasing levels before the
final instalment is due, the city
will receive earlier payments on
the $25.5 million still owed, explained New Westminster Mayor
Jonathan Cote.
Sekhon said CRS has also looked
at selling rather than leasing office space in the Anvil Centre.
“The building has been set up
as a strata of two units per floor,
but it is our intention to lease the
building at this time,” he said.
The city was originally working
with the Uptown Property Group
on the office tower, but after that
company pulled out of the project
the city decided to build it on its
The Anvil Centre cost the city
$41.5 million to build, but the city
retained ownership of the first
four floors, which is now a civic
community centre.
“The city is not looking for more
office space,” said Cote, who described the Anvil Centre sale as
“a good deal for New Westminster taxpayers.” •
REITs reaping rewards of low-cost financing options
investment | Interest-rate-sensitive real estate investment trusts outpacing Toronto Stock Exchange
By Frank O’Brien
[email protected]
eal estate investment trusts
(REITs) are poised for a
strong year due to lower
mortgage rates, and even low oil
prices could prove a boon to the
traditionally conservative sector,
analysts say.
Canadian REITs are listed on
the Toronto Stock Exchange
(TSX) and with a return of 9.5%
have out performed the broader S&P/TSX stock index in the
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past 12 months. The day after
the January 21 cut in the Bank of
Canada (BoC) overnight lending
rate to 0.75% from 1%, volume in
REIT trading rose nearly 30%.
Since then, the S&P/TSX REIT
index has hit its highest level in
two years.
“The conditions for success that
propelled REIT prices higher last
year are shaping up similarly for
this year,” said Corrado Russo,
managing director, investments
and global head of securities,
at Toronto-based Timbercreek
Asset Management. Russo added that there is a “wall of money
looking to invest in real estate.”
Interest rates represent one of
the highest costs for REITs, and
it is expected that many will refinance their long-term debt if
commercial mortgage rates continue to come down.
Robert Palmer, CFO of Calgarybased Northern Properties Real
Estate Investment Trust (NPR),
said NPR is holding up to 400
mortgages at any time, typically with 10-year terms. NPR’s
portfolio includes multi-family
properties in Abbotsford, on
Vancouver Island and in Fort St.
Palmer said commercial lending
rates have come down since the
new BoC rate was set; 10-year
term mortgages on its multifamily rental buildings, for example, are now in the 2.4% range.
With 25% of NPR’s properties
in Alberta, including the oilands
centre of Fort McMurray, he said
the direction of oil prices is also
a concern.
“Would we be happier with
$100 oil than with $50 oil? Absolutely,” Palmer said, “but no
one really knows where the oil
price is headed.
“We have our plans in place and
we are maintaining a conservative balance sheet.”
Cheaper oil could help the bottom line of some REITs, according to Russo: “Lower oil prices
may lead to lower operating expenses [for commercial property],
resulting in higher net operating
income and earnings growth.” •
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February 24–March 2, 2015
greater vancouver | Home prices slip as number of sales climbs
On the rise
A total of 3,125 homes were sold in January across Greater
Vancouver, up 5.7% compared with December 2014 and
8% year-over-year, according to Canadian Real Estate
Association data released February 17
Cooled off
While sales grew in the region, the average residential
sales price dipped in the month. The average home sold
for $825,233 in January – down 2.6% compared with
$847,661 in December
Provincial price tag
Across B.C., a total of 7,240 homes were sold for an
average sale price of $589,650, which is an increase of 0.3%
compared with the previous month. Unit sales in Greater
Vancouver accounted for 63% of the provincial total
source: Canadian Real Estate Association
Aquilini family presses on with Washington state wine venture
Real Estate Roundup
Peter Mitham
Wining combinations
When the Aquilini Investment
Group successfully trumped
other bidders for 670 acres of
vineyard land in Washington
state in November 2013, there
was a lot of speculation about its
Buzz about the deal still
continues, as a recent visit to
properties surrounding the purchase in the rapidly expanding
Red Mountain viticultural area
highlighted. But the Aquilinis
themselves have forged on, tapping local expertise to get the
best sense of what to plant and
prepping a first batch of wine
with local grapes bought for the
Barry Olivier, who as president of Aquilini Brands has
been charged with developing
the new venture, attended the
recent Washington Association
of Wine Grape Growers annual
meeting to forge links with an
industry in which Aquilini, by
virtue of its real estate holdings,
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A plan to redevelop an airstrip in Washington state’s Port of Kennewick
reflects ideas seen in many mixed-used communities in B.C. | Duany
Plater-Zyberk and Co.
attending the recent Washington Association of Wine Grape
Growers meeting, where (with
apologies to Jane Austen) the
truth universally acknowledged
is that a single blade of grass in
possession of its roots must be in
want of paving.
Indeed, it has been a while
since this columnist traipsed
over such vast expanses of parking lot merely to reach a mall.
But in a nod to contemporary urban planning, the Port of
Kennewick hopes to redevelop
a local airstrip a short distance
from those acres of parking lots
into a compact, European-style
mixed-use community.
Drafted by planning consultants Duany Plater-Zyberk and
Co., which also had a hand in the
early stages of planning for Vancouver’s East Fraserlands (which
Wesgroup is developing as the
130-acre River District), the plan
for Kennewick’s airfield calls for
a mix of housing types including live-work studios, a market
area, a performing arts centre
and connections accommodating pedestrians and bicycles as
well as motor vehicles.
It’s a stark contrast to what
currently exists in the area, but,
according to local officials, it
appears to be “the only alternative that wouldn’t require a
property tax increase.” Indeed,
early projections suggest that
redevelopment of the property
could yield up to 3,380 jobs and
US$408 million in “new (taxable) buildings – meaning new
revenues for police, fire, hospital, libraries, schools, parks and
other services.”
It’s also familiar to those who
Meanwhile, in Idaho …
Vancouver developers who
think they’ve got approval-time
issues with municipalities will
empathize with the homebuilder from Idaho whose tale of woe
poured out over breakfast at a
stop on this columnist’s recent
stateside sojourn.
Talking shop with colleagues
from Oregon, the builder
groused about inconsistencies
in estimates to receive permits.
In his part of Idaho, one planner
might tell you permitting will
take nine months. But if you
continue to discuss the file, you
might just find permitting will
really wrap up in 60 days.
Of course, even nine months
is breakneck speed to some developers in the Vancouver area.
Polygon Homes Ltd. president
Neil Chrystal recently told the
Urban Development Institute
that approval times of up to 30
months aren’t uncommon in
some municipalities, while the
six months required at the University of British Columbia is an
anomaly. •
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Adding up the economic impact of
the Games on the fifth anniversary
of B.C. hosting the biggest sporting
event in its history | Page 5
years on
real estate
Troubling tailings tale
Storing cash flow
Upbeat over down dollar
Concern raised over other
mining projects following
Mount Polley tailings pond
disaster probe | Page 6
B.C. expertise
Washington state’s Tri-Cities
is, quipped a B.C. winemaker
have watched Metro Vancouver
grow in recent years, underscoring both the example the
region offers other areas as well
as the relatively high quality of
life that development delivers
Eric Poon, Macdonald Commercial RES
2010 Olympic
Games legacy
will become a significant player.
Plans call for high-density
plantings this spring on 500
acres on Red Mountain, as well
as the development of 300 acres
in the adjacent Horse Heaven
Hills viticultural area where the
company also recently acquired
“We’re approaching this with
humility and trying to learn;
we’re trying to do everything
right in the service of quality,”
Olivier said recently. “We’re a
very ambitious company and we
want to succeed.”
But the family’s expertise in
real estate – something local
vintners said they’d read about
in this and other papers – is
also something the Washington
wine industry hopes will come
in handy.
Red Mountain is wrapping up
a number of significant infrastructure projects including irrigation and road networks, and
a number of new wineries have
been built with more planned.
But it lacks accommodation to
match the growth.
Many in the industry hope the
Aquilinis will use some of their
land to help foster tourism in the
area, perhaps by building a hotel or other amenities that give
tourists a place to stay.
More B.C. real estate
investment dollars drawn to
rising revenue flow from
self-storage units | Page 14
Coast Hotels CEO Robert Pratt
among B.C. hoteliers positive
about depressed dollar and
low oil prices | Page 23
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15230 84th Avenue
Freestanding convenience centre.
Main floor retail & second floor residential.
Mike Grewal
Brent Heed
13990 92nd Avenue
Freestanding mixed-use
commercial building on a corner lot.
Mike Grewal
Brent Heed
18438 64th Avenue
Highly visible unit, can be demised
into smaller units. 3,308 SF available.
Mike Grewal
Dylan Sohi
From $28.00/SF
3264 152nd Street
Morgan Gate
703 - 4,526 SF of
brand new, high profile retail space.
From $30.00/SF
Dylan Sohi
Sheldon Scott*
14187 - 14199 62nd Avenue Surrey
19970 & 19976 80th Avenue
New mixed-use opportunity. Anchored
by Pharmasave & medical centre.
4.74 acre mixed-use development in
Langley’s Willoughby community.
Mike Grewal
Brent Heed
Morgan Dyer*
Hart Buck
32721 Logan Avenue
Hillside Car Wash
Includes tunnel, 7-bay self-serve, drivethru, 3-bedroom home and more.
Casey Pollard*
Oliver Omi
1859 Columbia Valley Highway
Aquadel Gardens at Cultus Lake
25.5 Acres - Aquadel has received
third reading for 103 residential lots.
Hart Buck
Marshall MacLeod
54th Avenue
5652 Landmark Way
Spire Commerce Centre
19402 54 Avenue
192nd Street
18727 25th Avenue
23080 Hamilton Road
23,625 SF freestanding facility
on 1.58 acres in Richmond.
Craig Kincaid-Smith
13139 80th Avenue
Premier property up to 80,000 SF in
prime central Newton location.
Chris Morrison*
Industrial lots in Campbell Heights.
