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Moody’s Affirms B.C.’s AAA Credit Rating

May 12, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — British Columbia’s credit rating has been affirmed at AAA by Moody’s Investors Service, with the agency saying it reflects the strong fiscal flexibility of the province and its track record of prudent fiscal management, Minister of Finance Michael de Jong announced today.

The agency highlights B.C.’s debt management and asserts, “Strong fiscal management and performance in recent years enabled British Columbia to reduce its debt burden to a level that is below the median of Canadian provinces, supporting an even higher degree of fiscal flexibility than most provinces.” Furthermore, the report says Moody’s expects the Province’s debt burden to remain affordable.

Moody’s points out that B.C.’s export markets are more diversified than other provinces, and Canada as a whole, saying, “This wider diversification of markets reduces the vulnerability of the provincial economy from shocks in its export markets.”

Strengths Moody’s lists for the B.C. outlook are a track record of prudent fiscal planning, considerable fiscal policy flexibility to adjust revenues and expenses to meet fiscal challenges, and a large and diversified economy supporting a productive tax base. Moody’s notes the Province uses economic growth forecasts that are below private sector estimates, saying, “British Columbia incorporates several prudent measures in its annual budget to minimize the impacts of potential downward pressures.”

Since November 2004, the Province has received seven credit rating upgrades. British Columbia continues to maintain the highest credit rating possible with Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch. Standard & Poor's most recently affirmed its AAA rating in April 2013 following Budget 2013. The Dominion Bond Rating Service affirmed B.C.’s AA (high) credit rating in April 2014 and Fitch affirmed the Province’s AAA rating in April 2014.

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Chard Development ‘Tops off’ Duet, Announces New Victoria Project - Escher

May 07, 2014

VICTORIA – Chard Development, Mayor Dean Fortin and local VIPs took part in a topping-off ceremony today at Duet in James Bay to celebrate the development reaching full height, a major milestone toward its completion in November 2014.

“I would like to congratulate Dave Chard and the team behind Duet on another successful project,” said Dean Fortin, Mayor, City of Victoria. “Thank you for your commitment to bringing new homes and vibrancy to Victoria for the past decade and for showing leadership with buildings like Duet that truly celebrate the neighbourhoods around them.”

The Duet project includes two buildings, Duet West, a four-storey building with 28 suites and Duet East, an eight-storey building with 62 suites and a 9th floor rooftop terrace available to all Duet residents with expansive views of Victoria, Beacon Hill Park and the ocean and mountains beyond. The two buildings are connected by a private courtyard and gardens that surround the property.

“Duet has captivated local buyers as well as those from across Canada because they can see themselves enjoying the best of Victoria from this quiet neighbourhood that’s close to everything they love about this city,” said Dave Chard, president, Chard Development. “We are very pleased to have sold more than 50 per cent of Duet to date and continue to see strong interest, particularly from people who want to sell another home during the spring or summer and move into Duet before the end of the year.”

Interest in one-bedroom suites at Duet has been significant, with just three remaining The majority of the remaining suites are two bedrooms with one or two bathrooms that are ideal for families, downsizers or people who appreciate a bit more space. Chard Development is offering to pay one year of household bills for purchasers who buy between now and May 15, 2014, an incentive that’s worth up to $16,000.

At today’s event, Chard also announced that the developer’s next project, the company’s sixth in Victoria, will launch in June. Escher is a 10-story residential development at 838 Broughton Street across from the YMCA and near the Royal Theatre. Escher will offer a wide selection of 82 modern one and two-bedroom suites as well as penthouse suites on the 9th and 10th floors and two street front live/work units. Suites will be priced from $219,000.

“The Chard Development team has worked closely with our architects, Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership, to design Escher with our positive outlook on an evolving downtown Victoria in mind,” said Chard. “Growth of the technology sector, new small businesses and restaurants and a vibrant arts and music scene are all contributing to an excitement and optimism about living downtown.”

The development received approval from the Planning and Land Use Committee and is currently pending a public hearing.

For Escher project pre-registration and an early preview opportunity visit www.eschervictoria.com. The new Escher presentation centre will be opening this June.

The presentation centre for Duet is located at 615 Broughton Street in downtown Victoria and is open daily from noon to 5 pm.

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More Ways to Connect with Your City

May 07, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — The City of Victoria has launched a new blog and online consultation portal aimed at improving customer service and engaging citizens in civic matters.

