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Pemeberton music fest bankrupt
Nicholas Johansen - May 19 - BC Biz


Photo: Facebook

Pemberton Music Festival has been cancelled.

The popular July festival, set to run for its fourth year since a 2014 reboot under Huka Entertainment, has filed for bankruptcy, and ticket holders should not expect an immediate refund.

Documents obtained from Ernst and Young state “the 2017 Pemberton Music Festival is cancelled and will not proceed as scheduled … The festival is now in bankruptcy and has no ability to provide refunds for tickets purchased.”

Some people may be able to get refunds from “third parties” if tickets were purchased with a credit card.

A weakened Canadian dollar and decreased ticket sales were blamed for the cancellation.

Ernst and Young reports the 2017 festival had budgeted expenses of $22 million, while revenue to date was $8.225 million.

Last year, the festival took in just over $15 million in ticket sales revenue, but it still incurred “significant losses” in each of its last three years.

Additionally, the festival “experienced difficulty” in sourcing talent for the 2017 festival “due to a limited number of artists touring in 2017.”

Headliners for the 2017 event included Chance the Rapper, Muse and A Tribe Called Quest.

Following the bankruptcy announcement Thursday afternoon Way Home Festival posted on their website that they would honour all Pemberton tickets at their festival, held just north of Barrie, Ont.

Previously, the festival extended the same offer to those who had attempted to attend Fyre Festival, a high-profile failure that left some people stranded in the Bahamas.

“We would be remiss to provide the option of attending WayHome to Fyre Festival purchasers and not extend that same offer to our WayHomies on the west,” Way Home organizers wrote in a statement Thursday.

It’s unclear if those holding Pemberton tickets will ever be able to get a full refund from Pemberton festival organizers.

“As PMF (Pemberton Music Festival) is now in bankruptcy, it has no ability to provide refunds for tickets purchased,” states a notice on the festival’s website. “A determination of recovery, if any, on the claims of ticket holders from the estate will not be known for several weeks.”

Weaver says Clark ‘reckless’
The Canadian Press - May 17 - BC Biz

Photo: The Canadian Press

British Columbia’s Green party leader says he plans to use his party’s increased political clout in the legislature to fight Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Andrew Weaver says they believe it’s their responsibility to stop the federally-approved project that would triple the shipment capacity of Alberta oil products to the B.C. coast.

Weaver says the Greens will seek intervener status to support mounting legal challenges by First Nations and municipalities opposed to the project.

When Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced on Tuesday that her province had been given intervener status in the legal action, she said she believes one province or region can’t hold hostage the economy of another province.

Weaver says B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s support for the project was reckless.

Three Green members were elected to B.C.’s legislature last week and they are now in the position of wielding considerable political power in what could be a minority government after the final ballots are counted.

Greens active during gridlock
The Canadian Press - May 16 - BC Biz

Photo: Contributed

While British Columbia’s Liberals and New Democrats are gridlocked as they await the final ballot count from last week’s tight election, the Green party is setting priorities to use the leverage its three newly elected members achieved.

The splintered election result could leave the upstart Greens with the balance of power in a minority government, and leader Andrew Weaver is pondering a series of chess moves that could shake the direction of the province.

Green party deputy leader Matt Toner says they are looking for specific proposals from the Liberals and New Democrats on electoral and campaign-finance reforms before supporting either party in the legislature.

Toner says the Greens want to see firm details of potential co-operation agreements before deciding where to throw their support in what will be a historic period in B.C. politics.

Glen Sanford, the NDP’s deputy director, says the party is reaching out to the Greens, but until the election results are final, potential deals can’t be reached.

A senior Liberal communications strategist who didn’t want to be named says leader Christy Clark is prepared to reach across party lines to work with the Greens.

15 roadside workers killed
The Canadian Press - May 15 - BC Biz

Photo: SICA

New data from WorkSafeBC shows 15 roadside workers have been killed and 229 injured when they were hit by vehicles while on the job over the past decade.

The agency says 66 per cent of those workers were in construction, including 124 who worked in traffic control or as flag persons.

The numbers include one worker who died and 21 others who were injured after being hit by vehicles at work sites across B.C. last year.

The new statistics from WorkSafeBC come as the agency kicks off an annual safety campaign aimed at protecting roadside workers.

As part of the campaign, police in Vancouver will conduct an “enforcement blitz” Monday morning, checking for motorists who are using cell phones, speeding or driving aggressively near a work site.

Trina Pollard, WorkSafeBC’s manager of industry and labour services, says the campaign is about getting drivers to slow down, pay attention to roadside workers and follow the directions of road signs.

“Every roadside worker deserves to make it home to their family at the end of their shift without injury,” she says.

Feds unveil B.C. tanker ban
Trevor Nichols - May 15 - BC Biz

Photo: CTV

Last week, the federal government introduced proposed legislation that would solidify Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to ban oil tanker traffic off the northern coast of British Columbia.

May 12 the government introduced Bill C-48, the proposed Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, which would ban oil tankers carrying crude and persistent oils from stopping, loading or unloading at ports or marine installations in northern British Columbia.

Trudeau first made the promise to enact the moratorium in a letter to Transport Minister Marc Garneau in late 2015.

According to Delphine Denis, Garneau’s press secretary, the legislation “will provide a high level of protection for the coastline around Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound.”

The proposed moratorium extends all the way from Canada’s northern border with the United States to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and also includes Haida Gwaii.

“The Government of Canada is committed to demonstrating a clean environment and a strong economy can go hand-in-hand,” Garneau said in a press release. “Tabling this legislation is another step towards fulfilling our promise to formalize the tanker moratorium on British Columbia’s north coast. This, and other actions we are taking to improve marine safety through the Oceans Protection Plan, will protect the coasts and waterways that Canadians depend on for generations to come.”

