Osoyoos Chief Inducted into Business Hall of Fame

From left to right: Claude Lamoureux O.C., FCIA, Chief Clarence Louie O.C., Annette Verschuren O.C., Stephen J. R. Smith. Photo credit: Tom Sandler (CNW Group/JA Canada)


Clarence Louie, Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band will be inducted into the 2019 Canadian Business Hall of Fame, which recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of Canada’s most distinguished business leaders. Also being inducted are: Claude Lamoureux, retired president & CEO, Ontario Teachers’ Plan, Stephen J.R. Smith, chairman & CEO of First National Financial, and Annette Verschuren, chair & CEO of NRStor Inc.

Mr. David Denison, Chancellor of the Order of the Business Hall of Fame says the 2019 Class of Companion Inductees is a very special group.

“The Canadian Business Hall of Fame is honoured to recognize their enduring contributions to the business community and our country,” said Denison.  “On June 19, 2019, we will have the great privilege of highlighting their excellence in business leadership, outstanding professional achievements and dedication to bettering Canada’s social fabric.”

Clarence Louie who’ll be the first Indigenous person inducted into the Business Hall of Fame was born in 1960 and raised on the Osoyoos Indian Band by his mother. Due to high unemployment, many adults on his First Nation community had to work as transient labourers on fruit orchards in nearby Washington State. Louie was forced to be self-sufficient during his childhood years. At age 19, he left BC and enrolled at the First Nations University in Regina. He then studied native studies at the University of Lethbridge. After receiving his degree, he returned to home to Osoyoos.

At 24 years of age, Louie was elected as chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band. Louie has won every election but one since 1985. The band has 460 members, and controls 32,000 acres of land. He started the Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation (OIBDC) in 1988.Through the corporation’s efforts, the previously impoverished band started or acquired nine businesses, including tourism, construction, and recreation companies. The band now employs 700 people including non-First Nations. A high-profile business started by the OIBDC during Louie’s tenure is Nk’Mip Cellars, the first aboriginal-owned winery in North America.

In 2003, Louie was chosen by the U.S. Department of State as one of six Canadian First Nations leaders to review economic development in American Indian communities. In 2004, he received the Order of British Columbia. Louie has also been involved in land claim settlements with the provincial government.

The Canadian Business Hall of Fame was established by JA Canada in 1979 to honour Canada’s preeminent business leaders for their professional and philanthropic achievements.

This year’s Class of Companions will formally be inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame at the 2019 Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on June 19, 2019. Proceeds from this gala help JA Canada meet the growing demand for financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship programs for Canadian students, which are essential to youth’s future success


Willie Sellars: Making a Difference for the Williams Lake Indian Band and Williams Lake

Willie Sellars

Part of a series of People Making a Difference for National Indigenous Peoples Day

Making a difference in your community takes a lot of effort.  Fortunately for Willie Sellars, he has seemingly boundless energy.  Originally elected in 2008 at the age of 24, Willie is now in his third term of Council for the Williams Lake Indian Band (WLIB).  In addition to his political duties, Willie is also employed by the WLIB as Special Projects Coordinator and has played a critical role in the renovation of WLIB’s governance structure and its major accomplishments in the area of business and economic development.

Willie’s community efforts don’t stop when the business day ends, though.  He is also passionate about sports, and serves as goaltender for the Williams Lake Stampeders.  Recently, Willie competed in the bull riding competition at the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo and was paired with another local hero, Carey Price, who held Willie’s rope as he prepared for his ride.  Willie also spearheaded major renovations to the WLIB’s outdoor baseball facility as part of a project funded by the Jays Care Foundation.

Willie is on the Board of Directors for numerous entities, including the Williams Lake Business Improvement Association, the Indigenous Business and Investment Council, and Borland Creek Logging.  During the forest fires of 2017, Willie was seconded to the BC Wildfire Service where he served as a crew leader.

In 2014, Willie authored the best-selling children’s book “Dipnetting with Dad,” which tells the story of traditional fishing practices from the perspective of an aboriginal youth.  His second book “Hockey with Dad” is due for release in late 2018.

Willie lives on WLIB’s Sugar Cane reserve, and has three children aged two, eight and ten.

Elevate Excellence, Share Success, Inspire Change! 2017 Aboriginal Business Awards Gala Dinner

2016 BC Aboriginal Business Award presented by the past Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, John Rustad, to Awardee Tumia Knott and Chief Marilyn Gabriel of Seyem' Qwantlen Business Group.