1.03 - 4.15 acres.
7930 130th Street
Malcolm Earle*
Centrally located 3.19 acre heavy
industrial site, cleared and leveled.
9255 194th Street
Randy Heed*
Malcolm Earle*
Excellent quality and well maintained
freestanding building; 17,400 SF total.
90,000 SF first class distribution facility
in central Port Kells.
Chris Morrison*
Vito DeCicco*
Chris Morrison*, Chris Brewster
Vito DeCicco*
Vacant and tenanted strata warehouses.
2,111 SF up to 8,471 SF available.
Chris Brewster
4937 275th Street
Freestanding facility on 2.34 acres in
Gloucester. 48,038 SF available.
Craig Kincaid-Smith
This document/email has been prepared by Colliers International for advertising and general information only. Colliers International makes no guarantees, representations or warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, regarding the
information including, but not limited to, warranties of content, accuracy and reliability. Any interested party should undertake their own inquiries as to the accuracy of the information. Colliers International excludes unequivocally all inferred
or implied terms, conditions and warranties arising out of this document and excludes all liability for loss and damages arising there from. This publication is the copyrighted property of Colliers International and /or its licensor(s). © 2015
All rights reserved. This communication is not intended to cause or induce breach of an existing listing agreement. Colliers Macaulay Nicolls Brokerage Inc. (Vancouver). *Personal Real Estate Corporation. PO #11900.
200 Granville Street, 19th Floor, Vancouver, BC, V6C 2R6 | +1 604 681 4111 |
February 24–March 2, 2015
CRH Medical
(TSX:CRH) weekly
price gain
Population growth
varies sharply
among B.C. regions
Data Points
Bryan Yu
Large Canadian urban
centres typically attract
the most international
immigrants, and a rebound
in the past year, perhaps
due to the fading impact
of the recession and a
higher number of nonpermanent residents,
underpinned population
growth in Metro Vancouver
etailed 2014 population
estimates released this
week by Statistics Canada showed significant variation among regional areas.
As we already know from
previous data releases, B.C.’s
population grew 1.1% on a
July-to-July basis in 2014.
However, on a regional basis
it was a mix of high- and lowgrowth performances.
Among larger metro areas,
growth of 1.3% in Metro Vancouver more than offset a
tepid growth rate of 0.3% in
Abbotsford-Mission in the
Lower Mainland-Southwest.
Growth in Kelowna (1.8%)
provided the strongest lift
in the Thompson Okanagan,
while Victoria’s expansion
was muted at 0.3%.
In comparison to other census metropolitan areas across
Canada, population growth
in Kelowna was fifth-highest
in the country, and Vancouver was ninth. Victoria and
Abbotsford-Mission were
among the lowest. Excluding large metro areas, B.C.’s
population climbed by 0.9%.
While population estimates
will be revised as more complete information is made
available, wide regional
variations can be traced to
broad economic and migratory trends.
Large Canadian urban
centres typically attract the
most international immigrants, and a rebound in the
past year, perhaps due to the
fading impact of the recession and a higher number of
non-permanent residents,
underpinned population
growth in Metro Vancouver.
Meanwhile, interprovincial
inflows buoyed growth in
Kelowna. That could reflect
an increased flow of Albertans to B.C., which outpaced
growth in Alberta-bound
B.C. residents.
In northern B.C., improvement in economic activity
has yet to translate into substantial increases in permanent residents, suggesting
labour market demands are
in part being met by a mobile
There were exceptions: the
northeast gas patch reported
significant growth, while
Kitimat-Stikine also grew at
a modest pace of 1.2%. •
D 32%
Meadow Bay Gold
(TSX:MAY) weekly
price gain
B.C. workers
return from
D 30%
Growth is highest
in B.C.’s northeastern gas patch and
in the province’s
Okanagan region
B.C. regional population growth
The province’s population grew a modest 1.1% between July 2013 and July 2014
Thompson Okanagan
Lower Mainland/Southwest
Vancouver Island/Coast
North Coast
Sources: statistics canada, central 1 credit union
Bryan Yu is senior economist at
Central 1 Credit Union.
Tourism Vancouver/Dannielle Hayes
NomiNatioNs Now opeN!
Business in Vancouver and the Chartered professional accountants of BC have
once again partnered to recognize and celebrate the top CFos in British Columbia.
winning CFos will be profiled in Business in Vancouver on may 12th and honoured
at a gala dinner on June 2 where each winner will share their leadership lessons
to an audience of Vancouver’s business community.
Visit to submit your nomination online. Nominations deadline is march 27th, 2015.
Presented by:
gold sPonsors:
Per cent, 2014
silver sPonsor:
general sPonsors:
D 27%
Dejour Energy
(TSX:DEJ) weekly
price gain
F 24%
CounterPath Corp.
(TSX:CCV) weekly
price drop
(TSX:WEQ) weekly
price drop
Manufacturing rises
to multi-year high
The sector is benefiting
from the recovering
U.S. economy and low
Canadian dollar, although
oil’s downturn has hurt
companies that service
the oil and gas sector
chung chow
B.C. annual manufacturing shipments
In 2014, manufacturing sales climbed 6.6% to $42.8 billion
Per cent
Year-over-year growth (L)
Sales (R)
Sources: statistics canada, central 1 credit union
B.C. manufacturing shipments
Dollar-volume sales climbed 2.9 per cent in December to a seasonally adjusted $3.72 billion
February 24–March 2, 2015
SouthGobi Resource
(TSX:SGQ) weekly
price drop
Seasonally adjusted
Sources: statistics canada, central 1 credit union
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F 18%
The following is a list of stock trades
made by corporate executives, directors
and other company insiders of B.C.’s
public companies filed the week ending
February 18. The information comes
from a compilation of required reports
filed with the BC Securities Commission
obtained from
Insider Rodney Alexander
Cooper, director
Company: Klondex Mines Ltd.
Shares owned: 115,410
Trade date: February 11, 12, 13
Trade total: $282,500
Trade: Sale of 110,000 shares at
prices ranging between $2.53 and
$2.58 per share
Insider John Conlon, director
Company: Golden Reign
Resources Ltd. (TSX:GRR)
Shares owned: 9,026,557
Trade date: February 11, 17
Trade total: $97, 895
Trade: Acquisition of 1,398,500
shares at a price of $0.07 per
Insider Stan BrackenHorrocks, director
Company: Canfor Pulp Products
Inc. (TSX:CFX)
Shares owned: 1,000
Trade date: February 13
Trade total: $84,300
Trade: Sale of 5,000 shares at a
price of $16.86 per share
Insider Bruce Barbour, officer
Company: Great Canadian
Gaming Corp. (TSX:GC)
Shares owned: 4,905
Trade date: February 6
Trade total: $68,600
Trade: Sale of 3,500 shares at a
price of $19.60 per share
Insider Kulwant Malhi, officer
Company: Cannabix
Technologies Inc. (TSX:WPO)
Shares owned: 4,352
Trade date: February 11
Trade total: $55,000
Trade: Sale of 100,000 shares at a
price of $0.55 per share
F 19%
Insider Geoffrey Andrew
Cooke, officer
Company: Russell Breweries Inc.
Shares owned: 932,000
Trade date: February 12
Trade total: $46,600
Trade: Acquisition of 932,000
shares at a price of $0.05 per
Insider Raymond James
Saunders, director
Company: Search Minerals Inc.
Shares owned: 14,399,000
Trade date: February 13, 18
Trade total: $39,680
Trade: Acquisition of 992,000
shares at a price of $0.04 per
Insider Wally Elmer Boguski,
Company: Sierra Iron Ore Corp.
Shares owned: 1,602,572
Trade date: February 10, 11, 12,
13, 17
Trade total: $34,900
Trade: Sale of 175,000 shares at
prices ranging between $0.19 and
$0.21 per share
Insider Mark Gerard O’Dea,
Company: True Gold Mining Inc.
Shares owned: 10,147,597
Trade date: February 9, 11, 12
Trade total: $32,700
Trade: Acquisition of 150,000
shares at prices ranging between
$0.19 and $0.27 per share
Insider Paul Pieter Van Eeden,
Company: Kobex Capital Corp.
Shares owned: 5,135,000
Trade date: February 11, 17
Trade total: $24,250
Trade: Acquisition of 50,000
shares at prices ranging between
$0.48 and $0.49 per share
Insider Larry Johnson,
Company: Select Sands Corp.
Shares owned: 50,000
Trade date: February 11
Trade total: $21,600
Trade: Sale of 180,000 shares at a
price of $0.12 per share •
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February 24–March 2, 2015
Head to head
Does the provincial government’s budget address
the key economic issues facing B.C. in 2015-16?
A responsible budget that does little
to move the economy forward
Niels Veldhuis
The government made no mention
of undoing the “provisional”
one-percentage-point increase
to the general corporate income
tax rate introduced in 2013 to
help eliminate the deficit
gainst the backdrop of depressed
commodity prices, a sluggish
economy and fiscal mayhem in
many other provinces (think Alberta
and Ontario), there are parts of B.C.’s
2015 budget that are worthy of praise.
Relatively speaking, there’s little doubt
that the province has been much more
fiscally prudent than others. While
responsible, the budget will do little to
propel B.C.’s economy forward.
Let’s start with the good news.
B.C. now belongs to an exclusive
“balanced-budget club” in Canada,
which by the end of budget season may
consist of only two governments (with
Saskatchewan likely being the other).
This result is due in large part to program spending constraint shown over
the past seven years. Program spending growth has been held to an average
rate of 2.5% since 2008-09.
What’s more, the government is
recommitting to constraining spending over the next three years, keeping
average program spending growth well
below increases in population growth
and inflation.
Credit the government for also allowing the temporary increase to the
top personal income tax rate to expire
at the end of 2015. In 2013, the Liberals
introduced a new top personal income
tax rate to reduce the deficit.