“Our residents are interested in City issues, and we want information and ways to participate made as easy as possible,” noted Mayor Dean Fortin. “We have an important role in creating meaningful opportunities for the community to engage with the City, and with each other, on issues that are important to them.”

The new City Blog at www.victoria.ca/blog will be used to share information that is interesting and value-added for citizens. This week the blog highlight’s one mom’s quest to be better prepared for an earthquake.

Launched with opportunities to provide input on the City’s cycling network, Have Your Say Victoria is an online consultation forum that offers the community improved ways to engage on City initiatives. In less than two weeks, over 650 residents have provided input online.

From transportation improvements, changes in service delivery, urban design or land use, the public can expect to see a variety of topics for discussion. Citizens can learn more about specific projects, provide feedback through surveys and engage in two-way dialogue with City staff and residents through online discussion forums.  The community will be able to collaborate on ideas that will help shape the future of Victoria.

Have Your Say Victoria is responsive to the community’s desire for improved online opportunities, as noted in the 2013 Citizen and Business Surveys. Users can provide feedback without having to visit City Hall and can access the site at www.HaveYourSayVictoria.com or directly from the City’s website at www.victoria.ca.

Online tools designed to make it easier engage on City matters have been well-received by the community, consistently resulting in high participation.  In 2013, the City introduced a personalized garbage collection reminder service in which residents receive an email, text or tweet prior to collection day.  Over 5,000 households now utilize this reminder service every two weeks.

Social media channels continue to grow as essential customer service and engagement tools. The City’s Twitter following is now 13,500 and Facebook is 8,500.

The City’s recent online mapping system, known as “VicMap” has moved City mapping information to one of the top 10 pages each month on the City’s website www.victoria.ca

Online application tracking, a searchable document library for City reports and documents, e-billing for utilities and property taxes, are also being introduced this year.

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Camosun College and Royal Roads Augment Collaboration and Advance Shared Interests

May 07, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA —The presidents of Camosun College and Royal Roads University (RRU) signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) Tuesday, May 6 to acknowledge their complementary mandates and shared interests. This development supports the province’s Core Review by identifying synergies, reducing redundancy and creating new opportunities through co-operation. RRU president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon and Camosun president Kathryn Laurin signed the MOU at the Blue Heron House, RRU’s Indigenous Learning and Cultural Centre situated on the shores of Esquimalt Lagoon.

Royal Roads University and Camosun College share a strong interest in regional economic development, international engagement and national and global issues. Through the MOU, both parties wish to establish a multi-faceted collaboration to further enhance education and business development opportunities. Examples include, but are not limited to: co-conferring academic credentials; offering joint admission; working together in shared marketing of domestic and international programs where cost benefits may be achieved; and working together to effectively combine Camosun’s suite of polytechnic programs and Royal Roads’ MBA program in the field of logistics.

“Both Royal Roads and Camosun College are committed in their support of the new B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint,” says Royal Roads president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon. “The agreement we signed today aligns with that and also builds on the previously announced Vancouver Island Public Post-Secondary Alliance in which we as a sector have pledged to continue to work together to offer students more choices to ensure sustainable futures.”

“This is innovative and collaborative planning that significantly amplifies the strengths of each institute,” says Camosun president Kathryn Laurin. “We already have a number of pre-existing articulation agreements that allow Camosun students to transfer seamlessly to RRU’s degree programs. I look forward to working with President Cahoon to expand and enrich the opportunities for our students.”

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 fulltime intensive on-campus instruction in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees, certificates and diplomas. It also offers progressive executive, custom and continuing studies programs.

Camosun College is BC’s most comprehensive community college offering over 160 different certificate, diploma and bachelor degree programs to 18,500 students each year. With two campuses in Greater Victoria, the college also welcomes more than 800 international students each year from 60 countries and 1,000 Aboriginal students from across Canada. Camosun emphasizes applied learning experiences and maintains an outstanding reputation for teaching excellence. For more information visit camosun.ca.

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Camosun College Board of Governors approves balanced budget for 2014/15

May 06, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Camosun College’s Board of Governors approved a $114 million dollar balanced budget for fiscal year 2014/15 at its regular monthly meeting last night, May 5.

The budget has been a challenging process for the College given the flat funding environment and an anticipated funding reduction announced in the 2013 Provincial Budget. Compounding the situation is the additional lack of clarity regarding the future funding of the English as a Second Language program.