Ships carrying less than 12,500 metric tonnes of oil as cargo will continue to be permitted in the moratorium area “to ensure northern communities can receive critical shipments of heating oils and other products.”

The legislation proposes strong penalty provisions for contravention that could reach up to $5 million. It also proposes flexibility for amendments.

The proposed Oil Tanker Moratorium Act is part of the government’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, a national strategy to create a marine safety system to protect the country’s coastlines.

Teck to sell Waneta stake
The Canadian Press - May 12 - BC Biz

Photo: Contributed

Teck Resources Ltd. has signed a deal to sell its two-thirds interest in the Waneta Dam in B.C. to one of Canada’s largest utility companies.

It says Fortis Inc. has agreed to pay $1.2 billion in cash for Teck’s stake in the dam and related assets.

Under the deal, Teck will then be granted a 20-year lease to use the assets to produce power for its operations in Trail.

Teck will also have an option to extend the lease for another 10 years.

The agreement has several conditions, including approval by BC Hydro — which owns the remaining stake in the power generation operation.

Teck says it will pay Fortis a break fee if BC Hydro exercises its right of first offer under a co-ownership and operating agreement.

$15 Minimum wage at Johnny’s
Madison Erhardt - May 12 - BC Biz

Photo: Contributed

An American burger chain opening several new restaurants in B.C. this year says it will serve employees a starting wage of $15 an hour.

The Johnny Rockets franchise, known for its classic burgers, fries and milkshakes, is opening locations in Victoria and Vancouver later this year.

The company says it’s offering the higher pay to keep workers with a livable wage, they also said they want to send a message to the restaurant industry.

“If you do it right, you can actually afford to pay people better,” said Lewis Gelmon, President and CEO of JR Canada Restaurant Group.

“We’d like that message to get out. If it’s important to them, you can make it happen.”

Gelmon said all employees at Johnny Rocket’s, from hosts to counter staff to cooks, will make at least $15 an hour with managers making up to $23 an hour, and all will be given medical benefits.

“They’re certainly not going to be paying for it. Our product is the best quality you can find in the industry and our costs to our customers are going to be competitive,” he said. “You’ll be able to get a hamburger, French fries and a drink for under $10.”

Johnny Rockets will open locations in Victoria at the Bay Centre and Hillside Mall, and in Vancouver on Nelson Street, between June and mid-July. Another Vancouver location is slated to open later this year.

Fatal workplace accident
The Canadian Press - May 11 - BC Biz

Photo: Contributed

Worksafe BC and the BC Coroners Service are investigating a fatal workplace accident Wednesday afternoon in West Vancouver.

Police say a worker was thrown from an excavator when it accidentally overturned while working at the top of a steep slope.

It happened at a construction site on Chippendale Road shortly after 1:30 p.m.

Police say the 34-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

His name has not been released.

Greens hold power balance
The Canadian Press - May 10 - BC Biz

Photo: Twitter

British Columbia has its first minority government in 65 years as the Liberals squeaked out a razor-thin victory over the NDP on Tuesday, with the Green party holding the balance of power for the first time in Canadian history.

Christy Clark’s Liberals won 43 seats, the NDP under John Horgan got 41 and the Greens led by Andrew Weaver achieved a major breakthrough by picking up three seats.

The NDP won one riding by only nine votes, making a recount a certainty that will determine the difference between a minority and an ultra-thin majority if it were to flip to the Liberals.

As the incumbent premier and with the most seats, Clark would be expected to get the first opportunity to form a minority government with the support of the Greens, who finished one seat short of gaining official party status in the legislature.

Horgan was not ready to concede defeat, however, saying that British Columbians have waited 16 years for a new government and will have to wait a bit longer until all the votes are counted.

“This is what we do know: a majority of British Columbians voted for a new government and I believe that’s what they deserve,” he said.

Weaver, whose party doubled its popular vote to 16.7 per cent compared with the last election, looked ecstatic as he addressed supporters in Victoria.

“What a historic day for British Columbia,” he said. “People across British Columbia have shown that they are ready for politics to be done differently.”

Weaver wasn’t ready to tip his hand on whether he would support the Liberals or NDP in a minority government.

“In the days ahead there will be plenty of discussions taking place between all parties. Now is not the time for those discussions, now is the time for Greens across North America to celebrate,” he told a cheering crowd.

Horgan: a vote for change
The Canadian Press - May 10 - BC Biz

Photo: Melissa Shaw

At the end of a 28-day campaign where John Horgan campaigned for change, the leader of British Columbia’s New Democrats was ready to claim victory on Tuesday night despite finishing slightly behind the Liberals.

Speaking to hundreds at Vancouver’s convention centre, Horgan said the campaign will go down in history as transforming the province.

“British Columbians voted today to get big money out of politics. British Columbians voted today for proportional representation. British Columbians voted for action for action on climate change. And they voted for an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top,” he said.

The party won 41 seats, but there are still absentee ballots outstanding and there may be recounts, including Courtenay-Comox on Vancouver Island where NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard won by nine votes. The Liberals won 43 seats and the Green three as B.C. elected its first minority government since 1952.

Party leader Andrew Weaver wasn’t giving any indication which of his rivals would get support from the Greens to form a minority government.

The New Democrats had 35 seats when the legislature was dissolved last month.

They picked up some key ridings across the province, including Surrey-Fleetwood where Jagrup Brar defeated cabinet minister Peter Fassbender.

Horgan handily won his own riding of Juan de Fuca, where he was first elected in 2005.

The 57-year-old leader told the crowd this election is special for him.

“This is one of the most humbling moments of my life. I have enjoyed every single minute. I do not regret a single moment,” said Horgan, who was acclaimed the party’s leader in 2014.

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