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Victoria’s Hotel Grand Pacific Debuts On List Of World’s Best Hotels

Dec 16, 2014

Victoria’s Hotel Grand Pacific Debuts On List Of World’s Best Hotels

(News Release) VICTORIA – For the first time, respected U.S. travel magazine Travel + Leisure has named Victoria’s Hotel Grand Pacific as one of the world’s top places to stay in its annual “T+L 500” feature.

The hotel is the only Victoria property included on the list, and is one of just ten British Columbian hotels and resorts to make the cut.
The “T+L 500” list was determined by the magazine’s readers through its annual survey, with the results appearing in the January 2015 issue of the magazine. Properties are rated on rooms/facilities, location, service, restaurants and food, as well as value. Earlier this year, the same magazine also ranked the Hotel Grand Pacific in the top 10 on its list of “Top City Hotels in Canada,” as part of their 2014 “World’s Best” Awards.

“It’s such an honour to be recognized by a publication as esteemed as Travel + Leisure,” said Reid James, general manager of the Hotel Grand Pacific. “We’ve recently started a major renovation to the property, so we’re looking forward to providing future guests with a hotel experience that is even more exceptional once our upgrades are complete.”

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Neverblue Launches Full Service Ad Serving Network, adZerve

Dec 16, 2014



(News Release) VICTORIA — Neverblue, a leading performance marketing company, today launched its proprietary ad serving platform, adZerve (http://www.adzerve.com ) to better monetize ad inventory for site owners, and increase global distribution for advertisers.

adZerve is a global, full service ad serving platform that provides premium, managed ad operations for top tier advertisers, agencies and publishers across every major digital advertising vertical.

adZerve builds on Neverblue’s ten-years as a trusted partner in the global performance marketing industry. adZerve’s fully managed platform provides advertisers with full transparency on their campaigns placements while giving publishers direct access to top tier advertisers.

“adZerve is the natural expansion for Neverblue,” said Bjorn Hougaard, Vice President of Network for Neverblue. “Our global inventory of thousands of brand advertisers can provide 100% fill rates for our site owners. Our advertisers receive qualified global distribution partners across 5 continents.” he added.

With nearly 200 employees and expansion to offices in Asia, Europe and the U.S., Neverblue is continuing to aggressively grow its business operations.

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China’s First Environmental Management Graduate Students Receive Joint Royal Roads, Tianjin University Degree

Dec 15, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Thirty six students have graduated from China’s first environmental management master’s degree program – a two year program jointly offered by Royal Roads University and Tianjin University of Technology (TUT).

“This program is a unique collaboration between Royal Roads and our Chinese academic partner in Tianjin that provides environmental education which has become critically important in China,” says President and Vice-chancellor of Royal Roads Allan Cahoon who participated at the ceremony in Tianjin last month. “We were able to apply our almost twenty years’ experience delivering environmental education in the development of this degree. This graduation is a proud moment for both the graduates and the two institutions.”

Tianjin University of Technology President Hongyang Jing says the collaborative effort with Royal Roads and its team of environmental science experts and scholars has provided excellent results.

“Together we have cultivated senior environmental management professionals with intercultural communication ability, who think logically and critically with global vision and who are replete with academia concerned with sustainable development,” says Jing. “This is exactly how we can meet our country’s professional demand within the field of environmental science and environmental resource management.”

In early 2011 Royal Roads received approval by the Chinese Ministry of Education to jointly deliver a Master of Arts in Environmental Management, the country’s first graduate level environmental management program. Working with educators from TUT, Royal Roads jointly created a face-to-face program taught by faculty from both institutions that began the fall of 2012 on the Tianjin campus. This is the first graduating cohort from the program.

Royal Roads faculty member Tony Boydell, who was instrumental in the delivery of the joint initiative, says there was great learning involved all around.

“We have collaborated well throughout this process, combining our experiences, knowledge and innovation to further environmental management and environment-focussed leadership in China,” says Boydell. “We have learned a great deal from each other regarding innovative and sustainable solutions to our environmental challenges and I think it’s the students who will benefit the most.”