2016 BC Aboriginal Business Award presented by the past Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, John Rustad, to Awardee Tumia Knott and Chief Marilyn Gabriel of Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group.

2017 Aboriginal Business Awards Gala Dinner
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Celebrate Aboriginal Business in British Columbia at the Ninth Annual Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The BC Aboriginal Business Awards, under the umbrella of the BC Achievement Foundation, are generously supported by New Relationship Trust, TD, Teck, BC Hydro, CN, Encana, MNPLLP, Enbridge and Vancity and are presented in partnership with the Province of British Columbia.

These Awards showcase diverse, vibrant and successful Indigenous businesses in BC while also shining a spotlight on their important and expanding role in the province. The program also provides Awardees with a platform to inspire other Indigenous entrepreneurs to excel by sharing stories of their achievements. The event brings together industry partners and offers opportunities to make connections leading to mutually beneficial collaborations.

On the podium at the 2016 Gala Presentation, Councilor Tumia Knott, President of Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group (Community-Owned Business of the Year Award Recipient) shared these thoughts: “Tonight is a celebration for all Aboriginal businesses, and from our nation to you we celebrate all the success stories and differences we are making to build wealth, success, healing and health in our communities for our next generations.”

Since 2008, the inaugural year of the program, 154 Indigenous businesses have been honoured. The unique Individual Achievement Award honouring outstanding Aboriginal business leaders has also been awarded annually since the program’s inception.

The 2017 Call for Nominations generated an ever- growing number of nominations in a variety of sectors. These reflected the remarkable and unique industries and entrepreneurial diversity within the Indigenous business community in British Columbia whether it be a young entrepreneur, a small or large business, a community-owned business or a business partnership between Aboriginal partners and the private sector.

An independent jury of Indigenous business experts adjudicated the nominations guided by the success and sustainability of the business. Awardees will be honored at a Gala Presentation event.

Join the celebration and support Indigenous entrepreneurship at the Gala Presentation Dinner at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on October 26 where over 600 guests are expected to attend.

Please visit for further details and information on ticket purchase as well as links to past Award Gala Dinner videos and speeches.

Border Tribal Council and SIGA Break Ground on Lloydminster Casino Development

Lloydminster Casino Rendering Photo Courtesy of Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority

Lloydminster, SK –

The Border Tribal Council and the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) held a sod turning ceremony today to mark the official groundbreaking for the Lloydminster casino development – this will be SIGA’s seventh entertainment destination in Saskatchewan.
Chiefs Wallace Fox and Wayne Semaganis, from Onion Lake Cree Nation and Little Pine First Nation, respectively, on behalf of the Border Tribal Council revealed plans for the Eagle Park West development and reaffirmed their eagerness to expedite construction of the new casino.
Chief Reginald Bellerose, Board Chair for the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, speaks to the key partnerships involved.

“On behalf of SIGA, we’re excited to officially be in the ground and to continue working with the Border Tribal Council to make this development a reality. This casino will not only benefit the community of Lloydminster but all First Nations of Saskatchewan, and is only possible through the positive partnerships between the FSIN, Border Tribal Council, Little Pine First Nation and the City of Lloydminster.”

The land for the development is owned by Little Pine First Nation, which is responsible for site development. The casino property will be leased to SIGA by the Border Tribal Council, the facility landlord, which will be responsible, alongside SIGA, for the facility development. SIGA will operate the casino and follow the same profit distribution model as its other six casinos as outlined in the Gaming Framework Agreement, with profits being administered by the Province of Saskatchewan.

Breaking Ground on the Lloydminster Casino ProjectPhoto Courtesy of Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority

50% is shared with the First Nations Trust which is distributed to Saskatchewan First Nation communities;
25% is shared with regional Community Development Corporations (CDCs) which are situated in the casino locations and benefit local initiatives;
25% is shared with the provincial government’s General Revenue Fund.

“The new casino will have significant benefits for Lloydminster – it will create local employment, provide funding for city services, non-profit and charitable organizations, and it will support local businesses through service agreements and by attracting tourism dollars to the community,” says Zane Hansen, President and CEO, Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.

Participating in the sod turning ceremony were First Nation Elders, representatives from the FSIN, Border Tribal Council, Onion Lake Cree Nation, Little Pine First Nation, the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, and from various levels of government.