Letting the higher rate expire shows,
in part, a recommitment toward a
more competitive personal income tax
Despite the balanced budget, provincial net debt continues to rise (by
an expected $3.1 billion over the
next three years). B.C. can balance
its budget and still accumulate debt
because the province separates annual spending (the operating budget)
from long-term spending (the capital
And while this growing debt could
pose serious fiscal challenges in the
future, it is a materially different
problem than those of other provinces.
Take Ontario, where the province’s
debt has grown by $117 billion since the
2008-09 recession with 66% directly
attributable to borrowing to fund dayto-day expenses – not investments in
Unfortunately, there are problematic
aspects of the budget to recognize.
For starters, the government made no
mention of undoing the “provisional”
one-percentage-point increase to
the general corporate income tax rate
introduced in 2013 to help eliminate
the deficit.
In addition, the budget contained no
plan to offset the dramatic increase in
business taxes associated with reintroducing the PST.
Almost all of B.C.’s competitors have
moved to a value-added sales tax like
the now-abolished HST, which exempts business inputs and lowers the
cost of investment.
The government’s own expert panel
recommended introducing a refundable investment tax credit equal to the
PST paid on machinery and equipment
to improve B.C.’s competitiveness and
investment climate.
Failure to address this problem
has negative long-term economic
A recent University of Calgary study
found that B.C. now has one of the
highest overall tax rates on new business investment in the country (27.5%).
Without more competitive tax policies,
B.C. risks losing investment and jobs
that may gravitate elsewhere.
Reforming government spending
could create more fiscal room needed
for tax changes. But the status quo
prevailed here, too.
Consider health care, which consumes an ever larger portion of program spending (now 44%) and is slated
to increase annually at 2.8% over the
next three years.
While B.C. is getting accolades for
containing increases in health-care
spending, there is nary a mention of
reforming how services are financed
and delivered.
The goal should be to spend less and
improve the quality of health care.
To do so, we should look at adopting
policies commonly used in other universal health-care systems around the
Finally, while the increase in education spending is modest at 1.7% on
average over the next three years, it
ignores the fact that enrolment in B.C.
public schools continues to decline.
While the Liberals should be commended for B.C.’s exclusive membership in the balanced-budget club, the
government missed an opportunity to
institute changes that would lead to a
better economic future. •
Niels Veldhuis ([email protected])
is president of the Fraser Institute. This
commentary was co-written by Charles
Lammam, the institute’s associate director of
fiscal policy.
Balanced, but also corrosive to
critical services in the province
Irene Lanzinger
Even more disturbing, total
employment for the province is
only now reaching the level it was
in 2009, a reminder that despite
the hype associated with the
government’s Jobs Plan of 2012,
progress in terms of employment
growth still has a long way to go
’s 2015 budget is stunning, but
not in a good way. Despite Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s talk of
prudence and balance, the document
he tabled in the legislature will reinforce inequities, undermine critical
services and do little to position B.C.
for sustainable growth in the years
At a macro level, the finance minister gives only passing mention to the
fact that the B.C. economy barely resembles the hype that his government
claims as a hallmark of their prudent
Economic growth is forecast to average just a bit over 2% this year and
next, a rate that looks more like treading water than moving forward. And
despite several trade missions and all
the talk in last year’s budget about a
proposed royalty regime for liquefied
natural gas (LNG) development in the
province, this budget holds little prospect that LNG plants will be built any
time soon or that the much anticipated
prosperity fund will take shape sometime during their current mandate.
The same underwhelming picture is
there on the jobs front.
Employment growth is projected to
be weak.
Even more disturbing, total employment for the province is only now
reaching the level it was in 2009, a reminder that despite the hype associated with the government’s Jobs Plan of
2012, progress in terms of employment
growth still has a long way to go.
But budgets also detail government priorities, and on that score
this budget holds some disconcerting
For the richest 2% of British Columbians, the budget documents reveal
that they will enjoy a tax break, one
estimated to be worth $227 million.
When the high-income surtax was
introduced in 2013, the finance minister said it was done to ensure that
affluent British Columbians pay their
fair share into the provincial treasury.
Had the government opted to keep
the surtax, it could have helped finance a broad range of public services, reduce health-care wait times,
introduce a poverty reduction plan,
make post-secondary education more
accessible or ensure the government
had the capacity to provide strong
stewardship of our land and water
Instead, the government has decided
that “paying their fair share” was so
two years ago, and, as a result, B.C.
will reverse course on the only modest
steps toward progressive tax reform in
over a decade.
That theme of reversing course is
also evident in the range of user fee
increases that are part of this budget.
Medical Services Plan premiums are
slated to increase, a move that will hit
middle-income earners.
BC Hydro rates are also slated to increase by as much as 25% over the next
few years.
The budget documents did have some
good news for lower-income families.
After much protest and pressure by
community groups, the province has
finally agreed to end the clawback on
child support payments for single parents on welfare.
The change will cost the provincial
treasury approximately $13 million,
which amounts to about 5% of what
was given to B.C.’s wealthiest households through the elimination of the
high-income surtax.
However, cutting $4 million from
the family maintenance program will
make it more difficult for parents to
get the money they’re owed.
The finance minister devoted a lot
of time to celebrating the fact that
the 2015 budget continued to show
There’s no denying his math on that
In fact, if you add in his contingencies and forecast allowances, de Jong
is sitting on close to $1 billion in fiscal
capacity that his government has decided not to deploy.
Yet it’s the vast majority of British
Columbians who could use some of
that capacity to improve conditions
in their communities, strengthen the
important public services that make
B.C. a better place to live and give opportunity to younger citizens to get the
skills they need to succeed.
Mr. de Jong’s budget is not prepared
to make any of those investments.
Prudence and balance may sound impressive in a budget speech, but they
do little to build the kind of province
we want.
B.C. deserves better. •
Irene Lanzinger ([email protected]) is
president of the BC Federation of Labour.
Head to Head runs monthly.
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February 24–March 2, 2015
Bill Lui | Owner, One Faith Vineyards
Richard lam
B.C. vintner cultivates Asian market
By Peter Mitham
[email protected]
To produce first-growth
B.C. wine
30 years’ business
experience in Asia
One Faith, Canada’s
highest-priced debut wine
einvestment is the catchword of the B.C.
wine industry. Twenty-five years ago,
after the pullout of vines that accompanied the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement,
the sector rebuilt itself from scratch, and a
decade later an influx of cash from executives
in the financial, oil and tech industries fuelled
a second wave of growth.
Now, a new tide of investment is rising in the
Okanagan. Capital from China is flowing in,
brought by new immigrants and formerly expat
Canadians who have returned to this country
familiar with the opportunities Asia presents.
Among the new investors is Bill Lui, who
spent two decades in his native Hong Kong
manufacturing health-care products for sale
at some of the world’s biggest and best-known
retailers, including Walmart, Walgreens, Canadian Tire and Shoppers Drug Mart. Selling the
manufacturing business in 2005 and returning
to Vancouver, he dreamed of producing wines
similar to those he had come to know and love
during business dinners in Asia.
If icewine was Canada’s flagship beverage
overseas, Lui knew the industry was capable
of more.
“The Okanagan is a new wine region that has
a lot of potential, to be introduced around the
world,” he said over a glass of the debut wine
from his latest venture, One Faith Vineyards.
“I want to tell people in Asia that Canada can
make good wine. … This is my faith, that I can
help promote Canadian wine. I believe this
wine has the structure, has the quality, has
every characteristic that people in Asia will
say, ‘Wow, this is good.’”
But if Lui’s goals are lofty, so is the image his
wine projects.
The initial release, in a hefty bottle bearing
an elegant label, sold for $495 per three-bottle
continued on page 23
B.C. Vintner
Continued from page 22
case – or about $165 a bottle, the
highest price ever asked for a
newly released British Columbia
wine, let alone a debut release
from an untested winery. Harry
McWatters garnered headlines
for releasing Sumac Ridge Estate
Winery’s red blend Pinnacle at a
mere $50 in 2003, and more recently LaStella Winery in Osoyoos has been commanding $100
for its Maestoso.
Lui, however, positions his
wine as “first growth,” a term
that traces its origins to the official Bordeaux classification
of 1855, an exclusive list of topranked wines that includes just
five châteaux: Château Latour,
Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château HautBrion and, most recently, Mouton
“I want my wine to be first
growth,” Lui said. “I need a slogan for myself. When I go market
my wine in Asia, I would tell them
this is Canadian first growth.”
It’s an ambitious claim, especially in the New World; producers in California’s Napa Valley,
includ i ng Harlan Estate a nd
Screaming Eagle, have achieved
the distinction – but a winery
claiming the honour for itself is
another question. Still, Lui asks,
“They have first growth in Napa;
why can’t we have first growth in
This is my faith, that I can
help promote Canadian wine
Bill Lui
One Faith Vineyards
The wine has won a high-profile
endorsement, however.
Tasting the wine in Florence,
Italy, last spring courtesy of
Vancouver wine educator James
Cluer (a consultant to the project), U.K. wine writer Jancis
Robinson was so taken by its
presentation and character that
she declared, “Easy to see how it
has become a cult wine in B.C.”
“A very fancy full-colour brochure gave me the impression
that it was already firmly established,” she told Business in
The affirmation encourages
Lui, who believes Asia needs to
see – and taste – Canada’s wine
at its best.
“Our premier is telling us to export. If you don’t have the right
product, how do you export?”
he asked.
The role of vintner is new for
Lui, who speaks about his wines
from Cluer’s tasting notes.
Lui came to Canada in 1968
at the age of 10 and received his
bachelor’s degree from Wilfrid
Laurier University in Waterloo
in 1979, majoring in chemistry.
He worked for Philips Electronics Ltd., then moved to Taiwan
as marketing manager for a computer component manufacturer.
He stayed 10 years, married, then
moved to Hong Kong and started
his own company manufacturing
private-label medical devices –
everything from thermometers
and blood pressure monitors to
massage pads.