Royal Roads University, a public university established in 1995, offers a progressive model of post-secondary education, delivering applied and professional programs through the faculties of management and social and applied sciences. The university offers its students a unique blended learning experience, combining online and on-campus instruction, as well as full time intensive on-campus instruction in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees, certificates and diplomas. It also offers progressive executive, custom and continuing studies programs.

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Bc Ferries Eliminates Fuel Surcharge Before The Holidays

Dec 15, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – BC Ferries’ President and CEO Mike Corrigan announced today that the 3.4 per cent fuel surcharge will be removed as of Wednesday, December 17, 2014.

“With the current favourable market conditions, we have been hedging our diesel fuel costs and are now in a position to eliminate the fuel surcharge, which is great news for holiday travellers,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “We know that fare affordability is an issue for our customers and we are pleased to be able to reduce the cost of ferry travel, as every bit helps.”

BC Ferries still has an outstanding balance in its fuel deferral account, but the remainder continues to drop and forecasts indicate that the balance will be reduced to zero in the first half of 2015.

Under contract to the Province of British Columbia, BC Ferries is the service provider responsible for the delivery of safe, efficient and dependable ferry service along coastal British Columbia.

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Top 10 Companies Announced For Small Business BC Awards

Dec 12, 2014

(News Release) BRITISH COLUMBIA —  The Top 10 semi-finalists for the 12th Annual Small Business BC Awards have now been selected. These awards acknowledge the contribution that over 400,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs in our province make to their local communities and the global economy.

From October 1 to November 30, British Columbians were asked to nominate and vote for their favourite small businesses. This year was the biggest year yet for the competition with over 460 nominations received from upwards of 70 communities across the province.

Nominated companies were given two months to gain as many votes as possible through word-of-mouth, social media, e-communications and other creative means. Those who activated their communities and received the most votes have been named Top 10 semi-finalists.

These small businesses will now move forward to face a panel of judges, who will review their applications, and based on the award criteria, narrow down the competition to the Top 5 finalists in each category.


Best Concept
Kekuli Cafe Merritt
Playgrounds Cafe
Rise Adventure & Wellness Solutions
Soil Mate
Swept Away Inn
Willow Wellness Centre

Best Community Impact
Bob’s Bar & Grill
Coast Salish Development Corporation
eeko Couriers Inc.
Lighthouse Visionary Strategies
Sole Girls
Spark Creations
Squamish ReBuild Society
The Rice Box

Best Company
Alitis Investment Counsel
CoreHealth Technologies
Fully Managed
Nonna Pia’s Gourmet Sauces Ltd
Omega & Associates Engineering Ltd.
Pro-Med Ambulance Services
RaceRocks 3D
Rocky Point Ice Cream
Versatile Fitness

Best Emerging Entrepreneur
Culinary Ink GastroVentures LTD
Float Space
Hungry For Happiness
Iron Oxide Art Supplies
Jane Long, Chartered Accountant
MyAlberni APP
Plenty and Spare Naturals
Rise Adventure & Wellness Solutions
The Juicery Co.
White Rock Skimboarding

Best Employer
6S Marketing Inc
Canadian Wilderness Adventures
Casanova Painting
Durning Directions and Services Ltd.
Dynamic Owl
Gray Monk Estate Winery
Intuitive Independence Rehabilitation Services
Origin Gluten-Free Bakery Ltd
R&B Plumbing & Heating Ltd.
RDC Fine Homes Inc.

Best Immigrant Entrepreneur
Amando Natural Stone
Andrew Watson Design
Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie
Infinity Enterprises Group Ltd.
Nanaimo & Voyager Magazine
Shiraz Cafe and Restaurant
Success Road Enterprises / Iman Biock Aghay
Vancouver Tumblebus
Your Score Booster

Best International Trade
Arcadia Trading Inc.
Averill Creek Vineyard
Branded Athletics
Doi Chaang Coffee Company
Manatee Holdings Ltd.
Orazio’s Olive Oil
Polar Feet
Target Marine Hatcheries
VIVO Masks