Developing a framework for reduced budgets over the last few years has meant the need for two key strategies:  revenue growth largely through International education; and, expenditure reductions.

To meet this year’s balanced budget, a 2.5% reduction in operating funds will be affected across the college, impacting all Departments and Schools.

Finance Chair Russ Lazaruk commented the communication process that took key components of the first budget proposal out to the college community for initial consultation and discussion was important and led to productive modifications to the original budget proposals.

The budget submitted to the Board for approval by the Finance Committee last night contained no suspensions, cancellations or removal of programs.  This includes the Music Professional Studies program at the Conservatory of Music, Early Learning and Care, and Computer Science Technology. There is a reduction of one cohort in the Applied Business Technology program. In University Transfer there will be a reduction of sections based mainly on lower enrolled courses.

“This is what consultation is all about,” said Lazaruk. “The college community sees a proposal and offers insights. In this case those insights provided highly creative approaches in which faculty and staff members were prepared to modify programs in order to ensure that Camosun continues to meet its mandate in the best way possible, given our funding challenges.”

“We wish to extend our thanks and appreciation to all members of the college community who participated in the budget process and who creatively worked to find solutions to the budget challenges,” said Board Chair Marilyn Pattison. “We are confident that the budget protects the comprehensiveness of Camosun programs while recognizing the fiscal realities of these times, and we look forward to a sustainable future.”

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Victoria Real Estate Market Is On Track And Steady For Spring

May 01, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – The Victoria Real Estate Board today released its monthly report on real estate activity in the Victoria area for April 2014.

664 properties sold in the month of April 2014, compared to 615 in April 2013 – an increase of nearly 8% year over year. Compared to last month in March, there were 15.5% more sales.

New inventory came on to the market; with almost 9% more new listings than last month, which creates more choice for buyers. And though the total inventory level was higher than last month, it was still 4% lower than this time last year - approximately 180 fewer listings.

“We’re at an interesting time of the year for local real estate; spring is traditionally a busy season and I think the market is headed in the right direction,” Victoria Real Estate Board President Tim Ayres says. “I think people are watching numbers closely to see where house values are going and where demand is headed. But people waiting for a large change are going to be disappointed, because we see a steady market. Pricing is stable, inventory is at a good level, and we’re in balanced market territory which is good for both buyers and sellers.”

Current MLS® Home Price Index benchmark prices were relatively flat across the region. Single Family homes on the Peninsula showed the largest change in benchmark price with a drop of 2% compared to last year, while the Westshore showed the largest increase with 1.2% compared to last year. Greater Victoria condo benchmark pricing was down 0.5% from last year, but the value in the same area for townhouses increased by 2.4%.

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Camosun Receives Federal Dollars To Boost Services That Stimulate Business Innovation

May 01, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Camosun’s capacity to support and stimulate local business innovation and entrepreneurship just received a boost as a result of two Applied Research Tools & Instruments (ARTI) awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). These awards, totalling $280,980, will be used to enhance Camosun’s robotic automation services for local manufacturing businesses and to acquire high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) and biofermentation equipment to support Vancouver Island’s growing micro brewery industry.

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), delivered this exciting news as part of a nationwide announcement of new NSERC funding. “Moving ideas efficiently from the laboratory to the marketplace is key to driving Canadian innovation forward,” says Holder. “Our government is strengthening partnerships between colleges and local businesses to improve business and college innovation while creating jobs and prosperity for Canadians.”

The latest ARTI award from NSERC is an endorsement of the quality of Camosun’s R&D services, and this new investment will help to expand robotics, applied chemistry and biotechnology services to attract and serve an expanding client base. “Camosun is well-known for providing biochemical analytics, computer systems expertise and engineering/manufacturing technologies for local companies like MB Laboratories, Ltd. and Scott Plastics Ltd.,” says Tim Walzak, Director of Camosun Applied Research & Innovation (CARI). “Faculty researchers like Imtehaze Heerah (Mechanical Engineering Technology) and Blair Surridge (Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology) have the skills, knowledge and inventors’ insights to develop innovative solutions that yield astonishing results for our clients. A cast of engineers, technologists and administrators round out the team to provide our clients with practical solutions and a competitive edge. ”

President Kathryn Laurin, who sits on the board for the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, believes investments from national funding agencies like NSERC help businesses tap into the talented people at colleges like Camosun, helping them to innovate, compete and stimulate our economy. “At Camosun, we continue to ramp up our activity to better serve the manufacturing industries and wider business community. By connecting college researchers, engineers, technologists and students with Vancouver Island small- and medium-sized businesses, we can really make a difference in the economic prosperity of the region and in the lives of our faculty, staff and students. It is all very exciting and promising.”

