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Provincial Budget

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News Release

Budget 2013 takes a prudent approach to returning to balance

February 19, 2013 - Victoria, BC

– Chambers of Commerce congratulated the government for fulfilling their commitment to return to a balanced budget.

"Business has been clear, governments priority was to get its fiscal house in order, Budget 2013 does that in a balanced way that controls spending while making modest increases to taxes," states John Winter President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. "Small businesses are the economic engine of the province, as such they will be happy to see no change to the small business tax rates but an increase to the corporate tax rates combined with the return to the PST will present challenges to BC’s global competitiveness."

Budget 2013 forecasts a modest $197 million surplus in 2013/14. The return to Budget is achieved through a combination of spending restraint and additional revenue measures including an increase to the corporate tax rate effective April 1, 2013, a phase out of the school property tax credit for light industry and an increase in personal income tax for those earning over $150,000.

"As all parties prepare for the coming provincial election it is important that we remain committed to not only the fiscal prudence underpinning Budget 2013 but also the need to remain competitive on the global stage," continued Winter. "As we look out over the full fiscal plan we see that government will begin to have additional flexibility to invest in economic growth as the economy continues to recover. What business will be looking for in the election campaign will be a focus on addressing the competitiveness of BC’s economy, particularly our critical export sectors."

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For more information on this issue please contact; John Winter President & CEO BC Chamber of Commerce D This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Friday, 22 March 2013 09:26

NEWS RELEASE Town Recognizes Excellence in Local Buildings

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Over 160 businesspeople cheer for the finalists at this year's Community and Business Awards

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Businesspeople, their families, friends, associates, elected officials, sponsors and award finalists came out to the 2012 Annual Community and Business Awards hosted at Hy-Tech Drilling on Saturday night (October 20). This annual event, organized and sponsored by the Smithers District Chamber of Commece, is an opportunity to showcase businesses that are nominated by the public in 12 categories, shortlisted by a six-member selection committee, and voted on by Chamber members to determine the Category Finalist. The audience was honoured by the attendance of the MLA for Stikine, Doug Donaldson, as he talked about the importance of small businesses in BC and the contribution Small Business makes to local and provincial economies. Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach congratulated the finalists and small business in general. As well he showed his great sportsmanship by promoting Smithers tourism marketing character "Alpine Alice" by donning costume and dancing the "Lederhosen Jig" to raise funds for the new Bursary/scholarship that the Chamber is developing for a local student pursuing post-secondary business education/training. The people in the room contributed over $700 to see the mayor dance and many even jumped in to do the Lederhosen polka with him. Thank you to the mayor for helping in this endeavour and to the Band, Boys in the Bush, and String Licorice, for having fun with the background music. Telkwa Mayor Carman Graf highlighted business activity in Telkwa. People in attendance also enjoyed the amazing array of food provided by the Grendel Group; Seasons in the Valley; the Blue Fin Sushi Bar and Sawyer's Cupcakes. The Chamber also would like to thank the many businesses in the area that contribute to the silent and live auctions, which revenues help defray the costs of the evening and provide a bit of extra revenue for Chamber activites that are non-revenue generating during the year. Our sponsors are incredibly generous and the silent auction winners and live auction winners were thrilled with their prizes. Live Auction Sponsors were: Hawkair; Central Mountain Air; Ski Experience Weekend (Rayz Board Shop, Hudson Bay Mountain, Glacier Toyota); Snowmobile Weekend Experience (Harvey Mountain Adventures and Stonesthrow Guesthouse); Dawn2Dusk Pamper Package and Shopping Spree (Dawn2Dusk, Cloud Nine Esthetics, Seasons in the Valley); Sweetheart Package (Skeena Cat Skiing, Suskwa Lodge, Rayz Board Shop and Glacier Toyota); Half Day Boat Rental (Rayz Board Shop).

Thanks to our MC Mark Edwards, whose humour and expertise added to the guests' enjoyment of the evening and to the drumroll of Mark Allen as the finalist envelope was being torn open (..."and the finalist is"...) The BV Kinsemn minded the bar; Larkspur Flowers and Gifts provided amazing floral arrangments and La Petite Maison added to the ambience by providing gorgeous lanterns for the decor. The whole ambiance was "industrial chic" in Hy-Tech's state -of-the-art new shop facility. Thanks to all the Chamber directors who helped with the set-up and tear-down as well as the sponsor contact and thanks to Harvey and Corry Tremblay for the providing the venue and to Beryl McLellan of Hy-Tech, who helped so much. If, as one of the three finalists in each category, you would like a copy of the evening's slideshow which featured the finalists please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

