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2010 RDBN Business Forum

October 28 and 29, 2010 – Burns Lake

Highlighting Business Sector Opportunities throughout the Bulkley-Nechako Region

2010BF1 2010BF2 2010BF3 2010BF4 2010BF5


2010 Business Forum

Thursday, October 28th


8:45    Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:00    Presentations

  • CN Rail
  • BID Group of Companies
  • Pacific Booker Minerals Inc.
  • Huckleberry Mine Ltd.
  • Chief Louie Paddle Company
  • Conifex Timber Inc.
  • Tl’oh Forest Products Ltd.

Coffee Break

Omineca Beetle Action Coalition

RuralBC Secretariat

12:00  Catered Lunch – College of New Caledonia, Fort St James campus
Professional Cook Level 2 program

1:00    University of Northern British Columbia’s NEV2 Round Table

          Coffee Break


  • Rio Tinto Alcan
  • Pacific Trail Pipelines Group

Limited Partnership

  • Core Biofuel Inc.
  • Tahtsa Pellets Ltd.
  • Burns Lake Energy Group


4:30    Closing Remarks and Wrap Up


Friday, October 29th

8:45    Day 2 Opening Remarks

9:00    Presentations

  • Highway 37 Electrification Project
  • Little Valley Farms
  • Bulkley Valley Farmer’s Market


  • Northern Development Initiative Trust
  • College of New Caledonia -  Aviation Program
  • North West Community College
  • Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako Website

Nechako Kitamaat Development Fund Society – cheque presentation

Coffee Break

Invest Kootenay
This partnership venture was established with the aim of attracting and retaining investment and promoting life style opportunities in the region.

12:00  Catered Lunch – College of New Caledonia, Fort St James campus
Professional Cook Level 2 program

1:00    Ministry of Housing and Social Development, Employment and Labour Market Services


  • Mountain Metal Resources Inc.
  • Richfield Ventures Corp.
  • Mt. Milligan Mine Project
  • College of New Caledonia – MINE Program
  • Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako Mining Website

3:30    Closing Remarks and Wrap Up

View Presentations Bios - CLICK HERE

Regional District Business Forum 2010

"Highlighting Business Sector Opportunities throughout the Bulkley-Nechako Region"

October 28th - 29th, 2010

For presentation and information, click on the company name below:


Bulkley Valley Farmers’ Market Association

The Bulkley Valley Farmers’ Market Association (BVFMA) provides an opportunity for people to buy and sell products that have been locally made, baked or grown; and enjoy a quality experience that facilitates community education and development. The objective is to educate and encourage local production by providing an outlet for local farm produce, crafts and products of cottage industry.  Visit their website at www.bvfarmersmarket.com
The BVFMA presentation will focus on community and economic impact, including opportunities for local producers to market their goods.

The presentation will also overview Groundbreakers, an emerging co-operative promoting the production and consumption of local food at fair value by bringing food consumers, producers and social service agencies together to participate in agricultural activities and education in the Bulkley Valley.

Burns Lake Energy Group

The Burns Lake Energy Working group is comprised of various community leaders focused on green energy initiatives. The vision of this group is to ensure that “Burns Lake is a leader in community energy self sufficiency using local renewable energy sources”.  A memorandum of understanding has been signed by local governments, First Nations, businesses, and organizations committed to explore implementation of a district energy heating system. We are planning the first stage of the community heating with the conversion of the Tom Forsyth Memorial Arena to biomass residual heating.
The Burns Lake Energy Group and the Village of Burns Lake are embarking on the first phase of the community heating system with the conversion of the arena to bio mass heating, project start expected in spring/ early summer 2011.