Camosun VP Strategic Development Tom Roemer echoes President Laurin’s sentiments. “Camosun has a wealth of talented people, advanced equipment and well-appointed facilities to help local businesses innovate and expand their services. We have recently opened our new Enterprise Point to serve the business community in a convenient, one-stop experience.”

CARI and Enterprise Point provide real-world solutions for business, industry and the community through applied research and knowledge transfer activities. Through prototype development and testing, customized technology solutions, and product/process development and design, Camosun is helping invigorate the region’s entrepreneurial sector.

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Local Business Along With Aboriginal Artist, Corrine Hunt, Spearhead Campaign To Fight Hunger In Canada's First Nations Communities

Apr 30, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Artina's Jewellery in collaboration with Aboriginal artist and co-designer of the 2010 Olympic Games Medals, Corrine Hunt, create a stunning First Nations reusable and eco-friendly water canteen in which proceeds go to the ONEXONE First Nations School Breakfast Program.

"This year we are proud to celebrate 25 years as Artina's Jewellery. Since West Coast First Nations jewellery has been such a prevalent part of what has made us successful, we wanted to come up with a creative and inspiring way to give back to the First Nations communities."

As a proud local and family owned business, Artina's Jewellery opened on Government Street, Victoria in 1989. Thanks to more then 100 of Canada's top jewellery artists, in the past 25 years it has evolved into the 'World's Largest Selection of Canadian Hand Crafted Jewellery' with its second location opening in Gastown, Vancouver in 2009. Local Aboriginal artist, Corrine Hunt has been one of the shops premier artists for over 10 years. With her love of humanity, inspiration and design the 'Let It Rain' campaign was created. Corrine has been an avid supporter of the ONEXONE First Nations School Breakfast program for many years.


First Nations children suffer the greatest levels of poverty among all children in Canada. 2 in 5 First Nations children live in poverty which is more than double the national average. Artina's Jewellery and Corrine Hunt are thrilled to be able to donate to the ONEXONE Foundation in its efforts to increase nutrition, food literacy, and scholastic success in First Nations Communities.

To purchase a 'Let It Rain' bottle go to our website at
www.artinas.com or visit us in store.

For more information on the ONEXONE Foundation go to http://www.onexone.org/what-we-do-hunger.php

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FIFA World Cup Video Clips Available to Local Newspapers via SendtoNews

Apr 30, 2014

(News Release) — With the FIFA World Cup on the horizon, digital sports video agency SendtoNews is pleased to announce its extensive coverage surrounding the games. Beginning today, SendtoNews will roll out its comprehensive World Cup digital content package through its digital News Partnership Network™ so that fans can access content via their favorite local news sites across North America.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup will take place in locations throughout Brazil from June 12th to July 13th 2014, featuring qualifying teams from 32 nations. SendtoNews will be providing unprecedented coverage leading up to and during the games including the latest World Cup news stories, and 100 short films that feature team, player and venue profiles. During the games, SendtoNews will be on the ground in Rio, delivering a comprehensive daily package of previews and post-game match reactions as well as coverage of major stories and press conferences.

“SendtoNews is very pleased to offer the World Cup to our newsroom partners, which is not just the most popular sporting event but the most viewed event in the world,” said CEO Greg Bobolo.

To become an accredited SendtoNews newsroom partner, contact: Philippe Guay, Executive VP Strategic Partnerships, Mobile: 917.558.3108 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call toll free 855.590.1991.

Headquartered in Victoria (British Columbia), with affiliate offices in Vancouver, Toronto, New York, San Francisco and London (UK), SendtoNews is the fastest growing syndicator of sports video highlights in the world. The company currently monetizes and distribute game highlights, player interviews and other fan-interest content for more than 75 sports leagues on four continents and its broadcast and publishing partners represent more than 1000 television, radio, print and online news outlets.

SendtoNews also operates the industry's only 'Premium Advertising Network', where it packages and connects new, exclusive inventories of sports video content with large-scale, creative opportunities for major sponsors.