SIGA continues to strengthen the lives of First Nation people through employment, economic growth and community relations. SIGA operates six other casinos in Saskatchewan in North Battleford, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Yorkton and on the White Bear First Nation near Carlyle. SIGA’s casinos offer a distinctive First Nations entertainment experience that reflects the traditional aspects of First Nations heritage and hospitality.

New CEO Weighs in on the Forest Industry

By Kelly Many Guns

Derek Nighbor, CEO for FPAC.

Derek Nighbor, CEO for FPAC.

Canada’s forest products industry is a $67 billion dollar a year industry that represents 2 per cent of Canada’s GDP, and recently hired CEO Derek Nighbor for The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) says he’s ready for the challenges that lay ahead.
First Nations Drum recently had the opportunity to meet-up with Nighbor at an event in Vancouver. We discussed his plans and initiatives including FPAC’s plans and partnerships with the Aboriginal community.
The industry is one of Canada’s largest employers, operating in 200 forest-independent communities from coast-to-coast, and directly employing 230,000 Canadians.
Nighbor was selected the new CEO for FPAC almost at the same time the new liberal government were elected.
“We’ve had a new government in Ottawa for the last 18 months so my main focus is what are the main issues facing the forest industry around trade, softwood lumber, and issues around labour,” Nighbor said. “I have spent a lot of time with issues facing us coast-to-coast, how do those issues interface around with what the Trudeau government priorities are; I think we have significant alignment with the government on issues like climate change, and healthy managed forests play a big part on fighting climate change. Also Truth and Reconciliation, we’ve done a lot of work internally on how we can do better in terms of supporting our companies with best practices on engaging with Indigenous communities, hiring Indigenous talent and working on Indigenous lands.”
Nighbor says that the main priority is how can FPAC work best with the government, and make sure the government knows what their issues are. For example, there currently is an urban government and as you know most of the forest products are in the rural areas so FPAC needs to bring forestry into the urban industry.
There is approximately 1400 Aboriginal businesses, contractors, and companies partnered wiry FPAC and, there are a little more than 17,000 jobs for the Aboriginal communities right now. Nighbor says that FPAC will be looking at the youth in the Aboriginal communities to fill in the aging workforce.
I asked Nighbor how FPAC is working closely with the youth in the Aboriginal community.
“There are two things, we sponsor a couple of Aboriginal Scholarships for Aboriginal students studying for a career in forestry, and partnering with CCAB (Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business) and awarding Aboriginal businesses for their work in forestry, and we engage our members with best practices when it comes to working with the Aboriginal businesses and contractors.”
FPAC shares their information as a national organization to companies on how they can do better in all parts of the country. They also take a close look at their hiring practices with the Aboriginal communities and focus on the cultural sensitivities, plus awareness building.
“So we play a big role in sharing collaborations on the overall big picture when it comes to working with the Aboriginal community.”
Since Canada forest products industry has the best environmental reputation in the world, according to a Lager Survey of international customers, does FPAC share their environmental standards with other countries?
“Yes, they’re jealous” Nighbor said with a smile. “We do have high levels of government ownerships of the lands, 90 percent of the trees in Canada are subjected to government rules and regulations. We have some of the best talent in the world and other countries are envious and there is a lot of interest in what Canada is doing in forestry, which is good as we sell our products around the world. The Canadian product is highly valued and trusted around the world, so that’s great for business.”
Nighbor says that forestry is a global business and he wants people to understand that our product is sustainable.
In regards to the clear-cutting issues, how does FPAC operate in this area.
“Number one, every tree that is harvested is done in very scientific and planned out way. Like I mentioned earlier, 90 per cent of the land is government related – the cuts are very planned, we need to take into consideration the species, the water and the local environment; for every tree that is cut, three are planted. The key is following the strict rules, the cuts are planned and based on science, we deal closely with the Aboriginal communities, even if you have legal right to cut in an area or on Aboriginal lands, we have to go in with good intentions because this is a long-term investment. So that’s important to have good engagement, and have good solid science knowledge when cutting.”
Nighbor grew grew up in the Upper Ottawa Valley, and had a lot of exposure, working in small mills and plants as a teenager, and his family also worked in the forest industry.
“I am also very passionate about rural issues and I understand how important these jobs are for the rural communities. There are limited job opportunities in the northern communities, and a lot of the young people have to move to the urban areas to find work. I want to be a voice for those communities and that’s why I took the job.”
Canada is ranked as the world’s second largest exporter of forest products and the sector is the second biggest contributor to Canada’s trade surplus at 20.9 billion.
The industry wants those numbers to grow. Increasing trade with new and existing markets will be necessary for a vibrant forest products sector, especially in the face of growing international competition.
The final questions I asked Nighbor was where does he see the forest industry in 20 years.
“Number one, selling our wood products to the rest of the world is a huge opportunity, there’s more opportunity in China, India, and number two, the types of product we’re producing, we’re increasingly making bio materials, wood components are being used in other goods like cosmetics, and we’re seeing a lot of new uses for wood materials.”
Nighbor finished the interview by saying, “For the Indigenous communities we’re gonna see a lot more job opportunities for the young people and working with CCAB is a good thing so we can better position ourselves on how we can tap into that young talent, that’s a huge opportunity for FPAC. It’s a truly sustainable industry and of course there will be challenges ahead of us.”