Canadian National Rail

CN is one of North America’s leading transportation companies. CN’s integrated rail network of about 21,000 route miles of track is the only one that connects the continent’s three coasts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico. CN is a diversified railroad with freight revenues derived from the movement of a balanced portfolio of goods including petroleum and chemicals, grain and fertilizers, coal, metals and minerals, forest products and automotive. CN is an engaged corporate citizen: committed to the safety of our 22,000 employees and the public, invested in building shareholder value and stronger communities, focused on environmental stewardship and creating a great place to work. For more information about CN, please visit www.cn.ca

Chief Louie Paddle Company

The Chief Louie Paddle Company is a successful business venture located on the Southside of François Lake. Chief Louie Paddle Company, owned by the Cheslatta Carrier Nation is recognized today as proactive, forestry entrepreneurs. The company manufactures a variety of solid, hand carved and laminated canoe paddles and other unique wood products. The Cheslatta donated the wood for the Underwater Lodgepole Pine podium used at the 2010 Olympics.
The Cheslatta people are dedicated to produce products that reflect the strength, pride and integrity of Chief Louie and the generations of Cheslatta people, past, present and to come. Visit the company website at www.cheslatta.com for detailed descriptions of products available.

Mike Robertson, Senior Policy Advisor, Cheslatta Carrier Nation will provide an update on the Chief Louie Paddle Company.

College of New Caledonia, Aviation Project

Education is the key to diversification.  College of New Caledonia, Vanderhoof Campus, will be offering an Aviation Business Diploma (ABD) program starting May 2011. A committee of stakeholder groups whose goal was to diversify Vanderhoof's economy developed this program. ABD is structured to provide pilots for the northern aviation industry. Upon completion of the program, students will earn a private pilot license, a commercial pilot license with a float rating and an Aviation Business Diploma. Visit www.cnc.bc.ca for further information.

Ty Roberts, Project Coordinator, Vanderhoof campus, will present an overview of this one of a kind program located in Vanderhoof, BC.



College of New Caledonia, Mining Industry (MINE) Certificate

In a dynamic, consultative environment the College of New Caledonia, provides access to numerous training programs, face to face and on line, that will prepare students for employment in the mining industry. Working collectively, across regional campuses, Lakes, Mackenzie and Fort St. James campuses have developed a comprehensive surface mining certificate program. Mining Industry Certificate graduates will be “job ready” for a career in surface mining. Apply now for this innovative program at www.cnc.bc.ca.

Ann McCormick and Lynn Synotte of CNC will present an overview of the development of the certificate and relating initiatives.



Conifex Timber Inc.

Conifex Timber Inc. is an independent, privately owned softwood forest products company operating in the Northern Interior region of British Columbia. Its primary business is the manufacture of structural grade SPF dimension lumber. Its operations are conducted in a sustainable, safe and environmentally sound manner and they include timber harvesting, reforestation, sawmilling and lumber finishing.
Conifex completed the purchase of the Fort St. James forestry and sawmilling assets in 2008 and have an extensive timber supply comprised of high quality and affordable fibre.  The Fort St James mill is capable of producing 300 million board feet of SPF lumber and 230,000 oven-dried tones of chips, sawdust, shavings and hog annually. The lumber is sold to customers in the US, China, Japan and Canada.  www.conifex.com

Tony Madia, BSF CGA will present an overview of the company operations and provide information on potential business and employment opportunities.



CORE BioFuel Inc.

Imagine, turning wood waste into high octane fuel! CORE BioFuel Inc., a Canadian company with a patent pending for its Melnichuk-Kelly-Stanko, (MKS process) gasoline synthesis process. This technology will be used in CORE’s zero fossil input (ZFI) gasification plant to be located west of Houston. The industrial scale demonstration facility will use wood waste from pine beetle damaged trees, logging slash and mill residues to produce carbon neutral, high octane gasoline. The operational plant is just two years away.  www.corebiofuel.com

Bob Murray will present an overview and update of this innovative project locating within the region.

Highway 37 Electrification Project

In 2008, Premier Gordon Campbell announced the British Columbia Transmission Corporation (BCTC) would move forward on the Northwest Transmission Line project. The proposed 335 km transmission line will extend from Terrace to Meziadan Junction and north to Bob Quinn Lake. The project moved into the environmental review process in April of this year.  The Hwy 37 electrification project has the potential to be economically beneficial to the region by providing reliable, clean power and economic opportunities for First Nations, northern communities and residents. Visit www.highway37.com for more information.

Byng Giraud, General Secretary Highway 37 Powerline Coalition will provide an update and provide information on potential business and employment opportunities.