Setting up a factory in Guangdong the year of the protests in
Tiananmen Square was an eerie
“It was so quiet, nobody was
there. I was a little scared,” he
said. “But when things are quiet,
it’s easier for me to develop business. Because nobody went in, I
could go in.”
An entrepreneur at heart, Lui
says he’s willing to spare no expense in the development of his
One Faith brand and the production of premium wines to rival
those of the Old World.
Harry McWatters’ vineyard on
Black Sage Road, tended by veteran viticulturist Richard Cleave,
supplied the grapes. Napa winemaker Anne Vawter flew in to
oversee production (One Faith
doesn’t have its own premises
so it secured space at an existing
facility). Lui’s own training was
acquired at the first-growth châteaux of France and courses at the
University of California, Davis.
He’s got the technical aspects
covered, and the cash to get
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February 24–March 2, 2015
One Faith’s logo borrows elements from B.C.’s coat of arms | Richard lam
things right.
But why the Okanagan; why not
California or even France?
Lui acknowledges it would likely be simpler.
“I have the luxury to go anywhere. I could make wine in
Bordeaux. … I have the financial backup to do it,” he said.
“[But] I don’t want it to be like
it was before, where 25 days of
my time was in China, or 10 days
in Europe and a few days in the
States looking for business. I
want to stay close to my family
[in Vancouver].”
Winemaking, he says, has given
him a freedom he never had –
freedom to golf, volunteer at his
daughter’s school and spend time
with his family.
Meanwhile, he hopes his connections in Asia will advance the
reputation of the Okanagan wine
industry, alongside the likes of
Osoyoos Larose, Painted Rock
Estate Winery and others.
“I can use my experience, my
connections, to make things happen,” he said. “But we need a lot
of people like Painted Rock, myself … in order to promote Canadian wine. You cannot just have
one guy go.” •
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February 24–March 2, 2015
wineries in
in B.C.
of wine produced in litres in 2013
Ranked BY | Volume
of wine produced in litres in 2013
Top local executive(s)
Gray Monk Cellars Ltd
1055 Camp Rd, Lake Country V4V 2H4
P: 250-766-3168 F: 250-766-3390
Quails' Gate Winery
3303 Boucherie Rd, West Kelowna V1Z 2H3
P: 250-769-4451 F: 250-769-3451
Sumac Ridge Estate Winery
17403 Hwy 97 N, Summerland V0H 1Z0
P: 250-494-0451 F: 250-494-3456
Inniskillin Okanagan
7857 Tucelnuit Dr, Oliver V0H 1T2
P: 250-498-4500 F: NP
Chaberton Estate Winery
1064 216 St, Langley V2Z 1R3
P: 604-530-1736 F: 604-533-9687
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
537 Tinhorn Creek Rd, Box 2010, Oliver V0H 1T0
P: 250-498-3743 F: 250-498-3228
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
500 Burrowing Owl Pl, Oliver V0H 1T1
P: 877-498-0620 F: NP
CedarCreek Estate Winery
5445 Lakeshore Rd, Kelowna V1W 4S5
P: 778-738-1020 F: 250-764-2603
Lulu Island Winery
16880 Westminster Hwy, Richmond V6V 1A8
P: 604-232-9839 F: 604-232-9836
Hester Creek Estate Winery
877 Road 8, Box 1605, Oliver V0H 1T0
P: 866-498-4435 F: 250-498-4461
Blasted Church Vineyards
378 Parsons Rd, Okanagan Falls V0H 1R5
P: 250-497-1125 F: 250-497-1126
See Ya Later Ranch
2575 Green Lake Rd, Okanagan Falls V0H 1R0
P: 250-497-8267 F: 250-497-8073
Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery
829 Douglas Rd, Kelowna V1Z 1N9
P: 250-769-8803 F: 250-769-9330
Robert Heiss, operations
Poplar Grove Winery
425 Middle Bench Rd N, Penticton V2A 8S5
P: 250-493-9463 F: 250-492-9439
Nk'Mip Cellars
1400 Rancher Creek Rd, Osoyoos V0H 1V0
P: 250-495-2985 F: 250-495-2986
St Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery Ltd
5205 Lakeshore Rd, Kelowna V1W 4J1
P: 250-764-7888 F: 604-764-0499
Majority owner(s)
Total acreage/
In production
Year founded Volume in
litres '13/'12
George Heiss Jr., Roger George Heiss Sr., Robert Heiss, Western Canada/
Trudy Heiss, George Heiss Jr. Pinot Gris, Latitude 50 White
and Steven Heiss
Tony Stewart, CEO and
Nikki Callaway
Stewart family
Across Canada, the Pacific Northwest
and Asia/
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Jody Levesque, brand
Jason James
Constellation Brands
Cabernet Merlot, Gewürztraminer,
Stellers Jay Brut
Derek Kontkanen, winemaker Derek Kontkanen
Constellation Brands
Western Canada /
Eugene Kwan, proprietor
Barbara Hall
B.C. only/
Bacchus, Chaberton White, Chaberton
Red, Valley Cab
Kenn Oldfield, chair, Sandra
Oldfield, CEO, president,
Jim Wyse, founder and
proprietor, Chris Wyse,
Scott Locke, general manager
Sandra Oldfield, Korol Bob and Barb Shaunessy,
Kenn and Sandra Oldfield,
Shaun Everest
David Saysomsack
Wyse family (Jim and Midge
Wyse, proprietors)
Western Canada1/
Darryl Brooker
VMF Estates
B.C. (90%), Alberta/
Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris 110
Allison Lu, director
John Chang
John Chang
Asia; export 80%, retail 20%/
Curt Garland, owner, Mark
Sheridan, general manager
Robert Summers
Curt Garland
B.C., Western Canada/
Tanya Martin, general
Mark Wendenburg
Evelyn and Chris Campbell
Jody Levesque, brand
Dave Carson
Constellation Brands
Kal Gidda, proprietor,
viticulturalist, farmer, Nirmal
Gidda, cellar and business
operations manager
Tony Holler, president and
Jim Faulkner
Nirmal Gidda and Kal Gidda
B.C., Alberta/
Hatfield's Fuse, Big Bang Theory, Pinot
Gris, Syrah
Western Canada/
SYL Gewürztraminer, SYL Pinot Noir, SYL
Rover (Shiraz Viognier )
Stefan Arnason
Tony Holler and Ian
Across Canada, China, Japan, Hong Kong/
The Legacy, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot
Western Canada/
B.C., Alberta, Ontario, U.S., Japan, China,
Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Oak Bay Gamay,
Oak Bay Foch
B.C, Alberta/
Reserve Pinot Noir, Reserve Chardonnay,
Grand Total Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc,
B.C., Western Canada/
Anthony Cheng and Eugene
Primary markets/
Bestselling wines in '13
Clarence Louie, chief, Osoyoos Randy Picton
Indian Band, Josie Tyabji,
general manager
Leo Gebert, president and
Andrew Lebioda
vintner, Andy Gebert, vintner
Osoyoos Indian Band and
Constellation Brands
Black Hills Estate Winery
4318 Black Sage Rd, Oliver V0H 1T1
P: 250-498-0666 F: 250-498-0690
La Frenz Estate Winery
1520 Randolph Rd, Penticton V2A 8T5
P: 250-492-6690 F: NP
Glenn Fawcett, president
Graham Pierce
Limited partnership
Jeff Martin, production
Jeff Martin, Dom
Niva and Jeff Martin
Stag's Hollow Winery and Vineyard Ltd
2237 Sun Valley Way, Okanagan Falls V0H 1R2
P: 250-497-6162 F: 250-497-6152
Township 7 Vineyards and Winery
21152 16 Ave, Langley V2Z 1K3
P: 604-532-1766 F: 604-532-1752
Laughing Stock Vineyards
1548 Naramata Rd, Pentiction V2A 8T7
P: 250-493-8466 F: 250-492-2363
Larry Gerelus, president,
Dwight Sick
Linda Pruegger, general
Mike Raffan, general manager Mary McDermott
Linda Pruegger and Larry
Mike Raffan
Mostly B.C, across Canada/
Cynthia Enns, co-owner
David and Cynthia Enns
Across Canada/
David Enns
Leo and Andy Gebert
Sources: Interviews with wineries and BIV research. Other wineries (Mission Hill, Jackson-Triggs, etc.) may have
ranked but did not provide information by deadline. NP Not provided 1 - Occasionally farther east to
Manitoba and Ontario 2 - Between 120 and 130 acres
Business in Vancouver makes every attempt to publish accurate information in the List, but
accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Researched by Carrie Schmidt, [email protected]
Next week’s list – Biggest consulting engineering firms in B.C.
B.c. softwar
developer saP
canada is a
giant | 20–
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Call: 604-608-5158 | Email: [email protected]
EndorsEd by
February 24–March 2, 2015
Retail | Wine sales in B.C. topped $1 billion in 2014
Record sales
The amount of money spent on wine in British Columbia
increased 7.03% to $1.03 billion in 2014 compared with
2013 – the first time sales in B.C. have surpassed $1 billion
Outpacing imports
Sales of Canadian-made wines in B.C. are increasing at
a faster pace than those of imported wine, rising 7.89%
to 36.4 million litres in 2014 compared with 2013, while
import wine sales increased 3.32% to 32.5 million litres
Rising receipts
Spending for Canadian-made wine in B.C. rose 8.9% to
almost $470 million, while spending for imported wine
increased 5.51% to $564.8 million
source: British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch
Australia aims to reverse decline of its wine sales in B.C.
Imports | Country
bets hosting Vancouver International Wine Festival will raise products’ profile
Millions of dollars
Millions of litres
Australian wine sales in B.C.