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Ceremonies Across B.C. Honour Workers Who Died in 2013

Apr 28, 2014

(News Release) RICHMOND — Today, workers, families, and employers remember those who lost their lives in workplaces across British Columbia. In 2013, of the 128 work-related deaths in B.C., 39 were from traumatic injury, 22 from motor vehicle incidents, and 67 were from occupational disease, mainly from exposure to asbestos decades ago. Day of Mourning ceremonies are being held across the province.

“On the Day of Mourning, we take the time to honour those whose lives were tragically cut short, or changed forever by workplace injuries,” says the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. “Workplace accidents are devastating for workers, their families, their coworkers, and their communities. It is why we must all work tirelessly to ensure that we have a culture of safety that makes these kinds of tragedies a thing of the past.”

The high-risk industries of manufacturing, construction, primary resources, and transportation had the highest number of fatalities in 2013. There were 33 deaths in the manufacturing sector, including: metal and non-metallic mineral products, petroleum, coal, rubber, plastic and chemical products, and paper and wood products industries; there were 30 workplace deaths in construction; 17 in primary resources; and 15 deaths in transportation and its related services. Six young workers aged between 15 and 24 died in 2013.

“There are over half a million work sites and over 2 million workers in this province,” says George Morfitt, Chair, WorkSafeBC Board of Directors. “We must remain vigilant about health and safety for every worker in every workplace, whether that’s  in an emergency room, on a construction site, in the woods or on the farm. We owe that, whether we’re an employer, a union, a worker or a member of WorkSafeBC to every man and woman working across B.C.”

In Vancouver, a commemorative ceremony jointly hosted by the B.C. Federation of Labour, the Business Council of British Columbia, and WorkSafeBC will start at 10:30 a.m. at the Vancouver Convention Centre's Jack Poole Plaza. The Olympic Cauldron, in honour of fallen workers, will be lit at 10:00 a.m. Two of the speakers today, Linda Dorsett and young Silver Kuris, speak from the tragedy of having family members killed at work.

“Just because you think you know all the risks doesn't mean you can prepare yourself for that awful knock at the door,” says Linda Dorsett. “My husband Sean drowned in 25 feet of water. As a commercial diver and fisherman, he dove off our boat to retrieve an entangled anchor.”

The Canadian Labour Congress initiated a national Day of Mourning ceremony 30 years ago on April 28, 1984. Canada was the first country to formally commemorate workers who’d been killed at work; today, the Day of Mourning is observed throughout the world.

Linda Dorsett adds, “When it happens, you think you're the first and only one to ever feel such pain. Sadly, you're not. I hope today's ceremony gives those left behind a bit of hope and that people are listening.”

For more information and list of B.C. ceremonies, visit www.worksafebc.com/dayofmourning.

WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors that serves 2.2 million workers and more than 215,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.

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New Angel Investor Network For Vancouver Island Launches in Victoria

Apr 28, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — To accelerate the region’s thriving early-stage investing ecosystem, the Capital Investment Network has been established in Victoria to unify, organize and represent the diverse private local investment community of successful entrepreneurs, executives and professional on Vancouver Island. The newly formed angel forum will connect individuals, groups, and other partners that support early stage investing and improve local access to investment opportunities, education and expertise.

The Capital Investment Network has partnered with the CFA Society Victoria to launch its inaugural event the “Investors First Evening Launch Party” aimed at bringing the private investment community together to support a global CFA initiative for building awareness of the fiduciary duty to protect investor interests. The event will feature an educational discussion on crowd-funding, a hotly debated new investment platform which is regularly featured in the media. This topic is pressing to private investors as legislation in both the US and Canada is rapidly evolving to open up this investment area and investors need to be prepared by being educated on the risks and opportunities of this investment vehicle.

The discussion will feature Alixe Cormick, a leading expert in Canada on crowd-funding, Founder and CEO of Vancouver-based legal firm, Venture Law Corporation and Advisory member for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada and Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of Vancouver-based FundRazr, one of the top 10 brands in the global crowd-funding market according to Forbes magazine. FundRazr has enabled over 40,000 people, businesses, and non-profits in 20 countries to raise more than $48,000,000.

The event will be held on May 14, 2014 from 5:30-7:00 pm in the Terrace Room at the Laurel Point Inn. The panel discussion will begin at 6:00 pm.

 

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Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards Celebrates 20 Proud Years Building B.C.’s Ship Repair Industry

Apr 28, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Today, Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd. (VSL), the West Coast’s leading ship building and ship repair businesses officially commemorated its 20th anniversary of operations at the Esquimalt Graving Dock (EGD) with an all-employee celebration.