Huckleberry Mines Ltd.

Huckleberry Mine is an open pit copper and molybdenum mine located approximately 121 km southwest of Houston. Huckleberry Mine’s mineral lease covers 1,911 hectares and commenced operations in 1997. Mining is accomplished by conventional blasting, loading and hauling. The ore is processed in a 16,400 tonnes per day mill, using grinding and flotation to produce the final concentrates. Visit www.imperialmetals.com for more info.

Huckleberry Mines Ltd. operations have been extended to the end of 2012. The life of the mine will be discussed along with opportunities and new projects being undertaken.  



Invest Kootenay

Invest Kootenay is a joint initiative of local governments, economic development organizations and Chambers of Commerce located in the Kootenay Region of British Columbia.  The joint venture was established with the aim of attracting and retaining investment and promoting life style opportunities in the region.
Terri MacDonald Ph.D, Project Manager, will present the process the “Invest Kootenay “brand has under gone to produce an interactive website to entice investment in the Kootenay’s.  This presentation will show the benefits and challenges of partnerships to create a regional marketing initiative.

Visit the Invest Kootenay website at www.investkootenay.com.



Little Valley Farms

Little Valley Farms is a family owned operation located in Vanderhoof, BC. The farm is operated by Ken and Carolyn Fawcett and their four daughters. The farm is self sustainable and produces the feed needed to raise 100% natural, hormone free, beef. They have completed an environmental farm plan and are committed to running the ranch in an environmentally sustainable way.
Little Valley Farms produces its meat and also sells various fresh, frozen and smoked products to retailers, restaurants and direct to the consumer.  They are currently researching anaerobic digestion technology, a process to rid the farm of animal waste.

Denise Dowswell will present an overview and challenges faced in bringing their product to market. 



Metal Mountain Resources Inc.

Metal Mountain Resources Inc (MMR) is a privately-held Canadian junior mineral exploration and development company.  Its head office is in Vancouver, and field office in Smithers. The Company’s officers, directors and advisors have over 250 years of experience in the mining and exploration industry.
MMR’s Dome Mountain Mine Project is located 38 km east of Smithers.  Gold mineralization was first located on the property in 1898.  Permits necessary to commence mine production were received from government in August 2010, and in September 2010, a Prefeasibility Study was completed and results were favourable.   www.metalmountainresources.com

Rob Boyce, PGeo will update the status of the Dome Mountain project and forecast future business and employment opportunities.

Ministry of Housing and Social Development
Employment and Labour Market Services

The Ministry offers Employment Insurance (EI) Part II employment programs and services. EI Part II programs assist eligible employers, in the form of subsidies that help with human resource requirements. Services are available to assist eligible job seekers, by providing training to upgrade skills, offering valuable work experience, or lending support and expertise for starting a business. Services provided may also include wage subsidies, which encourage employers to provide work experience opportunities.   Visit their website at http://www.labourmarketservices.gov.bc.ca/ for more information.

Diane Beaulieu, Program Officer will provide an overview of the many programs and services offered to employers and job seekers.

Mt. Milligan Mine

The Mt. Milligan Copper-Gold Project is approximately 90km North of Fort St. James. Mt Milligan was recently purchased by Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc from Terrane Metals. Mt. Milligan will be a conventional truck-shovel open pit mine with a 60,000 tpd copper flotation process plant. Mt. Milligan will provide about 400 direct permanent jobs and significant long-term economic benefits for the region.  www.terranemetals.com


Christy Smith, Community Liaison for the Mount Milligan Mine Project, will give an update on the project as well as present on employment and service/supplier opportunities.

Northern Development Initiative Trust

Northern Development Initiative Trust is an independent, regional economic development corporation focused on stimulating economic diversification and job creation in central and northern British Columbia.  The region is strategically located and offers a resource-rich economy with many competitive advantages and incentives for business initiatives.
Northern Development, established in 2005, is an initiative of the Province of British Columbia. A board of 13 regionally-based directors independently governs Northern Development, and it is a leading economic development agency in the region focused on being a catalyst to inject two billion dollars every decade into communities to realize their economic potential.  For more information, visit www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca.