First Native Owned Winery a Success

by Frank Larue

Osoyoos First Nations Chief Clarence Louie has proved to be a visionary when it comes to business. The Osoyoos First Nations has built a spa and resort, rented out land to wineries, and made the first native owned winery in Canada and the United States. All projects have been successful. The Osoyoos First Nation have become financially secure, and they are always open to new challenges. No one is surprised that the resort has done so well, but many are surprised that the winery has prospered since it opened 15 years ago.

The Nk’Mip Cellars has been given multiple awards since its inception, including Best Winery awards for their Icewine and Pinot Blanc. They are now one of the main wineries in Canada, and it all started by partnering up with Vincor.

Patio at Nk’Mip Cellars Winery

Patio at Nk’Mip Cellars Winery

“We already had 300-acres of very high quality grapes, and they thought it was in our best interest to come together and make a winery,” assistant winemaker and band member Justin Hall told the CBC. “The idea was to utilize our high quality grapes and actually make wine out of them instead of selling grapes to so many people, and them all profiting from it. Why not profit from it ourselves?”

Vincor was bought out by Constellation Brands, who continued handling the corporate such as the marketing and distribution. The OIB are visited by their corporate partner twice a year to inform them of their strategies, and to discuss what new wines they are projecting for the future. “Our mandate for the winery is to produce wine off native soil,” Randy Picton told the CBC. “The band has over 1,000 acres in production, and we have about five or six different vineyards that we source grapes from. We get our cooler climate varietals from vineyards situated more northerly in the valley, and our Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Blanc all come from the 350-acre vineyard in Oliver, which is owned and managed by OIB.”

Picton has encouraged band members to become familiar with the process of wine making, and he has recruited band members to work for Nk’Mip. Picton wants the winery to be cultural to the Osoyoos First Nation, insisting that the selection of names for their wines is influenced by their own culture. This includes their lively white wine ‘Dreamcatcher’, and their smoky red wine – named after the mythical Thunderbird – ‘Talon’.

“You never stop learning” says Picton, speaking on the wineries everyday challenges. “The different thing, from a winemaking perspective, is that you only get one shot every year. You have to wait until the next year to make changes to your program. Over the years, we’ve become more familiar with our blocks of grapes, and we have a very good understanding of the winery.”

The Osoyoos First Nations, led by their entrepreneurial Chief Clarence Louie, have successfully taken native business in a different direction. The only concern now is to maintain a level of consistency, which I am sure the OIB will handle with the pragmatism and caution they’ve carried in all of their enterprises. First Nations entrepreneurships have grown more in the last 10 years than they have in the last 100 years, and it is native leaders such as Clarence Louie that have been the difference.

Taking action towards cultural safety in healthcare for Indigenous people in British Columbia

By Margo Greenwood, Hilary McGregor and Julia Petrasek MacDonald

In British Columbia, Northern Health is taking up the challenge of building cultural safety for Indigenous people both within the structures and systems of the organization and at the front lines of health care delivery. This is occurring within the context of a changing landscape of First Nations health governance in the province that is initiating New Relationships. This article discusses how Northern Health is taking steps towards cultural safety and provides concrete examples.

Health Service Delivery in Northern British Columbia
The landscape of northern British Columbia (BC) is vast and diverse with a relatively sparse population. It covers approximately two-thirds of the province and is home to about 300,000 people. Approximately 18% of the population is Indigenous.