“Twenty years not only marks a significant milestone for the Company, but is an incredible accomplishment for our world-class workers, who have been the driving force behind our growth,” said Malcolm Barker, Vice-President and General Manager, Victoria Shipyards. “Today’s announcement is more than a celebration, it is a success story. Just two decades ago, the business began with one 20-foot container; now we are one of Greater Victoria’s largest companies, one of its proudest community partners, and have built a track record of delivering industry-leading innovation and expertise.”

Originally founded in 1994, VSL has steadily developed a culture of safety, care and efficiency, while rapidly expanding its business to capture a wide-ranging and complex global customer-base which includes; ferries, cruise ships, cargo ships, deep sea fishing vessels, frigates and submarines.

Operating from the Government of Canada-owned EGD, the largest solid-bottom commercial drydock on the West Coast of the Americas, VSL has built and delivered two highly successful classes of Federal vessels: thirty 47-foot patrol boats for the Canadian Coast Guard and eight Orca Class Patrol Boats for the Royal Canadian Navy.

VSL currently employs more than 850 people, including a skilled workforce that is forecast to grow to 1000 tradespeople in 2014. In addition to investing in equipment, people and processes for the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), creating jobs for Canadians through work with the Frigate Life Extension (FELEX) program and Victoria In-Service Support Contract (VISSC) programs, VSL has an extensive apprenticeship training program underway and has created numerous partnerships with Vancouver Island-based educational institutions.

“The ship building and ship repair business has dramatically changed over the past 20 years, but despite a substantial increase in global growth and market competition, the transformation of Victoria Shipyards has been profound and we have continually adapted,” said Malcolm.
“Our Core Values have remained at the heart of everything we’ve done for our employees, communities and the environment around us, and I couldn’t be prouder of the role we’ve played as a pioneer in the resurrection of this essential B.C. industry.”

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Awarding Business Excellence

Apr 25, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA  – The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce celebrated local business excellence during the Greater Victoria Business Awards this evening at The Fairmont Empress. Awards were presented in 14 categories including Lifetime Achievement Award winner Bob Skene.

“We had an amazing turnout this evening celebrating the hard work and determination of so many successful businesses in Greater Victoria. Recognizing businesses for their success in leadership, innovation, and customer service allows everyone in our community to celebrate what makes our community so great,” said Frank Bourree, Chair of The Chamber. “These awards could not exist without the local business community’s continued support. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners.”

The 2014 award winners are:

Business Leadership; sponsored by Coast Capital Savings

Chard Development

Runner-up: Lifetime Networks

New Business; sponsored by Peninsula Co-Op

PBX Engineering Ltd.

Runner-up: Innovative Fitness Victoria

Business of the Year (1-10 Employees); sponsored by Greater Victoria Development Agency

Atomique Productions Ltd.

Runner-up: Cedarwood Productions Inc.

Business of the Year (11-25 Employees); sponsored by Farmer Construction Ltd.

National Courier Service Ltd.

Runner-up: Triangle RV Centre Ltd.

Business of the Year (26-75 Employees); sponsored by Grant Thornton LLP

Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses

Runner-up: Outset Media Corp

Business of the Year (76+ Employees); sponsored by Capital Magazine – Presented by the Times Colonist

Wilson’s Transportation Ltd.

Runner-up: Epicure

Employer of the Year; sponsored by Air Canada

Accent Inns

Runner-up: Seaspan Victoria Shipyards

Innovation; sponsored by University of Victoria, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

AOE Accumulated Ocean Energy Inc.

Runner-up: BC Cancer Agency – Vancouver Island

Outstanding Customer Service; sponsored by The Chamber

Balance Home Cleaning

Runner-up: ICE – Island Centre of Hockey Excellence

Sustainable Business Practices; sponsored by FortisBC

Big Wheel Burger

Runner-up: Oughtred Coffee & Tea Ltd.

Business Person of the Year; sponsored by United Way of Greater Victoria

Sybil Verch, The Verch Group at Raymond James

Runner-up: Dan Dagg, Hot House Marketing

Young Entrepreneur of the Year; sponsored by Royal Roads University

Janna Malo, Fired Up! Paint Your Own Ceramics Studio

Runner-up: Andrew Higginson, Higginson Consulting

Employee of the Year; sponsored by CHEK News

Paul Rudd, Adrena LINE Zipline Adventure Tours

Runner-up: Chris Loran, The Q! and The Zone

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