Brodie Guy, Economic Development Manager, will present on financial incentives for business.

Northwest Community College

Northwest Community College (NWCC), founded in 1975, is a provincially funded post-secondary institution in northwest British Columbia, situated within a rural and remote context. To enhance access to post-secondary opportunities, NWCC has established nine campus locations. (Smithers and Houston are located within the RDBN)
Through partnerships and federated agreements with First Nations communities and organizations, the College also provides community-based programming in many First Nations villages and consistently in the Nass Valley with the Nisga’a Nation. For more information on programs offered at the College, visit www.nwcc.bc.ca.

Regina Saimoto, Campus Principal will give an update on exciting programs and partnerships offered through NWCC.

Omineca Beetle Action Coalition

The Omineca Beetle Action Coalition (OBAC) is comprised of the fourteen local governments within the Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-Fort George Regional Districts. Until recently, the Coalition has focused on its primary task – to complete a well researched and credible diversification plan and sector strategies for the region. OBAC’s current mandate is to provide oversight and leadership in the implementation of various mountain pine beetle mitigation plans. To work to ensure the sustainable development and resiliency of the region by:

1. Completing projects that were initiated concurrent with the planning phase;
2. Facilitating the implementation of at least one high priority project from each sector strategy while concurrently strengthening delivery partnerships;
3. Providing leadership and support that enhances the climate for ongoing collaborative implementation of strategies; and
4. Providing advice to the Provincial Government.




Pacific Booker Minerals Inc.

Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. owns the Morrison property located in Central British Columbia, 35 km north of the Village of Granisle. Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. has completed a full feasibility study and an environmental assessment.
The company is proposing a 30,000 tonnes/day open-pit mining and milling operation for the production of copper/gold/molybdenum concentrate. Pacific Booker Minerals Inc.’s Application for Environmental Assessment Certificate has been accepted by the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office for Review (July, 2010) as well as concurrent review of a number of permit applications.   Visit www.pacificbooker.com for more information.

Mr. John Plourde will present an overview of the project and discuss potential opportunities in the areas of employment and services/suppliers in the RDBN.


Pacific Trail Pipelines Group Limited Partnership

The Pacific Trail Pipeline is located within the traditional territories of fifteen north-western BC aboriginal communities, the pipeline stretches 500 km. The Kitimat-Summit Lake Pipeline Looping Project is a bi-directional, natural gas transmission pipeline system.  By forming the First Nations PTP Group Limited Partnership the fifteen First Nations have had the foresight to come together and foster an environment where their communities can reap the long-term benefits of employment, training, social and economic spinoffs during the construction and operation of these permanent facilities.  Visit www.pacifictrailpipelines.com for more information.

David Luggi, Tribal Chief of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council will give an update on the PTP Partnership and the opportunities it will present.



Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako Website

For comprehensive information regarding the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN), visit www.rdbn.bc.ca. The RDBN, incorporated in 1966 under the Municipal Act. The region covers roughly 77,000 square km with a population of 38,243 (2006 census). The RDBN contains eight incorporated municipalities and seven rural electoral areas; each area directly elects a Regional District Director to the Board.

The RDBN website outlines detailed information on all the services provided by the RDBN. Corrine Swenson, Regional Strategic Development Analyst, will highlight the online business directory and other information relevant to the business community.

“A World of Opportunities within Our Region”

Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako Mining Website

The mining website, unveiled January 18th, 2010, is a “one stop” portal promoting the mining sector within the Bulkley-Nechako region. This one stop site includes the ability to post and view employment opportunities, interactive maps with detailed information on exploration sites and operating mines, media releases, events (local and national), local service and supplier company directory, an exploration company blog and many other features. We encourage you to visit www.mining.rdbn.bc.ca.

Corrine Swenson, Strategic Development Analyst will demonstrate the many features of the RDBN mining website during the presentation.

Richfield Ventures Corp.