Best Online Marketer
All Inclusive Marketing
Barkerville Brewing Co.
Heartstrings Home Decor
Social Media Minder
The Greenery Garden Centre
VIVO Masks
Vonbon Children’s Apparel Inc.
Web Friendly
Best Workplacet

Chris’s Sign & Lighting Service Inc.
CoreHealth Technologies
Cowpuccino’s Coffee House
Mel’s Mainstreet Pizza & Pasta
Nucleus Networks Inc.
Sproing Creative
White Kennedy LLP

Premier’s People’s Choice
Blooming Arrangements
Firehall Brewery
Game Quest
Industry Hair & Body Care
Julie’s Edible Bouquets
Nonna Pia’s Gourmet Sauces Ltd
On Top Fashion
RM Stone Masonry
So Country Radio with Dennis Walker
Soup Wallah

The top ten semi-finalists must now complete an extended award application which will be used to narrow down the competition to the top five finalists in each category. The top five finalists in these categories will be announced on January 30, 2014.

The winners will be honoured on February 26, 2015 at the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver.

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United Way Progressing Towards Fundraising Goal

Dec 10, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Four months into its community campaign, United Way continues to be committed to meeting its goal of $6 Million. Hundreds of workplaces, individual donors, partners and volunteers have thrown their support behind the campaign and collectively have helped to push the campaign total to 72% of the overall goal.

The dedication and commitment from workplaces, individual donors, partners and volunteers has been tremendous and work is still underway as campaigns are active in the month of December and some workplaces will run their United Way activities in January and February to best suit their workflow cycles and employee schedules.

United Way is grateful for the leadership and generosity that has been so evident during the 2014 community campaign.

“As the holiday season fills the streets and homes of Greater Victoria, we are encouraging anyone who is thinking about making a charitable gift to please consider giving the gift of community through United Way,” says Patricia Jelinski, CEO at United Way.

Many donors come forward during this season as holiday appeals are prevalent and as they complete their charitable giving within the current tax year.

“At our campaign kick-off in September I talked about the great need in our community and with that in mind we were challenging ourselves to do more. I asked our advocates and our supporters to unite with us – to stretch and push even harder to reach our goal of $6 Million,” says Jelinski. “United Way is about the collective and how together we can change lives and build a strong and caring community. We know that even a small donation, as part of a broader community effort makes a big difference.”

Donations to United Way’s community campaign are accepted at workplaces, United Way’s office at 1144 Fort Street, via phone 250-385-6708 or online at uwgv.ca.

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Island Construction Industry Develops Labour Force with Scholarships

Dec 09, 2014

(News Release) VANCOUVER ISLAND — Two new construction scholarships were announced today. “We understand the need to build a workforce to sustain our industry - now and for the future,” explained Greg Baynton, CEO of VICA - Vancouver Island Construction Association. “VICA members understand we must meet the labour needs of today and tomorrow. The result of that strategic thinking is introducing two new industry scholarships - Gold Seal Management and Women in Construction. The association is offering over a thousand dollars in immediate financial aid for deserving candidates.”

VICA Chair Don Cameron believes the industry has to actively support career choices and professional growth in order to stay competitive. “As an association representing over 500 corporate members we appreciate the value of working towards a common goal of a vibrant workforce.”

NEW Gold Seal Management: The Canadian Construction Association national program accredits industry professional achievement in five categories: Superintendent, Estimator, Project Manager, Owner’s Construction Manager or Construction Safety Coordinator. In 2015 VICA will award one individual enrolled as an Intern in Gold Seal one GS course delivered by VICA up to the value of $545.00.

NEW Women in Construction: To a woman registered in a Foundations program or Level  1, 2 or 3 of an Apprenticeship program in construction and continuing her studies.  The recipient receives $500 to be applied to tuition fees.

In addition VICA also offers apprentice scholarships:

SuperStar Apprentice:  To anyone registered in Foundations program or Level 1, 2 or 3 of an Apprenticeship program in construction and continuing his/her studies.  The recipient receives $500 to be applied to tuition fees.

