February 2020 – First Mover

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1199442

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Page 12 of 79

PORTRAIT: ADAM BLASBERG FEBRUARY 2020 BCBUSINESS 13 W ell, the premier gets it. Dur- ing a recent lunch with mem- bers of the BC Chamber of Commerce, John Horgan explained why, last November, the provincial legislature voted unanimously to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ( UNDRIP). "We all agreed through decades of hands-on experience that the status quo—litigation, confrontation—was not working," he said of the move to align B.C. laws and policies with the declaration. Thanks to mountains of case law, those doing business on Indigenous land have an obligation, Horgan added. "However you char- acterize it—free, prior and informed consent, accommodation, consultation—all of it means at the end of the day, will you work with the people who own the land, who have title to the land, to meet your objectives?" In Steven Threndyle's cover story, "First Movers" (p.32), Chief Councillor Crystal Smith talks about the Haisla Nation's decision to reach a commu- nity benefit deal with the companies behind the $40-billion LNG Canada/ Coastal GasLink project, whose liq- uefied natural gas export facility will be on its traditional land in Kitimat. Haisla participation in the venture from the start matters more to her than jobs and money, Smith says. Speaking with Indigenous politi- cal leaders and businesspeople from around the province, Threndyle makes the case that B.C. First Nations are moving toward what the federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission report of 2015 calls economic recon- ciliation. As part of that, communities are building the capacity to control their own destinies. Indigenous peo- ple still face many challenges, from poor health outcomes to widespread discrimination. But given UNDRIP and other encouraging signs, here's hoping they enjoy the prosperity and respect that has been denied them in Canada's long and shameful colonial past. Indigenous or non-Indigenous, businesses all over B.C. suffer from a talent shortage. Our "2020 HR Report" (p.44) looks at how employers in several industries are trying to close the gap. This feature also includes recruiting advice from seasoned headhunter Caroline Stokes, plus con- tract negotiating tips courtesy of three agents. There's another kind of shortage in the North- east, whose oil and gas services firms must com- pete with rivals from B.C.'s PST-free neighbour for scarce work. In "The Alberta Advantage" (p.54), Dee Hon explores how tax differences could hobble local businesses. They must hope the premier is paying attention. Nick Rockel, Editor-in-Chief bcb@canadawide.com / @BCBusiness ( editor's desk ) Meet the winners of our first Business of Good Awards I N M A RC H Nation Building C ON T R I B U T OR S For "A Real Swell Guy" (p.69), Victoria photographer Nik West drove to Sooke to shoot our Weekend Warrior, Sheringham Distillery co-owner Jason MacIsaac, hitting the beach. An avid surfer himself, West was well prepared for the occasion: "We chatted about surfing on the West Coast, and then he headed out to see if he could get into a few waves." Just before Hope Brown left her Fort St. John home to photograph entrepreneur Sandy Beech for "The Alberta Advantage" (p.54), it started snowing. "We rarely get the Hollywood snow that drifts nicely down and you can chase it with your tongue," says the owner of Hope Linzee Photography. Asked if he was up for posing outside, Beech took a look and said, "Sure!" Brown recalls. "We went out in the blustering snow, and I worked as quickly as possible."

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