Health services in BC are funded through the Ministry of Health and delivered through five regional health authorities. Unique in the province is the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), the first Indigenous-led health authority in Canada. In 2013 FNHA assumed responsibility for the health programs and services previously administered by the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. This historic transfer marked a New Relationship between First Nations, the province of British Columbia, and the Canadian government. Northern First Nations, the FNHA, and NH are working together to implement the Northern First Nations Health and Wellness Plan with goals and actions to support improved First Nations peoples’ health and wellness.

Repositioning Northern Health to Build a Culturally Safe Health System for Indigenous People
Cultural safety occurs when an individual feels affirmed and respected, is able to maintain dignity, and is safe from racism and discrimination. Health care service providers—and the organizations that support them—must reflect upon, understand, and if necessary, change any routine processes, habits, or behaviours that create unsafe healthcare experiences. Realizing concepts like cultural safety require different types of initiatives, activities, and processes. Following are examples of how Northern Health has made system changes to be more culturally safe.

In 2013, the CEO and Board of NH created a Vice President of Aboriginal Health position – the first executive-level position in Aboriginal Health in the country and a significant structural change that supports incorporation of Indigenous perspectives and priorities throughout organizational structures.

In July 2015, Northern Health, along with the BC Ministry of Health, FNHA and the remaining regional health authorities, signed a Declaration of Commitment to Cultural Safety and Humility, providing a mandate to advance cultural humility and safety in their practices with Indigenous people in BC. Furthermore, all new leadership job descriptions include a commitment and responsibility to the goals and intent of the Northern First Nations Health and Wellness Plan.

Building cultural safety at the front-lines of health service delivery
Northern Health (NH) is committed to advancing cultural humility and safety, especially at the front-lines of health service delivery. The Aboriginal Health (AH) team supports NH employees to learn about Indigenous peoples’ histories and current realities and provides a multitude of resources for employees. For example one fact sheet provides information on how to support continuous care as First Nations patients transition from acute care settings to their homes in First Nations communities.
In addition, NH funds seats for employees in a provincially-developed online Indigenous cultural safety training course. This course provides an important introduction to colonial histories in Canada along with opportunities to critically reflect on one’s own biases and assumptions about Indigenous people. The goal is for all employees to take the course.
Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees (AHICs) are an example of NH’s commitment to strengthen and enhance relationships with Indigenous people in northern BC. AHICs bring together local NH leaders, members of Indigenous organizations and communities, and representatives from the FNHA, to collaboratively address local health priorities. To date, the work of AHICs has included patient journey and process map activities to identify and address gaps and opportunities in health care service delivery. They have also developed over 30 local cultural resources to support increased cultural learning within the health system by informing health care providers about local Indigenous community protocols, histories, experiences and needs.

The examples described in this article represent only a small glimpse into the ongoing work by Northern Health and the Aboriginal Health team in collaboration with Indigenous communities, to build a culturally safe health system for Indigenous people in northern BC. These initiatives are helping one regional health authority take meaningful action on its commitment to improve the way health care services are delivered to Indigenous people. Northern Health recognizes that meaningful transformation in the face-to-face, on-the-ground interactions between Indigenous clients and health service providers requires an organizational commitment to cultural safety at all levels.

The Housing Revolution: Quality High-Efficiency Housing with Lower Operating Costs

In the Fall of 2016, Yale First Nation signed on with modular builder, Britco, to start a housing revolution.

For the past few years, Yale has been struggling to solve its housing crisis. They have a need, they have funding, but the solutions that existed did not necessary bring true affordability to the Nation’s 160 band members – specifically those that live on reserve.

Yale First Nation’s existing housing was becoming uninhabitable, with basic structural issues plaguing many members’ homes. Housing that had barely met building codes when it was built 22 years prior was now structurally unsound. Their homes were literally falling apart.

And substandard housing wasn’t the only issue for the Yale First Nation. In winter months, the majority of their community members would have difficulty paying their Hydro bill – which isn’t surprising considering the average Hydro bill last winter came in at $350. This left the Nation helping its members pay those bills and, at times, footing the bill for food and other necessities as well.

Pioneering Passive House

The housing revolution begins with two townhouse complexes for ten Yale First Nation families built to Passive House standards. Passive House standards are currently the highest standards of energy efficiency in a building available in the world today, making Yale First Nation the most energy efficient First Nation in Canada per capita once the townhouses are complete. This extreme energy efficiency will reduce energy costs by 80% and the members living in the townhouses will see and feel the difference in quality and comfort immediately.