1 2 3
05 0600 08 09010 01 01 01 014
20 20 2 20 20 2 2 2 2 2
Volume (millions of litres)
Millions of dollars
Source: British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch
Vancouver International Wine Festival director Harry Hertscheg has regularly seen local sales rise for wines
from countries designated as the festival’s theme regions | Rob Kruyt
By Glen Korstrom
[email protected]
he privilege of becoming
the theme region at the
Vancouver International
Wine Festival (VIWF) can cost
about $500,000, but countries
eagerly pay the bill because they
view the extravaganza, which
runs until March 1, as a wise
investment that will influence
wine-buying decisions in the
province and beyond.
No country needs a sales bump
in B.C. more than Australia,
which is hosting the festival this
T he l a nd Dow n Under h a s
watched its B.C. sales decrease
each year since hitting an alltime high of $131.2 million in
2007, when the country last
hosted VIWF.
Countries aiming to become
theme regions at VIWF tend to
be those seeking to boost sales,
raise market share and educate
buyers about the country’s wineproducing regions and selling
France achieved those targets
last year when it spent an undisclosed amount to host VIWF,
which ran for seven days starting
February 24 and included a gala
dinner before the festival’s official start.
Hosting the event helped give
French wine sales a strong first
quarter that lifted full-year 2014
sales by 7.35% to $59.5 million,
and by 4.2% to 2.5 million litres,
according to British Columbia
Liquor Distribution Bra nch
(BCLDB) statistics.
The first quarter of 2014 alone
gave France a sales jump of 13.4%
in dollars and 5.7% in volume
compared with the same quarter in 2013.
“It was a nice bump,” said Johanna Raynaud, who is public
relations director for Sopexa
Canada, wh ich orga n i zed
France’s involvement at VIWF
last year and is responsible for
all of France’s wine marketing
across Canada.
California was the festival’s
theme region the previous year;
it too was able to watch its wine
sales in B.C. jump in both dollars
spent and volume purchased in
A u s t ra l i a n w i ne i ndu s t r y
insiders are aware of VIWF’s
influence and have been keen to
get in on the action.
British Columbians spent $78.5
million on Australian wine in
2014. That’s 40.2% less than in
2007. The province’s wine buyers
also purchased 39.6% less Australian wine by volume in 2014,
compared with 2007.
“That [sales and volume drop]
puts us in a position to rethink
ou r messa g i ng a nd how we
present ourselves,” said Shelley Hamer-Jackson, who is Wine
Australia’s market development
and communications manager
for North America. “Our goal
is to reinvigorate the category
by driving consumers back and
introducing them to the new face
of Australia.”
Australia wants to be known for
more than being home to big, bold
shiraz wines, Hamer-Jackson
said. Increasingly, the country
is producing quality cool-climate
white wines and non-traditional
varietal wines.
Growers in the Hunter Valley,
near Sydney, for example, tout
their Sémillon wines as being
some of the best in the world.
“Existing grape varieties are
evolving too,” she said. “Shiraz
and Chardonnay have undergone
an evolution and now there’s a
whole spectru m of styles to
choose from.”
Wi ne Au st ra l i a w i l l pu mp
close to $500,000 directly into
hosting VIWF, with $225,000 of
that coming from participating
wineries. When money spent on
travel, wine and other related
costs are included, Australia’s
hosting commitment will have a
nearly $1.5 million effect on the
region’s economy, she said.
Wine Australia’s spending also
includes airfare and accommodation for 22 people who are either
in the media or buy large volumes
of wine for retail chains, such as
California’s BevMo.
VIWF’s influence is far-reaching
and continues to grow, said Harry
Hertscheg, who has been the festival’s director since 2001.
“Various major media have
said that no other festival comes
close in Canada to our influence
and few wine fairs anywhere can
match our magnitude or joie de
vivre,” Hertscheg said. “We use
those testimonials to communicate with our partners.”
He believes that the better postfestival sales that theme regions
enjoy stem partly from the VIWF
partnering with the BCLDB,
which holds in-store promotions
to highlight the host region.
Raynaud said the BCLDB gave
heightened visibility to French
products last year. One initiative
included a one-time purchase of
pallets of wine from boutique
French producers who did not
have agents in B.C. and so would
not otherwise have been able to
get their products on B.C. store
This year, the BCLDB is increasing that one-time buy for
boutique Australian wineries.
“Some of the wines that the
BCLDB is buying are all iconic
producers that you just can’t
buy here,” Hamer-Jackson said.
“Wines will range in price up to
$100 or more.” •
February 24–March 2, 2015
Why email marketing
still pays off
the Canada anti-spam legislation, is email marketing still a viable strategy?
STEVE DOTTO | Host and executive
producer, Dotto Tech
ANDREW SEIPP | Principal consultant,
he rumours of its death are greatly exaggerated.
In fact, email is a more viable and cost-effective
medium for sales, marketing, prospecting and
community-building than ever before.
Sure, the new spam laws put a damper on some people’s
email lists. Many people reacted with great vigour and
immediately nuked their existing list – or, in an ironic
twist, spammed people with messages asking them to
re-enrol in the list.
The fact is, more than ever now, we are an email-centric society. The inclusion of email on every smartphone
ensures that the single best way to reach a community
is through email. For marketing types to ignore that
potential, because of a few encumbrances placed upon
the management of the system, is pure folly.
If you have content that is worth sharing, if you have a
community that is interested in receiving this content,
there is no better way to communicate with that community than through email.
I believe common sense has to raise its head at some
point in this conversation. I simply cannot believe that
our government would waste its time laying charges
against a legitimate business, reaching out through
email, to a potential customer base.
That, after all, is the fear – that because somebody
complains that an email is unsolicited, Stephen Harper’s
goon squad will descend upon our place of business and
cast us all into a deep, dark dungeon.
My best advice is to follow the rules. They are easy
enough to follow:
1. Get permission (double opt-in).
2. Have a clear unsubscribe link.
3. Regularly remove subscribers who do not open email
or whose accounts bounce or are defunct.
mail marketing is still a very effective strategy.
Despite Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)
coming into effect, legitimate email marketers have nothing to fear, especially since most email
service providers like MailChimp take care of most
compliance issues.
But email marketing is only effective if done right,
and many companies, both big and small, miss the
mark. The biggest mistake I see time and time again is
a failure to segment subscribers into distinct groups.
For example, I routinely receive promotional emails
trying to sell me accounting software that I already
purchased three months ago. Not only does this annoy
users, but it causes them to unsubscribe from future
offers that they might otherwise want. This represents
a huge loss of potential revenue.
Luckily, this can be solved with just a little bit of
planning. With proper segmentation you can automate
your lead-nurturing strategy and send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
And the results can be stunning.
According to Forrester Research, a properly executed
email nurturing strategy can result in a 50% increase
in sales-ready leads with a 33% reduction in marketing
costs. Best of all, it’s very scalable and works day in,
day out without calling in sick. Try doing that with a
Considering how inexpensive most email marketing systems are, I can’t imagine a single item in the
marketer’s toolkit that provides a better bang for your
buck. Email marketing is alive and well, and as long as
you’re following best practices, CASL shouldn’t be a
concern for your business. If you haven’t made email
a priority, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
FLAVIO MARQUEZ | Chief strategy
officer, Snaptech Marketing
anada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) has definitely been a speed bump for Canadian businesses;
however, email marketing is still a viable strategy
for those companies that have adjusted to the new laws.
Before I dive into the viability of email marketing, I
should mention that the implementation of anti-spam
regulations imposed on businesses in Canada has done
very little to prevent spam from reaching our inboxes,
because most spam comes from hijacked machines and
overseas servers.
However, I like to focus on the positives that CASL
brings to the table, because companies that had previously followed proper email etiquette were minimally
affected by the new restrictions.
Before CASL, email marketing effectiveness was
dropping dramatically year-over-year as Canadians
were being forced to sort through more and more irrelevant messages. Because of this, businesses were going
as far as buying email lists, which further reduced the
effectiveness of email marketing.
Now, with anti-spam laws in place, Canadian businesses need explicit or implicit consent before adding
someone to their marketing list. While this unfortunately means that non-consenting contacts must be
dropped from databases, there’s a silver lining. By
including only opt-in contacts in their databases,
companies vastly boost the potential effectiveness of
email campaigns, which is something all businesses
can get on board with.
Our agency still uses email marketing with a high success rate. Companies that strategically match content
and resources with the appropriate segments in their
email campaigns can still achieve great return on investment even with the new anti-spam laws in place.
Next week’s question – What should I know before deciding whether remote working is right for both me and my company?
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Applause for Liberals’ balanced attack
e wore the same black
dress shoes to deliver
this year’s budget
speech as he did last
year, and Finance
Minister Mike de Jong
told pretty much the same story for
B.C. The good news is that the government is adhering to its fiscal prudence mantra. The bad news: there’s
no sign the province’s economy will
pick up significant momentum any
time soon.
The good news:
the government
is adhering to its
fiscal prudence
Hitching its trailer to a Canadian
winner, de Jong’s speech rolled out
Team Canada world junior hockey analogies. It pointed to drive, discipline
and effective execution of a game plan
as keys to victory.
But for B.C.’s economy, there are significant hurdles to long-term victory
on many fronts and threats from the
Not long ago, for example, the Liberals had liquefied natural gas (LNG)
last laugh
pencilled in for $1 trillion in economic
activity and 100,000 new jobs.
The jobs outlook remains. Their arrival, however, has been relegated to
an opaque “over time” estimate; the
$1 trillion, meanwhile, has taken a
significant marketplace writedown.
Oil’s deep dive might have returned
much discretionary spending to B.C.
consumers, but it has also seriously
eroded LNG’s global price prospects
and drained the investment capital
pool for LNG export plant proponents.
The BC Liberal government deserves
applause for assisting on de Jong’s hat
trick: a third consecutive balanced
budget. Extending its $10 million
mining flow-through share tax credit
to the end of 2015 and increasing the
mines industry budget are also prudent decisions, as are tax credits for
digital media, animation and visual
But B.C.’s overall debt will continue
to rise: to $70.4 billion by 2017-18 from
$64.7 billion in 2014-15 when de Jong’s
previous budget was delivered.