Secondary School Apprentice:  The top Level 1 construction apprentice on Vancouver Island who has completed a training program through the South Island partnership, Central Island partnership or North Island partnership.  Each receives $500 to be applied to tuition fees.

Click here to view the scholarship application forms.

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New App Makes Paying On-Street Parking Easier

Dec 06, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Paying for on-street parking just got easier. Motorists can now pay for on-street parking using their iPhone, iPad, Android smart phone or tablet by downloading the free ParkVictoria app from the App Store or Google Play. Motorists can also use any data-enabled mobile device to access the ParkVictoria mobile web application at www.parkvictoria.ca.

ParkVictoria allows motorists to pay for on-street parking at any numbered downtown parking space, while on-the-go or from the comfort of their vehicle. There is no need to visit a pay station or parking meter.

The mobile payment system sends a reminder text message or pop-up notification before a parking session expires, enables customers to extend parking time up to the maximum time zone limit posted, and to refund any unused parking time to a ParkVictoria “wallet” or credit card.

Customers also have the ability to view or print parking receipts, and to view their parking history. ParkVictoria is a secure method of payment; all data is encrypted to ensure safe and secure payment transactions.

The parking session information that is entered into the ParkVictoria system is immediately sent to the City’s parking monitoring system.

Sign-up is free and uses a phone number, email address or Facebook account to identify customers.

PassportParking Inc. developed ParkVictoria, having created customized mobile parking payment systems for cities in North America such as Chicago and Omaha. They are currently developing a parking application for the City of Toronto.

The City of Victoria is improving customer service and making parking downtown easier. In September, the City implemented a range of improvements to shift motorists from higher-demand on-street parking spots to available spaces in the City's five parkades. There are five City parkades within two blocks of all downtown attractions, three City surface parking lots, and nearly 2,000 on-street parking spaces downtown.

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Capstone Event Showcases Camosun Student Talent

Dec 03, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Camosun College’s annual Capstone Event will showcase a variety of projects from the Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology program’s graduating students, Friday December 5 at Interurban campus. Projects range from an auto guitar tuner to a home lock system controlled from your smartphone to a virtual reality controlled drone. The projects represent work the students have done for the last three months.

“Innovation is alive and well at Camosun,” says Alan Duncan, Program Chair. “I’m truly amazed at the diversity of projects this term. It’s remarkable what these students have been able to accomplish in 11 weeks. We’re seeing potential products of the future.”

The students will present their projects from 10am to 2pm on Friday, December 5 at the Helmut Huber Annex at Interurban.

Project Details

Aerial Immersion Platform
Aerial Immersion Platform will allow any owner of a RC aircraft to experience a real-time first-person flight from the safety of the ground. The applications for this device range from entertainment to commercial surveying applications. The system uses a mounted 3D camera on a quad copter controlled from an Oculus Rift VR headset connected to a ground station system.

Portable solar power station
This portable solar power station has two-axis tracking and utilizes MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) to give the batteries an optimal load. Each Solar Cube has an Arduino Mega 2560 microcontroller, 1W MPP solar panel, two servos, circuit board and an external acrylic shell. The output is a USB connection charger at 5V. The system requires no input from the user other than a simple on and off switch.

Weather Survey Drone
The weather survey drone is the culmination of sensors attached to a buoyant, ocean-ready frame which is powered by two motors. There are two brushless AC motors both controlled with electronic speed controllers and a Playstation 3 controller over Bluetooth. The sensors monitor weather conditions and, along with GPS coordinates, have their data transmitted to a land base station.

Smart Lock System
This home lock system can be controlled and monitored completely from the convenience of a smart phone or tablet. It allows operation of the lock from anywhere around the world over an internet connection and gives the user many different features that collectively provide a full experience.

Microphone preamp
Created by a pair of music enthusiasts, the microphone preamp has been designed to provide high transparency amplification to small studios and recording artists. With 60dB of gain and +48V phantom power and excellent noise rejection, the design is suitable for any studio recording situation.