When pairing Passive House standards with controlled off-site modular construction techniques, the quality of the building itself is drastically increased because Britco is able to oversee every step of the construction process to ensure quality and attention to detail. This style of building also helps sound-proof the units and doesn’t expose materials to inclement weather during the build.

“Poor quality and high operating costs are issues that many First Nations are facing,” said Yale First Nation Chief Ken Hansen. “We hope to help our neighboring First Nations in British Columbia overcome these issues with some of the solutions we’re working on with Britco.”

Through their work together, the Yale First Nation and Britco are striving to make quality sustainable housing with lower operating costs more accessible to Indigenous communities. In some cases, remote communities are relying on extremely costly diesel generators to heat their housing – which takes a financial toll on the Nations, as well as an environmental one.

The Greener Solution

In addition to reducing energy costs, Yale First Nation’s new Passive House townhouses will emit 80% less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional housing – which aligns well with their beliefs in sustainability and stewardship.


“The lowered impact on the environment paired with the drastic savings in energy costs is a solution we hope a lot of communities will turn to,” said Chief Hansen. “We’re setting a standard for other First Nations in Canada in moving forward with this type of housing.”

Although building to Passive House techniques is new to Canada’s First Nations communities, Britco’s first Passive House project was completed in 2015 for Vancouver Coastal Health Authority in Bella Bella, British Columbia.

A Lasting Partnership

With the support of Yale First Nation, Britco is establishing new benchmarks with this project that will be viewed as an achievement never before seen in a First Nation community. Both Yale First Nation and Britco share a vision of long term sustainability, environmental responsibility, energy efficiency and economic vitality in an on-reserve housing initiative that will undoubtedly serve as a model for Indigenous communities across the province and nationwide.

“There have only been three houses built on Yale First Nation reserves in the past 22 years. The housing need is no secret and it’s one of my priorities,” said Chief Hansen. “I am proud of the staff and management at both Britco and at Yale First Nation for their dedication to this project and the development of a lasting relationship.”

As one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly residences in an Indigenous community in North America, the Yale First Nation Passive House will provide the Nation the opportunity to share their stories, successes and mentor and guide other communities through the process.


About Yale First Nation

Yale First Nation is an independent First Nation located in Yale, British Columbia, with approximately 160 band members living on and off reserve.

The Nation has 13 Staff members and a full-time, 3-person Council who, collectively, are responsible for Community Health, Band Support, Housing, Finance, Social Development, Economic Development, Education, Fisheries, Maintenance and Natural Resources.


About Britco

Britco is one of the largest commercial modular construction companies in North America, providing innovative solutions to temporary and permanent residential and commercial modular buildings.


Britco offers leading design-build capabilities as well as turnkey construction management services with a focus on permanent modular construction, workforce accommodations and temporary construction site offices.


Calgary, Alberta (July, 2016)

Today, AltaGas Ltd. (“AltaGas”) and Halfway River First Nation (HRFN) signed a Comprehensive Relationship Agreement. The ten-year agreement provides the framework for consultation, financial benefits, community investment, employment opportunities, and support for a wildlife study in HRFN’s traditional territory.
“This agreement supports AltaGas’ three guiding principles for developing energy infrastructure: respect the land, share the benefits, and nurture long-term relationships,” said David Harris, President and Chief Executive Officer of AltaGas. “We look forward to continuing to build a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with HRFN that recognizes and respects their values and traditions.”

“We are pleased to sign this relationship agreement with AltaGas,” said Chief Darlene Hunter of Halfway River First Nation. “By working together with AltaGas, we have developed an agreement that will benefit our community for many years to come.”

Halfway River First Nation Chief Darlene Hunter and President and CEO of AltaGas David Harris celebrate after signing a ten-year Comprehensive Relationship Agreement in Calgary. The agreement provides the framework for consultation, financial benefits, community investment, employment opportunities, and support for a wildlife study in HRFN’s traditional territory. Photographer: Todd Korol

Halfway River First Nation Chief Darlene Hunter and President and CEO of AltaGas David Harris celebrate after signing a ten-year Comprehensive Relationship Agreement in Calgary. The agreement provides the framework for consultation, financial benefits, community investment, employment opportunities, and support for a wildlife study in HRFN’s traditional territory. Photographer: Todd Korol

AltaGas is constructing its Townsend Facility approximately 100 kilometres north of Fort St. John in Northeast British Columbia on HRFN territory. When completed, the Facility will include a 198 million cubic feet per day (MMscf/d) shallow-cut natural gas processing facility, a gathering pipeline, sales pipeline, two liquids egress pipelines, and a truck terminal on the Alaska Highway. The Townsend Facility is a key component of AltaGas’ Northeast British Columbia energy strategy. The Project has provided members of HRFN with employment opportunities during construction and will continue do so once operational.