And now.. the finalists are...Interior News Business of the Year, Hy-Tech Drilling; Vandergaag & Bakker's Business Person of the Year, Mike Henfrey, BV Insurance Services; Oscar's Source for Sports' Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Amy Brandstetter of Sedaz Lingerie; Northwest Science and Innovation's Technology/Innovation Award: Net-Zero Structures (Mike Sawyer); Tourism Smithers' Tourism Excellence Awards, Oscar's Source for Adventure; Aspen Inn & Suites Public Service Excellence, the Salvation Army; Smithers Lumber Yard's Home Based Business, Meg Hobson of Rustica Bakery; Bulkley Valley Credit Union's Family Friendly Business, Heavenly Grinds and Little Treasures Cafe; Town of Smithers and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako's Environmentally-Friendly Business of the Year, Summit Reforestation; Salvation Army's Customer Service Excellence for Individual, Jason Krauskopf of Rayz Board Shop; Hudson Bay Lodge's Customer Service Excellence Award for a Business, Heartstrings Home Decor; Citizen/Volunteer of the Year, Sean Mitchell; Village of Telkwa's Business Leadership Award, Leroy Dekens of Midway Service; Town of Smithers Building Excellence Awards (Residential) Jane Hetherington and Bill Stephens; (Commercial) The Bugwood Bean on Main and (Industrial) Hy-Tech Drilling on Tatlow.

Guests and Award Recipients seem to enjoy our taking the Awards Evening out into the Business Community with a different host each year, so if you have a facility that you feel would accommodate around 160 people along with room for silent auction items, and would like to transform your space, for one evening, into a Gala Hall (we provide the decor and labour) please give Heather or Susan a call to arrange for next year (250-847-5072). The businesses that have hosted are Glacier Toyota in 2008; Smithers Lumber Yard in 2009; the Aspen in 2010; Coast Mountain in 2011; and Hy-Tech Drilling in 2012. All said that showcasing their facilities to a vast array of local business people, and the promotional coverage, was excellent exposure. In 2013 it's Smithers Centennial and a wonderful year to promote 100 years of Business.

To view pictures of the evening click here

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 11:22

Telus Investing $3 Billion in BC Over Next 3 Years -- Hiring 1300 people

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Mar 2, 2012

TELUS will invest $3 billion in advanced technology and state-of-the-art facilities over the next three years in British Columbia.

Vancouver, B.C. – Hiring 1,300 people, bringing world’s fastest wireless service to four million British Columbians, bridging the digital divide, building one of the world’s greenest data centres in Kamloops, and starting construction on B.C.’s first LEED Platinum office tower.

This significant investment builds on the more than $26 billion the company has invested in technology and operations in the province since 2000. It will fuel the expansion of TELUS’ advanced wireless and wireline broadband networks across the province and the construction of TELUS Garden, the most advanced office and residential development in the province’s history.

“The economic backbone of our province relies on investment and innovation. TELUS’ $3 billion investment over the next three years will support significant economic and community development in every region of British Columbia,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. “We will continue to expand wireline broadband access to rural and remote communities and deliver the world’s fastest wireless technology to almost 90 per cent of British Columbians by the end of this year. We are building the communications technology and infrastructure that will help B.C. companies compete on the world stage, create local employment opportunities, and advance healthcare and education across the province.”

Already British Columbia’s largest private sector employer, TELUS' investments will result in the hiring of 1,300 people across B.C. TELUS is hiring 800 people this year alone to support its Optik TV and wireless growth and an additional 500 jobs will be created for the construction of TELUS Garden.

“As important as our infrastructure investments are to our success, our commitment to local communities is near and dear to our hearts. TELUS believes deeply in the symbiotic relationship between the success of business and the welfare of our communities,” continued Mr. Entwistle. “We embrace a simple philosphophy – we give where we live – and we take great pride in the social outcomes we are helping to realize. Outcomes such as contributing $1 million to help Jeneece Edroff build Jeneece Place, a home away from home for families on Vancouver Island who must travel to Victoria for their child’s medical care. We are also working closely with the David Foster Foundation to support B.C. families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants and to inspire Canadians to register as organ donors. Since 2000, our TELUS family of 25,000 employees and retirees in B.C. has donated over $100 million dollars and, more importantly, volunteered 2.4 million hours, with our hearts and our hands, to community and charitable organisations here in our home province. Additionally, the TELUS team will contribute a further $10 million dollars to local, grassroots community projects in 2012.”

TELUS’ $3 billion investment will:

• Extend its new 4G LTE wireless network from Vancouver to more than four million British Columbians in 20 communities this year alone – close to 90 per cent of the province’s population. This year, TELUS will extend service to Burnaby, Delta, North Vancouver, Richmond, Coquitlam, Langley, Maple Ridge, Surrey/White Rock, Hope, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Victoria, Whistler, Nanaimo, Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Prince George, and Dawson Creek, with more to come over the next few years if TELUS is able to secure the necessary wireless spectrum through Industry Canada’s upcoming spectrum auctions. 4G LTE is the most advanced, fastest wireless technology available in the world today.