Guitar auto tuner
Digi-Tune is a device which automatically tunes a guitar by detecting the frequency of the string and controlling a servo motor to adjust it accordingly. The user connects his/her guitar to the Digi-Tune’s input jack with a standard guitar cable. After selecting which string is being tuned and placing the winder slot over the tuning peg, the user only has to pluck the string and Digi-Tune will do the rest.

Wireless CD quality audio
The Audio-TxRx transmits CD quality audio wirelessly using the 2.4 GHz ISM band. The user could listen to audio within 50 meters without the need of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. For around $70 anyone could use it in their own home to listen to audio from any device that has USB and a headphone jack. There is no need to purchase a new set of headphones as any set of headphones will work. The receiver is compact enough to carry which allows the user to enjoy a seamless wireless audio experience.

The sponsor for the event is Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC) which serves the public interest by registering and regulating applied science and engineering technologists, technicians and technical specialists in BC. With more than 10,000 members, ASTTBC is one of BC’s largest professional associations and is known for high standards, addressing skills shortages, and promoting technology careers.

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International Educator And Entrepreneur Presents Largest Gift Ever Received By Royal Roads

Dec 03, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Royal Roads University has received a $5 million gift – the largest in its history – from international educator, visionary leader and entrepreneur, Dr. Sherman Jen.  The donation launches the institution’s “75 Years of Changing Lives” celebrations, highlighting a legacy of learning and leadership since Royal Roads was founded as an officer training institution in 1940.

At a ceremony held on campus today, Dr. Jen, founder and chairman of Maple Leaf Educational Systems and Maple Leaf International Schools, said the donation symbolizes the deep connection between his personal beliefs about the role of education in society, and the values, mission and model of Royal Roads University.

“I see a world in conflict because people don’t understand each other,” says Dr. Jen. “I believe an educational model that brings people together, valuing languages, cultures and traditions, helps to develop global citizens and a shared understanding that can contribute to conflict reduction.”

President and Vice-Chancellor Allan Cahoon says the university is honoured that Dr. Jen has chosen to make a significant investment in the future success of Royal Roads’ students and university.

“Dr. Jen is a recognized visionary leader in providing education that connects Chinese and Canadian communities,” says Cahoon. “His generous gift will support the establishment of a centre on campus to promote global understanding through education.”

Since opening his first school in 1995, Dr. Jen’s Maple Leaf Educational Systems has expanded to over 15,000 students studying in 39 schools throughout China. Almost half of those students are enrolled in seven high schools and two foreign national, Kindergarten-to-grade-nine schools where they are studying B.C. curriculum certified through the B.C. Global Education Program.

Maple Leaf was first on many fronts: first offshore school accredited by the B.C. Ministry of Education; first international school to be recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Education; first to fully blend the delivery of the Chinese and B.C. high school curriculum learning outcomes and first to offer dual Chinese and B.C. government graduation diplomas.

Cahoon says Dr. Jen’s commitment to global education and belief in RRU’s learning model is especially meaningful as Royal Roads’ begins its 75th anniversary celebrations.

“For 55 years as a military college and for 20 years as a university, Royal Roads has graduated students who have witnessed history, contributed globally and made life-changing differences to their communities. Dr. Jen’s donation will help strengthen the diversity and understanding of our global change-makers, extending the reach of the Royal Roads experience for the next 75 years.”

Royal Roads University, a public university established in 1995, offers a progressive model of post-secondary education, delivering applied and professional programs through the faculties of management and social and applied sciences. The university offers its students a unique blended learning experience, combining online and on-campus instruction, as well as full time intensive on-campus instruction in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees, certificates and diplomas. It also offers progressive executive, custom and continuing studies programs.