“This agreement between AltaGas and the Halfway River First Nation is an important step towards sharing the prosperity that comes with natural gas development,” said the Honourable John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, for the Province of British Columbia. “The growth of a sustainable, responsible natural gas sector will bring substantial financial benefits, jobs and new business opportunities to Halfway River and other First Nations communities throughout northern B.C.”

Jobs at the Vancouver Police Department

The Vancouver Police Department is actively hiring for the position of Special Municipal Constable. In this role, you can work as a Community Safety Personnel member, as a Jail Guard, or as Traffic Authority member.  Special Municipal Constables are appointed under the Police Act; they have restricted peace officer status and perform specific authorized duties, but are not police officers.

These positions offer flexible work schedules with a competitive salary. Once hired, you join an auxiliary employee list where the schedule is based on your availability and staffing needs.  A part-time auxiliary position can become full-time, dependent on availability, qualifications, and performance. Additionally, some people may be trained for more than one position, depending on the current staffing needs

These positions are challenging and will help you improve your communication skills, your problem-solving abilities, and allow you to gain valuable police-related work experience. This can help prepare you for future careers within the criminal justice system and increase your competitiveness as an applicant.  Many VPD officers began their careers as a Special Municipal Constable. For some it was a chance to mature and gain more life and work experience, while for others it was a great employment opportunity while going to college or university. It can also become a lifelong career.



Community Safety Personnel

Community Safety Personnel are distinct and separate from regular police members, and are a unique element of the police department. They provide a visible presence in the community and serve the citizens, businesses, and visitors of Vancouver. The primary purpose of Community Safety Personnel is to assist the Vancouver Police Department and enhance service delivery in the community by:

•      responding to lower-level, lower-risk tasks, to alleviate regular police officers, thereby providing officers with an increased capacity to serve the community

•      patrolling neighbourhoods, attending public events, and providing a visible presence to the community, which promotes safety and security

•      acting as a liaison between regular police officers and the community, as appropriate, to ensure the Vancouver Police Department continues to effectively serve citizens in Vancouver

Community Safety Personnel assist patrol officers in their daily functions by doing various tasks, such as picking up statements, providing outside perimeter security at police incidents, and assisting with the transportation and tagging of property. They also provide logistical support during large-scale deployments, major events, emergencies, or disasters.



Jail Guard

The Vancouver Jail is located adjacent the Provincial Courthouse at Main Street and East Cordova. It is a challenging work environment – on any shift you may deal with everything from intoxicated persons to those arrested for having committed the most serious of criminal offences.  A Jail Guard provides security and control in the jail, and the duties include, but are not limited to:

•      searching all prisoners upon arrival

•      obtaining fingerprints, photographs, and information of prisoners, and booking them into and out of the Vancouver Jail

•      monitoring and assessing prisoner behaviour while in cells, restraining aggressive or violent individuals, responding to emergencies within the jail, and attending to overall prisoner welfare

•      controlling the movement of prisoners within the cell areas and escorting them to the detention units

•      serving court documents on prisoners and completing all necessary forms and reports.



Traffic Authority

Traffic Authority Members serve with dedication and commitment, upholding the professionalism and standards of the Vancouver Police Department.  They perform specific authorized duties, primarily directing vehicle and pedestrian traffic at public, private, and community events. Member work outdoors in all weather conditions and are often called upon to work at large events like concerts, sporting events, and the annual Celebration of Light fireworks festival.

The nature of the work means a lot of time on their feet and working around vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The position appeals to those who are only interested in part-time auxiliary employment. There are no set hours for shifts – it’s based on your own availability, which you can base around your own work or school schedule.

Applicants selected for a Special Municipal Constable position will complete a formal paid training program that occurs on evenings and weekends at the Vancouver Police Department – 100% attendance is mandatory. The training includes, but is not limited to:

•      legal studies

•      use of force

•      radio procedure

•      policy and procedures

•      traffic intersection control

•      on the job practical training

Upon successful completion of training program, you will be sworn in as a Special Municipal Constable, eligible to begin working shifts. Starting wages range from $22.00 to 24.49 per hour, depending on the position.