Richfield Ventures Corp. is a junior mining company exploring for gold in the Nechako Plateau area of central British Columbia.  The company is systematically drilling its Blackwater Gold Project with the goal of discovering a world class bulk tonnage gold deposit.  The exploration project is located roughly 110km south of Vanderhoof on the northern flanks of Mt. Davidson.  The exploration camp has been upgraded and exploration will continue through the winter months.  www.richfieldventures.ca

Christopher Leslie, M.Sc., Project Geologist for Richfield Ventures Corp. will be presenting an overview of the company’s operations and identifying potential opportunities for employment and for services and suppliers.


Rio Tinto Alcan

Rio Tinto Alcan is one of five product groups operated by Rio Tinto, a leading international mining group and a global supplier of high quality bauxite, alumina and aluminum. Rio Tinto’s largest holding in British Columbia is the Alcan smelter operated in Kitimat.
Currently, Rio Tinto Alcan is preparing for the Kitimat Modernization Project. The proposed modernization of the Kitimat aluminium smelter will increase its current production capacity to approximately 400,000 tonnes per year, an increase of more than 40 per cent. The modernized Kitimat smelter will use Rio Tinto Alcan’s proprietary AP technology - the most cost-effective, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly smelting technology available. This will allow the modernized plant to reduce overall total emissions, including greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 per cent per year.  Visit www.riotintoalcan.com for more information.

Kevin Dobbin, Manager, Regional Economic Development BC Operations, and Kitimat Modernization Project will present.

RuralBC Secretariat

The RuralBC Secretariat works in various regions and communities throughout rural BC. The Secretariat works to assist residents, businesses, community organizations and local government staff access services, resources, and program funding information designed to help achieve their potential. There are a staff of 8 regional managers supported by a Strategic Initiatives Office and Management in Victoria. Regional Managers have community, business and economic development expertise unique to the provincial government and act as on-the-ground support for an integrated provincial response for communities across British Columbia.
For more information on RuralBc Secretariat visit their webpage at www.ruralbc.gov.bc.ca.

Rick Braam, Regional Manager for the Northwest will give an update on the RuralBC Secretariat and is available for individual meetings at the Business Forum.



Tahtsa Pellets Ltd.

Tahtsa Pellets Ltd. (Tahtsa) is a family owned and operated business located in Burns Lake. Tahtsa’s innovative plant will turn biomass into pellets for heating. Tahtsa’s plant is located east of Burns Lake and is in the final phase of construction. The plant will produce 80,000 metric tonnes of home heating product and a bulk product for large utility operations. Superior quality pellets are produced through the use of an innovative drying and pressing technology. Tahtsa is looking to international markets for the sale of its pellets.

Ben Wilson, Executive Assistant for Tahtsa Pellets Ltd. will give a project update and employment and business opportunities in the biomass sector. More information on this innovative company can be found at www.pacificflame.com .



Tl’oh Forest Products Ltd.

Tl’oh Forest Products Ltd. is a partnership between Apollo Forest Products Ltd. and the Nak’azdli First Nation in Fort St. James, BC. Tl’oh is a remand facility adding value by producing finger joined SPF (Spruce-Pine-Fir) dimensional lumber by consuming kiln dried trim ends taken from primary lumber facilities. Market for this product is throughout North America. Tl’oh also holds a forest license through Ta Da Chun Timber. On behalf of the Nak’azdli First Nation, Apollo manages all woodlands related activities for the Ta Da Chun Timber Forest Licence.

Tl’oh Forest Products Ltd., General Manager, Laura Chernowski will present the background, partnerships, and employment opportunities at this successful value added processing facility.  

UNBC NEV2 Roundtable

“Northern BC Economic Development Vision and Strategy Project”, completed in 2004 changed the way we view economic development in the north. The 2004 project is located here.

Due to recent economic downturn, NEV2 launched due to difficult choices being made by public and private sectors. NEV2 provides the best coping strategies for private and public sectors so they are poised and equipped to take advantage of the next economic upswing.

NEV2 explores:

  • choices and responses to the 2008/2009 economic downturn
  • the impacts of choices/decisions as the economy recovers
  • recommendations on how local government should respond to dramatic economic change

Don Manson, Community Development Institute Coordinator at UNBC will present the NEV2 project.