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E-Commerce Investments To Drive Service Improvements And Continued Efficiencies At BC Ferries

Dec 03, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Pursuant to the Efficiency Plan that was provided to the BC Ferries Commissioner on September 30, 2014, BC Ferries has just submitted an application for the Fare Flexibility and Digital Experience Initiative, which proposes e-commerce and information technology upgrades that will drive significant change in how the company does business and serves its customers over the next decade. The company is currently in the planning stages, and if approved by the BC Ferries Commissioner, the Initiative will be implemented in phases starting in 2017.
The Initiative will modernize the way BC Ferries sets pricing, sells travel and manages loads and will provide important benefits, including shorter wait times, an improved customer experience, operational efficiencies and the opportunity to offer discounted fares at off-peak travel times. In addition, the Initiative will reduce upward pressure on fares.
“BC Ferries has heard from our customers that they want more flexibility in how they book travel in the future, more certainty at the terminal that they will be able to board the sailing they want, and more opportunities for discounted fares,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “We plan to invest in information technology and e-commerce systems that will meet those goals while incrementally increasing traffic and keeping fares lower than they would be under the current business model.”
The Initiative includes two business strategies. The Fare Flexibility and Revenue Management Strategy sets out a new system to manage fares and improve operational efficiency through better capacity management. The Digital Experience Strategy will provide customers with a modernized e-commerce platform, greater online functionality and booking options, and better access to BC Ferries through systems and applications designed specifically for mobile, tablet and desktop channels.
BC Ferries’ current website and IT systems are outdated, rigid and inflexible, and cannot support the new approach to pricing, capacity management, and purchase of ancillary services.
The Initiative will be introduced through phases. Initially, customers on the Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island routes will have opportunities for discounted fares for off-peak travel times and the ability to book in advance without a reservation fee.
“We believe that this Initiative is aligned with a number of the BC Ferries Commissioner’s recommendations outlined in his 2012 Review of the Coastal Ferry Act,” said Corrigan.
The Initiative builds on ongoing efforts to control expenses and implement programs to make BC Ferries as safe, efficient, cost-effective and customer-focused as possible. Efforts include expanded choices in food and retail as well as five dual-fuel vessels that run on LNG and are expected to save $12 million per year when in full operation (based on current fuel price estimates).
“We will continue to look for cost savings, performance improvements, and the best and most creative ways possible to meet the needs of BC’s coastal communities, who rely on us to connect them to the places and people that are important in their lives,” said Corrigan.
The BC Ferries Commissioner is independent of government and the company. Under the Coastal Ferry Act, the BC Ferries Commissioner must approve the company’s major capital expenditures, including the Fare Flexibility and Digital Experience Initiative.

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Bosa Properties’ In-Building Cold Storage Allows Condo Dwellers Home Grocery Delivery While Away From Home

Dec 03, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Bosa Properties today announced that Promontory at Bayview Place will be home to a BosaFresh facility –allowing residents the opportunity to receive home grocery delivery right to their door. To assist in growing home grocery delivery, Bosa has teamed up with Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery (SPUD.com) to provide access to a purpose-built facility in its condo towers, allowing residents to enjoy daily grocery deliveries while away from home. The facility is also available for any grocery service that residents choose.

The partnership between Bosa Properties and SPUD.com, and the purpose-built temperature controlled room at Promontory, makes the BosaFresh program the first of its kind in Canada. The initiative is also being launched at Bosa’s Lido homes in Vancouver. The move comes as online sales of food are poised to grow an estimated 13% annually across North America as part of trend towards greater convenience and rise in ecommerce across computers, tablets and smartphones.

“BosaFresh is another innovative feature we are offering residents of our properties, helping to make urban living even more convenient,” said Daryl Simpson, SVP of Bosa Properties. “We recognize that on-line shopping, and particularly home grocery delivery, is on the rise. Our relationship with a company like SPUD allows our home owners to take advantage of the tremendous benefits that home grocery delivery provides.”

“At SPUD.com, we’re looking forward to providing deliveries to residents of Promontory that is even more convenient than our standard service,” said Peter Van Stolk, CEO of SPUD.com. “BosaFresh will mean no more rushing home to ensure your milk, meat and fruit stays fresh. Cold storage will keep it well preserved until you’re ready to come home.”

“We are constantly looking for ways to enhance the experience of living in a condominium home, and place a great amount of time and energy on the process of innovation at Bosa Properties,” commented Simpson. “With BosaFresh™, residents at Promontory can take advantage of the phenomenal services that SPUD provides, as well as receive deliveries from other local merchants currently offering home delivery”.