To return to the finance minister’s
hockey analogy, the province will have
to go extremely hard to the net in the
next year and have more breaks like
last week’s federal LNG capital cost
tax relief announcement go its way in
the global arena if it hopes to maintain
B.C.’s balanced-budget win streak and
the standard of living the province’s
citizens have come to expect.
Attention, transit-bashers: TransLink is not on referendum ballot
At Large
Peter Ladner
s an organizer with the
Yes coalition on the
upcoming transit referendum, I’d be the first to admit
that last week (February 16 to
20) was not a good one for gaining support for the proposed
Congestion Improvement Tax
to finance the Mayors’ Council
vision for accommodating the
region’s next 1.1 million residents in the best interests of our
economic, social and environmental health.
The mainstream and social
media, as I write, continue to
pound on TransLink’s ability to
manage itself, the transit system and public money.
The latest decision by the
appointed board sets up the impossible optics of appearing to
pay two CEOs to do the work of
one, even though the alternatives – making no executive
change or paying out severance
– would have raised even more
If only someone would just
announce that TransLink’s
current governance will indeed
be getting an overhaul. The
mayors muse about it, but it’s
not their call. The call has to
come from the source of the
governing legislation: the provincial government.
Between the appointed board,
the Mayors’ Council and the
Ministry of Transportation, no
one seems to be in charge under
the current governance. The
referendum question deals with
this, but TransLink-bashers
delight in doubting the very
clear wording on the ballot that
promises an annual, independent, publicly reported audit of
how the new tax money is being
If TransLink accountability
what’s your opinion? were dealt with, we could then
turn that useful public scrutiny
onto accountability for other
publicly funded regional transportation decisions.
We could look at the money –
an estimated $3 billion – that
has been allocated to a new
Massey Bridge with no public
accountability and no connection to regional planning
We could look at accountability from the Ministry of
Transportation for the financial
unwinding at the Port Mann
Bridge. Built in spite of steadily declining traffic over the
Port Mann Bridge for the past
decade, the widest bridge in the
world is now facing a $3.6 billion debt financed by invisible
provincial taxes. Bridge managers desperate to increase toll
revenues are urging people to
do exactly the opposite of what
every municipal, regional and
provincial transportation plan
calls for: drive more, create
more air pollution and presumably take less transit.
We could look at accountability at the Vancouver Airport
Authority, home to unknown
hundreds of thousands of dollars of public art financed by an
invisible airport-improvement
tax, recently increased, levied
by a board that has no direct
accountability to the electorate,
overseen by a CEO who makes
more than the TransLink CEO.
Where’s the outcry from the
poodle-statue-haters about
spending on all that wonderful
public art at the airport?
Is part of the double-standard irrational opposition to
TransLink coming from car
drivers’ sublimated resistance
to supporting a transit system
they don’t think they’ll ever
use? I say “irrational” because
the people who have really investigated TransLink’s handling of public money say it’s
doing a good job.
“They’ve tightened operations over the past few years.
I don’t think they’re wasteful,”
said independent commissioner Robert Irwin after his
2013 review. Spending is “reasonable” and employee compensation is “reasonable when
compared to other organizations of similar size,” concluded
an independent 2012 provincial
government audit, prompting
then-minister of transportation
Mary Polack to say, “Everyone
agrees that TransLink provides
a world-class service that is the
envy of many jurisdictions.”
Regardless of all this, the
referendum is, alas, not about
TransLink. Anyone voting
no to fix TransLink should be
wary of how that vote will be
The only clear message it will
send is that the region doesn’t
want to financially support
desperately needed transit and
transportation upgrades. If
that’s supposed to lead to some
unspecified Plan B, that’s also
not on the ballot. The mayors’
vision is, and almost everyone
agrees it’s a good one.
Peter Ladner ([email protected]) is a
co-founder of Business in Vancouver.
| BIV welcomes readers’ opinions. All letters, including those sent by email, must include the author’s name, address and daytime
telephone number. Business in Vancouver, 303 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 1J6. Email:[email protected] We reserve the right to edit for brevity, clarity and legality.
send your free listing to [email protected]
February 24–March 2, 2015
for the record
on the Move
Email your For the Record information
to: [email protected]
Please include a high-resolution,
colour headshot where possible.
Dwayne Edwards
Dwayne Edwards
has joined Division
15 Mechanical Ltd.
as executive vicepresident and general
manager. Edwards has 29 years
of experience in mechanical
construction projects in Canada,
the U.S. and the U.K., including
the Canary Wharf development in
London. Edwards began his career as
a plumber with Niagara Contractors
Ltd. (now Modern Niagara Toronto
Inc.), advancing there to vicepresident, operations. Prior to his
current appointment, Edwards was
mechanical division manager at
Black and McDonald in Southern
Pedro Márquez
Pedro Márquez has
been appointed vicepresident, global,
marketing and business
development, at Royal
Roads University (RRU). Prior to this
appointment, Márquez was dean
of RRU’s faculty of management
for seven years, and most recently
was acting vice-president at the
university. Prior to joining RRU in
2007, Márquez held several positions
at Tecnólogico de Monterrey in
Mexico City, including dean of
the business school, academic
director of the CEMEX international
management program and
department head and professor in
the department of management and
international business.
Gordon A. Buck
Jason D. Lattanzio
Ingrid M. Tsui
Gordon A. Buck, Jason D. Lattanzio
and Ingrid M. Tsui have joined the
partnership at Alexander Holburn
Beaudin + Lang LLP. Buck is a
member of the firm’s insurance,
commercial litigation, construction
and engineering, environmental and
insolvency and restructuring practice
groups. Lattanzio is a member of
the firm’s insurance, maritime,
strata property and motor vehicle
law practice groups. Tsui leads
the immigration practice group,
while also focusing on intellectual
property, wills, estates and trusts
and corporate commercial.
Real estate
Kevin Ogle
Avison Young has
acquired Calgarybased real estate
management company
Peregrin Inc. The
acquisition adds approximately one
million square feet of property under
management to Avison Young’s
global portfolio, and 12 employees in
Calgary. Peregrin founder, president
and CEO Kevin Ogle has been named
a principal of Avison Young.
Arthur Willms has been appointed
a director at NaiKun Wind Energy
Group Inc. Willms was previously the
president and COO of Westcoast
Energy from 1991 until his retirement
in 1999. Willms has held several
directorships for companies such as
the British Columbia Lottery Corp.,
Pacific Northern Gas Ltd., Union Gas
Ltd., Crestar Energy Inc., Gulf Canada
Resources Ltd., Pristine Power Inc.,
Columbia Power Inc. and Angiotech
Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Rob Pease has retired from his
position as president and CEO of
Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. Bruce
McLeod has been appointed
president and CEO of the company.
McLeod has more than 30 years of
experience in the mining industry
and prior to this appointment was
president and CEO of Mercator
Minerals Ltd. Prior to that, McLeod
was president, CEO and director
of Creston Moly Corp. as well as a
founder of both Sherwood Copper
Corp. and Stornoway Diamond Corp.
Alan Edwards has resigned as chair
of the board of directors of Oracle
Mining Corp. In addition, Ampere
Chan, chief financial officer, has
resigned; Chan also served on the
company’s disclosure committee.
Chan has been replaced by Carlos
Escribano, who previously served as
chief financial officer for the company
from February 2011 to April 2013.
Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. has formed
a new, wholly owned subsidiary,
Peregrine Exploration Ltd. As such,
there have been several management
changes. Eric Friedland has been
appointed executive chairman
of both Peregrine Diamonds and
Peregrine Exploration; he has resigned
as CEO of Peregrine Diamonds.
Tom Peregoodoff, previously
executive vice-president, business
development, has been appointed
president and CEO of Peregrine
Diamonds. Brooke Clements has
resigned as president of Peregrine
Diamonds and has been appointed
president and CEO of Peregrine
Exploration. Herman Grutter,
currently program manager, Chidliak
Exploration, has been appointed
vice-president, technical services, at
Peregrine Diamonds.
Jennifer Maloney
Jennifer Maloney
has joined Rennie
Marketing Systems
as director of
marketing. Prior to this
appointment, Maloney was director
of marketing at Tourism Richmond
for the past three years. Previous
Al Cobb, past exalted ruler, Port Coquitlam Elks Lodge No. 49; Sylvia Zylla, director, major gifts and planned
giving, Burnaby Hospital Foundation; Reg Seguin, exalted ruler, Burnaby Elks Lodge No. 497; Doreen Peniuk,
president, Burnaby Royal Purple Lodge No. 260; and Wally Govett, past president, Burnaby Elks Lodge No.
497, with $6,000 donation cheque to the Burnaby Hospital Foundation
to Tourism Richmond, Maloney was
senior account director at Rethink
Kaja Salovsky
Kaja Salovsky has been
appointed director of
sales, global, at Kryton
International Inc. and
will be leading the
company’s international sales team.
Salovsky has more than 20 years of
senior sales leadership experience;
recent roles include executive director
of sales at Essilor Canada, regional
sales manager at Canwel Hardware
and area sales director at DHL
Maureen Hughes has been appointed
VP, U.S. sales, at Burnaby-based
Aquilon Software. Prior to this
appointment, Hughes was director,
competitive marketing, cloud and
enterprise, at Microsoft. Hughes
is based out of Aquilon’s Bellevue,
Washington, office.
Graeme Watson has been appointed
to Calyx Bio-Ventures Inc.’s board
of directors. Watson was most
recently president and CEO of Infosat
Norm Lo, a wireless Internet executive
and former BlackBerry vice-president,
has joined the advisory board of
FusionPipe Software Solutions Inc.
Lincoln Heaney
Lincoln Heaney has
joined Western Canada
Marine Response Corp.