• TELUS will invest $350 million so that 97 per cent of all British Columbians have access to high speed internet. That investment will see fiber optic cable installed to connect 450 schools, providing our students and teachers with a global technology advantage. Up to 119 communities will benefit from faster internet speeds and importantly, we will extend wireless coverage along 1,700 kilometres of remote highways to enhance communication and safety for British Columbians.

• Connect 35 remote and geographically challenging B.C. communities to broadband internet this year, including Moyie, Manning Park, Clucluz Lake, Kitwanga, Canoe Creek, Hansard, Beaver Valley, Wet’suwet’en, Reid Lake, Boswell, Appledale, Elko, Bridge River, Jaffray, Little Shuswap Lake, Duncan Lake, Christina Lake, Inklyuhkinatko, Kanaka, Neskonlith, Nicomen, Nooaitch, Sahhaltkum, Siska, Trout Lake, Marble Bay, Ditidaht, Tork, Pender Harbour, Puckatholetchin, Saltry Bay, and Skatin.

• Build TELUS Garden, a $750 million, one-million square foot development in downtown Vancouver. Demolition of the parkade at Richards and Georgia officially gets underway today, making room for a 24-storey, 500,000-square foot signature office tower. Combined with a 53-storey residential tower, the development will radically transform an aging block of downtown Vancouver into one of the most technologically and environmentally advanced mixed-use developments in North America. The residential tower will be built to the LEED Gold standard while the office tower will be the first to meet Canada’s LEED Platinum standard.

• Extend Optik TV to communities such as Penticton and Nanaimo this year. By the end of 2012, TELUS will expand its Optik TV service to reach 1.3 million B.C. households. At the end of 2011, TELUS had 509,000 TV customers, adding 56,000 in the final three months of the year.

• Create one of the world’s greenest data centres in Kamloops. TELUS’ $100 million investment in the community over the next three years will also extend its wireless network and bring Optik TV to even more local neighbourhoods.

• Through our partnership with the All Nations Trust Company, connect 50 First Nations communities to high speed internet over the next three years. This $23 million investment is supporting First Nations communities such as the Doig River First Nation, located 70 kilometers northeast of Fort St. John.

• Help further bridge the digital divide by bringing advanced telecommunications to rural communities such as Blue River – where, for the first time, 3,500 residents will have high-speed internet and cell phone coverage along remote stretches of the Yellowhead Highway.

• Deliver an unparalleled fan experience inside BC Place. Canada’s first all-digital stadium now has 500 kilometres of fibre optic cable, 800 Wi-Fi access points, 100 new wireless sites and 1,150 high-definition digital screens. BC Place is now one of the most advanced stadiums in North America, rivaling revered icons such as Yankees Stadium in New York and Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

• Continue to improve lives and save healthcare dollars through the company’s healthcare technology. On February 2, TELUS acquired Wolf Medical Systems, a Surrey-based company that provides cloud-based electronic medical records to 1,500 doctors in B.C. and Alberta. All 75 people working for Wolf have joined TELUS to create a new division called TELUS Physician Solutions, which will provide Canadian doctors and other healthcare providers technology to help them use and share patient information to improve service delivery and patient outcomes. This acquisition builds on the $1 billion TELUS has invested to become Canada’s leading healthcare IT provider. TELUS’ healthcare solutions are backed by a team of 1,500 health innovators who are dedicated to transforming healthcare and delivering better patient outcomes.

• Support unique community fundraising projects in Cranbrook, Trail, Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm, Kamloops, Ashcroft, Campbell River, Victoria, Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Similar programs in 2011 raised $375,000 for a new lodge for cancer patients in Prince George and $350,000 for new equipment at the Kelowna General Hospital.

The capital investment disclosed in this release is consistent with TELUS' overall capital expenditure guidance for 2012.

Packed Roi Theatre for the Grey Premier

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There couldn't have been a more exciting time in Smithers than when people lined up for the Premier Screening ot the Grey, directed by Joe Carnahan, starring Liam Neeson and showing Smithers Prairie in all its spectacular glory, that took place at the Roi Theatre on Wednesday, January 25. Thanks to the effors of Clint Fraser of the Northern BC Tourism Association, Gladys Atrill of Tourism Smithers; Hudson Bay Mountain, Hudson Bay Lodge, the Roi Theatre  and the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce locals that served as cast and crew were invited to a gala evening for the Premier. Thanks to the Bulkley Valley Credit Union for contributing financially so that the reel could be available prior to the movie release on January 27. The video showing the premier is available on you tube by googling the The Grey Premier Smithers or following this link. The Grey was also America's  top grossing movie released over the January 27 weekend.


Last Updated on Friday, 16 March 2012 14:09

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