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Huu-Ay-Aht First Nations Citizens Vote To Continue Exploring Proposed LNG Project At Sarita Bay

Dec 02, 2014

(News Release) PORT ALBERNI – Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Steelhead LNG are pleased to announce that they will continue to explore the proposed development of a US$30 billion LNG Project at Sarita Bay on Vancouver Island. This follows Huu-ay-aht citizens voting in favour of doing so today at the Nation’s People’s Assembly in Port Alberni. The proposed Project, which includes a 24‐mtpa (million tonnes per annum) land‐based facility, is one of the largest proposed LNG projects in British Columbia.

The People’s Assembly vote approves the lease of Huu-ay-aht Treaty Settlement Lands to the proposed Project and the carrying out of comprehensive environmental, traditional-use and technical studies in advance of a final investment decision expected in 2018. The vote comes after months of intensive community engagement with Huu-ay-aht citizens, which saw Huu-ay-aht government and staff members, Steelhead CEO Nigel Kuzemko and Steelhead LNG engineers and staff members meet regularly with Huu-ay-aht elders and citizens in Anacla, Port Alberni, Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. The work to address Huu-ay-aht citizen questions and concerns included community engagement sessions, home visits, visits for Steelhead LNG staff to key Huu-ay-aht cultural sites, as well as a tour of hydraulic fracturing operations in Alberta by Huu-ay-aht citizens.

“Today’s vote is an indication that our Nation is open for business and that certainty can be achieved for projects on First Nations territory in BC,” said Jeff Cook, Elected Chief Councillor of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations. “The important thing to remember is that, as a Treaty Nation that is once again in control of natural resource projects on its territory, partnerships and certainty with us must be negotiated and earned on our terms and in accordance with the principles that have guided our Nation and our people for generations. Steelhead LNG’s approach and their respect for our people, our principles and our processes are an example of how companies should conduct business with First Nations.”

Steelhead LNG and the Huu-ay-aht will now carry out technical studies that will examine a wide range of environmental and engineering issues related to the proposed Project, including: air quality and emissions, fishing and freshwater resources, Huu-ay-aht traditional land use, marine issues (fishing, carrier traffic, crabbing, eel grass, marine habitats), wildlife (migratory birds, species at risk), noise, transportation and roads and socio-economic issues.

“While this vote represents an important milestone for our proposed Project, we recognize that we still have a lot of work to do,” said Kuzemko. “Huu-ay-aht citizens have identified a number of issues that are important to them, and we look forward to studying those issues closely with the Huu-ay-aht before a Final Investment Decision is made in 2018.”

If a Final Investment Decision to build the proposed LNG facility is made in 2018, it’s expected up to 4,000 jobs would be created during the construction phase, with 300 to 400 full-time jobs created when the plant is operational. In addition, the proposed Project would generate hundreds of spin-off jobs and business opportunities in the Alberni Valley in many sectors, including: business administration, hospitality, manufacturing, first aid, accommodation, recreation, tourism, transportation, catering, security and other service sectors. This includes local spin-off jobs with restaurants, schools, grocery stores, hotels, hospitals and providers of medical, business, heavy machinery maintenance, industrial and other services.

As the proposed Project moves into the feasibility stage, five new jobs for Huu-ay-aht citizens will be created in 2014 and early 2015 to support the different activities related to the next phase of technical studies. The first position will be for a Huu-ay-aht Employment Strategy Advisor, who will create a long-term education and training strategy for Huu-ay-aht citizens to secure the direct and spin-off jobs that will be created if the LNG facility goes ahead.

To that end, Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Steelhead LNG will work with the provincial government and Vancouver Island colleges, such as North Island College, Vancouver Island University and Camosun College, to develop new trades programs that would provide Huu-ay-aht citizens with funding and training for LNG project-related jobs such as pipefitters, welders, plumbers, iron workers, equipment operators and electricians. The long-term employment strategy for Huu-ay-aht citizens will also include capacity-building education and training for a wide range of administrative, technical and professional service careers such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, human resources officers and numerous other administrative positions.

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