(WCMRC) as aboriginal
relations adviser. Prior
to joining WCMRC, Heaney was
director of implementation at B.C.’s
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations
and Reconciliation. In his new role,
Heaney will develop and maintain
relationships with aboriginal
communities in order to ensure an
effective delivery of spill response
on the move
New Address
Golder Associates Ltd. has relocated
its Burnaby and Vancouver Hastings
offices to a new merged location at
200 – 2920 Virtual Way, Vancouver,
V5M 0C4. Telephone (604-296-4200)
and fax (604-298-5253) numbers
remain the same.
Hats Off
Business in Vancouver welcomes submissions from local small businesses
and large corporations alike that
demonstrate examples of corporate
philanthropy and community involvement in the Vancouver area. Highresolution images are also welcome.
The Rotary Club of Langley Central
donated $30,000 to Reach Child and
Youth Development Society, a nonprofit that serves children with special
needs and specializes in children with
autism spectrum disorder. The funds
were raised through the club’s 25th
annual wine tasting festival. Focus
Foundation of BC, a non-profit that
helps troubled teens, youth with
learning disabilities and children who
fail to succeed in high school in B.C.,
also received funds.
Telus Vancouver Community Board
donated $10,000 to Big Brothers of
Greater Vancouver in support of the
Big Brothers aboriginal mentoring
Mr. Lube Canada donated $30,000
to the Zajac Foundation. The
funds will go to the Zajac Ranch
for Children – a fully accessible
western-style ranch and camp
experience for children with
disabilities and serious and chronic
National Bank has selected 175
projects across Canada, including
nine programs in the Lower
Mainland, to receive support
through its One for Youth regional
committees program. Some 27,000
youths will benefit from financial
support awarded by 12 regional
committees. Recipients from coast
to coast will share in $1 million which
will go towards the implementation
of youth initiatives.
Customers of Vancouver-area
Whole Foods Market stores
donated $89,188.28 to the Greater
Vancouver Food Bank Society.
Funds were raised through Whole
Foods’ Feed 4 More donation
The British Columbia Securities
Commission (BCSC) recently invited
the Greater Vancouver Food Bank
Society to lead a lunch-and-learn
for BCSC staff. The session was
followed by a donation of $3,190 to
the society on behalf of commission
Elks of Burnaby Lodge No. 497 and
Royal Purple Lodge No. 260 donated
$6,000 to Burnaby Hospital
Foundation. Since 2003, the lodges
have donated a total of $40,500 to
the foundation.
Scotiabank Bright Future donated
$15,000 to the Canucks Autism
Network. The funds will be used to
support the network’s adaptive I
CAN Play sports programs. •
for the record
February 24–March 2, 2015
Lawsuit of the week
B.C. government sues over repair costs to Oak Street Bridge
The provincial government is suing Wayden Transportation Systems Inc.,
Roynat Inc. and Lafarge Canada Inc. to recover repair costs to the Oak Street
Bridge after a tugboat lost control of a barge and struck one of the span’s
supporting protection piers.
The government, named as Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Province of
British Columbia, filed a notice of civil claim in BC Supreme Court on February
6, claiming repair costs to the bridge totalled $575,087.
On February 8, 2013, the Alison Nicole 1 was pulling the James Dale, a tug and
barge owned by Wayden, down the Fraser River near Richmond when its John
Doe operator lost control and struck the bridge’s south protection pier, according to the claim. The barge was empty at the time, but it carries sand and
gravel otherwise, and was being moved at the behest of Lafarge Canada, the
lawsuit says. The “allision” caused the bridge’s pilings and pier protection to
break off and “were loose in the Fraser River for some time,” the claim states,
adding that the cleanup of the debris was completed over the next month.
The government seeks a judgment in the amount of the repair costs to the
bridge. The allegations have not been proven in court and the defendants had
not filed a response by press time.
Law Society of
British Columbia
The Law Society of British Columbia
(LSBC) announced February 4 that a
100 Mile House lawyer’s suspension
will be substituted with a fine.
The LSBC’s review board set aside
a suspension for lawyer Douglas
Dent. In January 2014, a hearing
panel ordered Dent suspended for
improperly withdrawing trust funds
to pay fees and disbursements.
Dent had admitted to using $2,000
he was holding in trust to recover
legal fees and disbursements from
his client. The money was supposed
to be forwarded to his client’s spouse
in equalization payments under the
terms of a separation agreement.
The panel found that Dent put his
own interests ahead of his client’s by
withdrawing the funds from the trust
account without consent in order to
be compensated for his work.
The review board, however,
concluded that the 45-day
suspension is outside the
appropriate range of disciplinary
action in this case.
The board has instead ordered that
Dent pay a $5,000 fine plus the cost
of the hearing.
British Columbia
Securities Commission
On February 12, the British Columbia
Securities Commission (BCSC)
announced that one of its panels has
found that Rodney Jack Wharram
and three companies for which he is
a director and president committed
fraud. In its decision, the panel found that
Wharram, West Karma Ltd. and
the Falls Capital Corp. committed
fraud when they took $139,000
from Falls Capital, deposited it with
West Karma, and then used it for
Wharram’s personal expenses. The panel also found Wharram,
West Karma and Deercrest
Construction Fund Inc. committed
fraud when they took $130,000
from Deercrest, deposited it with
West Karma, and then used it for
Wharram’s personal expenses.
Wharram and Deercrest were found
to have committed fraud when
they took $265,000 directly from
Deercrest’s bank accounts and used
it for Wharram’s personal expenses.
Writing about the deprivation
caused by Wharram and his
companies’ misconduct, the panel
wrote, “The investors have lost all the
money Wharram used for personal
purposes. There is no evidence of
repayment.” The panel added, “The
evidence is clear that Wharram
had subjective knowledge of the
prohibited acts. He knew that funds
were being diverted for personal
expenses.” In its decision, the panel also
found that Wharram made false
statements to commission staff and
dismissed other allegations of fraud.
No penalty has yet been determined.
Companies listed below, which are
not accredited by the Better Business
Bureau, have failed to respond, as of
February 13, to Better Business Bureau
of Mainland BC’s efforts to mediate
complaints from February 1 to February
7. In some instances, the company may
have taken care of the complaint and
considered the matter closed, or may
believe the complaint is unjustified;
however, if the BBB has not received
a response, records cannot reveal
either position. Please note that BBB
accredited businesses must respond to
customer complaints that are brought
to their attention. The companies
listed are not members of this Better
Business Bureau.
Source: BBB.
ABC Engineering Service, Sun Peaks
Auto Depot Ltd., West Vancouver
CitiFinancial, Montreal
ComCanada Communications Inc.,
Cosmo Motors Ltd., Richmond
Destination Vancouver Hyundai,
Dream2Travel, Vancouver
Fairway Glass (2012) Ltd., Burnaby
Money Network, Vancouver
Pacific West Van Lines, Richmond
Regent Construction, Kelowna
Sammy’s Carpet & Hardwood Ltd.,
Sears Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners,
Tastygo Online Inc., Vancouver, New
Vision Automotive Repair Ltd.,
Prince George
Whistler Platinum Reservations
Ltd., Whistler
The following companies have
responded to the BBB subsequent to
being published:
Continental Auto Body, Richmond
Welcoming our new partner - Jennifer Marles
Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala LLP is pleased to
welcome Jennifer Marles as a partner of the firm.
Jennifer was called to the Bar of British Columbia
in 2008. She completed her legal studies at the
University of Victoria, where she received numerous
awards, including the Law Society of British
Columbia Gold Medal for being the top student in her
graduating class. As part of her law degree, Jennifer
completed an International Intellectual Property Law summer program at
the University of Oxford. Prior to articling with the firm, Jennifer completed
a clerkship at the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver. As a
patent agent, she was awarded the J. Edward Maybee Memorial Prize
for earning the highest mark overall on the 2009 patent agent’s qualifying
examination. She is the firm’s fourth lawyer to receive this distinction.
Jennifer practices in all areas of intellectual property, with a particular
emphasis on prosecuting patent applications in the biotechnology,
chemical, and medical device fields. Jennifer also assists clients with
conducting freedom-to-operate analyses. From 2009 to 2013, Jennifer
served on the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada’s Joint Liaison
Committee — Trademarks, and she currently serves on the Intellectual
Property Institute of Canada’s Joint Liaison Committee — Patents.
Jennifer is also an adjunct professor of law at the University of British
Columbia where she lectures on copyright law.
Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala LLP is Western Canada’s largest independent
intellectual property law firm. Established in 1977, our Vancouver law firm
is deeply rooted in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, and our
wide-reaching network of associates enables us to advance our clients’
interests around the world.
Ph: (604) 669-3432
[email protected]
For all your
immigration needs
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“PwC”) is pleased to announce that
PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP, a law firm affiliated with
PwC, has opened an office in Vancouver. This immigration law firm joins the
global PwC immigration network of over 1,000 immigration lawyers and
specialists across a network of 128 countries. The Vancouver immigration
office provides clients with strategic guidance, compliant strategies and
ongoing support in all aspects of Canadian, U.S. and global immigration.
Susan Martyn
Barrister and Solicitor
Member of the Bar of British Columbia
604 806 7177
[email protected]
Specialty: Canadian business immigration law, with
a focus on the engineering, construction and natural
resource extraction sectors
Beth Nanton
Senior Attorney-at-Law, and Barrister and Solicitor
Member of the Bars of British Columbia, Ontario and New York
604 806 7150
[email protected]
Specialty: US business immigration law, with emphasis
on the information technology, finance, and natural
resources sectors
PricewaterhouseCoopers Place
250 Howe Street, Suite 700
Vancouver BC V6C 3S7
© 2015 “PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP” is a law firm affiliated with
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership. 4117-02 0115
February 24–March 2, 2015
These corporate writs were filed with
the BC Supreme Court registry in
Vancouver. Information is derived
from notices of civil claim. Civil claims
have yet to be proven in court.
Keg Restaurants Ltd.
Tucson Oro Valley Keg LLC
$5,913,301 for debt owing on a
judgment from the Superior Court of
the State of Arizona for the County of
Southview Sorting Ltd.
Clean Harbors Exploration Services
$400,012 for land clearing and
ground mulching services.
Banks Island Gold Ltd.
Gladiator Equipment Inc.
$322,707 for an equipment lease.
BR Black Rock Drilling & Blasting Inc.
and Shane Adams and Terry Adams
for the record
Royal Bank of Canada
$126,816 for debt.
Avalon Fencing Div. of 1399317
Alberta Ltd. and 1399317 Alberta Ltd.
Prolink Supply Ltd.
$121,076 for fencing products.
Taneem Enterprise Ltd.
Xerox Canada Ltd.
$117,514 for defaulting on an
equipment lease.
Top Vision Developments Inc. and
Carnarvon Garden Development Ltd.
and Wan Tao Wang and Jia Guo Sui
Lu Tang Architecture Ltd.
$83,199 for architecture and
development work.
Graceland Construction and Bruce
Wheeler and 44280 Yukon Inc. and
Michael Birdman
Spring Cove Enterprises Ltd.
$75,893 for mining equipment.
Banks Island Gold Ltd.
Corix Water Products LP
$57,595 for water products.
Teliphone Navigata-Westel
Communication Inc.
Insight Canada Inc.
$38,068 for information technology
JRS Engineering Ltd.
The Owners Strata Plan VR 1642
Damages for breach of contract after
defendant installed defective and
dangerous sliding doors in plaintiff’s
Smithrite Disposal Ltd.
Lucas Kelsch and Kelsch Holdings
Damages for breach of contract
arising from defendant’s
improper withholding of funds for
subcontracted waste disposal work.
Marek W. Bragiel and Worldsource
Management Inc.
Iwona Wdowiak and Kinga Wdowiak
Damages for breach of contract
and breach of fiduciary duty for
misrepresentation and investment
W.I. Mortgage Pros Ltd. dba
Dominion Lending Centres
Mortgage Pros and Margaret Schulz
and Kevin Janzen and Jeffrey Arthur
Armada Mortgage Corp.
Damages for professional negligence
after plaintiff granted a mortgage
on a property based on defendants’
inflated property appraisal.
B & B Heavy Civil Construction Ltd.
David Pakozdi
Damages for wrongful dismissal
after plaintiff was fired as a bid
manager one year into a five-year
McKenna’s Warehouse &
Distribution Centres Inc.
Curtis International Ltd.
Join us to celebrate exceptional
business women in Bc
Business in Vancouver is once again recognizing BC’s most outstanding
business women in private or public sector companies. Honourees have
risen through the ranks to become senior executives or entrepreneurs.
Through corporate board placements they help influence and shape policy
at some of Canada’s largest companies.
March 4, 2015
The Fairmont Waterfront hotel
900 canada Place | Vancouver, Bc
Damages for breach of contract
after defendant invoiced plaintiff
for services that were improperly
performed or not performed at all.
Three Buoys Development Corp. and
Three Buoys Management Corp. and
0786679 B.C. Ltd. and Henry Martin
Vellner and Robert Todd Millar
1244439 Alberta Ltd.
Damages for shareholder oppression.
Banks Island Gold Ltd.
Gladiator Equipment Inc.
Damages for breach of contract
arising from defendant’s failure
to pay for equipment rentals
and improper use of plaintiff’s
To View Lawsuits Online, go to
BIV Datebook online
For a comprehensive and
searchable list of networking
events in the Lower Mainland,
go to Business in Vancouver’s
Datebook at
The 2015 winners are:
Nancy McKinstry
(Lifetime Achievement Award)
Director, HSBC Bank Canada
Carolyn Cross
Chairman and CEO,
Ondine Biomedical Inc
Debra Hewson
President and CEO,
Odlum Brown Limited
Fiona Macfarlane
Managing Partner, Vancouver and
Western Canada, Ernst & Young LLP
Renee Wasylyk
Principal, Troika Development
Non-Subscriber price: $145
Subscriber price: $115
Corporate tables: $1,750
Susan Yurkovich
Executive Vice President, BC Hydro
Winners were profiled in
the February 10th issue of
Business in Vancouver.
Check out full event details at
Gold Sponsors:
General Sponsors:
make it great
February 24–March 2, 2015
Restaurant profits start with the right real estate
Volume Based Prices
Rent’s everything.
That’s your biggest fixed
Print More Save More
expense you can’t control.
More Than
Chen now owns a total of
five restaurants in Vancouver,
North Vancouver and Richesmond Chen started
mond and employs 130 people.
working in the restaurant
Chen believes having a good
Of Outstanding Service
business at the age of 13
understanding of how commercial leasing works can be a
in his father’s first restaurant,
asset in the restaurant
Thai House, on Robson Street.
M-F 8 am - 6 pm • Weekends 10As
aman- 6older
pm •teen,
In 1999, he bet on
Yaletown’s metamorphosis
helping to manage his family’s
from warehouse district to chic
holdings during the
Tel: 604-731-7868 property
residential and commercial hot
day while continuing to work
spot; in 2010, Chen opened Pink
the restaurant at night. He in
Elephant Thai on Alberni Street
opened his first restaurant,
at the start of that street’s
Urban Thai Bistro, in Yaletown
transformation into a high-end
in 1999 when he was just 24.
retail destination.
“From dealing with the floor
“Back in 2010 when we opened
plans to interior design …
it, we noticed Alberni Street
to the renos, to making sure
was going to be the new Robson
everything was on time and
Street,” he said. “We negotiated
budget, it was probably
a very reasonable lease at that
one of the best experiences I
Desmond chen
time. With a reasonable rent
could have,” Chen said. “No
you can do well there.”
one could ever learn that in
House Ventures
That contrasts with Robson
By Jen St. Denis
[email protected]
Rush or Same Day Service Always FREE
Colour Architectural &
Engineering Line Drawings
Everything else you can
control: your payroll
costs, your food costs
Desmond Chen
President, Thai House Ventures
Street, he said, which has some
of the highest retail rents in
the country – as high as $100
to $200 per square foot. Chen’s
family sold their Robson Street
restaurant several years ago,
which was on the second floor
and therefore rented for about
a third less than a street-level
“Rent’s everything. That’s
your biggest fixed expense you
can’t control. Everything else
you can control: your payroll
costs, your food costs,” Chen
Chen noted that while Alberni
Street is fully leased at the moment, several vacancies on
Robson Street are evidence of
the churn caused by very high
rents on that street.
“I don’t know how businesses
survive on Robson,” he said.
On rent’s relation to
profit | “You can be in one
of the best locations on Robson
Street and be paying prime, or
you could be somewhere else,
on East Broadway [for instance]
and paying literally 25% of that,
and your sales would not be
as much as Robson Street but
you’d be profiting more.” •
Next Life Lesson:
Judy Poole, financial adviser, Raymond James
B/W Drawings
• Copies
• Scans
Ofa work
or life challenge
taught you a key
career lesson?
Jen St. Denis at [email protected]
M-F 8 am - 6 pm • Weekends 10 am - 6 pm • 1950 West Broadway, Vancouver
business to business
Tel: 604-731-7868
Business internet access
Fast & Friendly Service Since 1987
Reports, Newsletters, Training Manuals, Booklets
Architectural Drawings, Full Colour Large Format Posters
Brochures, Business Cards, Fax Service, Plus more
M-F 8 am - 6 pm • Weekends 10 am - 6 pm • 1950 West Broadway, Vancouver
Tel: 604-731-7868
Fax: 604-731-3830
Custom Precision Sheet Metal
and Machined Components for
Manufacturing Companies
WATERJET CUTTING: Our new OMAX Abrasive Waterjet cutting machine can cut through 10” of titanium.
LASER CUTTING: We use a 4,000 Watt beam of light to
cut through 1” of steel.
Come for a plant tour!
HANSEN INDUSTRIES LTD. Since 1975 | [email protected]
• Full Internet Service
Provider since 1996
• Now serving Canada,
coast to coast
• Power-up your LAN with ADSL, Wireless or Fibre
• VPN, Bonding, VoIP, Co-locate, or Web Hosting [email protected]
The Sounding Board newspaper provides analysis and
discussion of regional and national issues facing the
business community, along with input from member
companies, allowing them to raise their profile in the
business community.
Sounding Board is read by leading business executives
and their employees.
Distribution includes:
•all BIV subscribers,
•all Vancouver Board of Trade members,
•and members of the Burnaby and Surrey
boards of trade
Space close: March 23 for the April issue
For more information on advertising contact:
Katharine Wilson
Ph : 604-240-1678
e-mail: [email protected]
Published monthly by
Mott 32 offers exceptional farm-to-table cuisine, a vibrant atmosphere and the highest level of
attentive, discrete service ensuring an experience unmatched anywhere in Vancouver. Trump Vancouver
is bringing the best to Vancouver in order to offer an unprecedented level of refined living.
Trump International Hotel & Tower® Vancouver the best place to live, dine & play.
trumpVANCOUVER.COM 604 568 7888
Trump International Hotel & Tower® Vancouver is not owned, developed or sold by Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their principals or affiliates. West Georgia Holdings Inc. and West Georgia Development Limited Partnership are the owners and developers
of the property, and use the “Trump” name and mark under license from DT Marks Vancouver LP, which license may be terminated or revoked according to its terms. Illustrations and renderings are artists’ or designers’ depictions only, are not necessarily to scale and may
differ from completed improvements. Scenes may include locations or activities not on or near the property. Except as set out in the contract of purchase and sale, there are no direct or collateral representations or warranties, express or implied, statutory or otherwise,
including without limitation arising out of this advertisement or any other marketing material. *Features, facilities, amenities, services, ownership privileges and programs are proposed only and are subject to change or cancellation. This is not an offering for sale as an
offering can only be made by disclosure statement, and only in jurisdictions where qualified in accordance with applicable local laws. E.&O.E.
Economy and Finance
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