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Kelowna Hyundai eyes new spot
Okanagan Edge Staff - 4:27 pm - Biz Releases

Image: Contributed

Kelowna Hyundai and Genesis Auto Dealerships want to make a move down Highway 97.

The dealership has submitted plans to the City of Kelowna to build a brand new facility on the current site of Buy Direct Truck Centre, which it also owns, at 2576 Highway 97 N.

The current Hyundai dealership, along with Genesis Auto, is located well up Kelowna’s main thoroughfare at 3260 Hwy 97 N.

The development application calls for a 23,422 square-foot dealership building for Hyundai and a 4,704 square-foot location for Genesis. The buildings would be connected.

Keep dogs from mail carriers
Okanagan Edge Staff - 2:38 pm - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

It appears Canada Post employees are still having problems with dogs while out on their routes.

The organization put out a call in April, reminding Kelowna residents to keep their dogs away from Canada Post carriers if possible, and it did so again on Wednesday.

“Every day our employees deliver to millions of homes across Canada, and an estimated 41% of these households have dogs,” Canada Post said in a press release. “They see them every day when delivering your mail and parcels, especially in these ‘dog days’ of summer and as and most customers—both adults and children—are now home during the day.”

Canada Post is asking people to not open their doors when their employees come to the door. Not only does it increase the risk of dog bites, but it limits the ability to do physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Vulnerability can be good
Contributed - 12:32 pm - Columnists

Photo: Contributed

By Bonita Kay Summers

Vulnerability seems to be the favourite buzz word of the moment. Whether you’re watching Brene Brown’s Netflix special on the subject, taking Pema Chodron’s online course, Living with Vulnerability, or reading Elizabeth Lesser’s book, Broken Open, you’re likely hearing the word more often these days.

If we look at the etymology of the word from etymoline.com, we get the following: c. 1600, from Late Latin vulnerabilis “wounding,” from Latin vulnerare “to wound, hurt, injure, maim,” from vulnus (genitive vulneris) “wound,” perhaps related to vellere “pluck, to tear”, or from PIE *wele-nes-, from *wele- (2) “to strike, wound.”

Nothing about this looks very appealing. Why would we want to be wounded? Haven’t we made it our mission as a society to prevent wounds? We’ve erected dwellings, created protective clothing, even developed weapons to ensure our safety and survival.

In fact, we have become a very self-protective society. Before that first date, we might check out our potential beau’s Facebook and Instagram. Many of our homes have security cameras and motion-detection lights to warn us of possible vandals or intruders. We erect fences and enact laws to delineate space between ourselves and others.

So why break the bubble? Why risk becoming more visible and so more vulnerable? Perhaps, by stepping out from behind the walls we’ve built, we will see the truth of who and what we are.

Whenever we erect a barrier, we push something away. From behind the barrier, we cannot see what that is, and we become afraid of the unknown. We come to see as dangerous anything we don’t understand. Yet we cannot come to understand it until we take down the wall we’ve erected.

We can wait for death to take the veil from our eyes, or we can choose to wake up in this lifetime and see what is. That means being willing to look at everything we’ve been hiding from, both within ourselves and in the world around us.

What if our wounds are openings into infinity? Pema Chodron talks about that in her course. She discusses sitting with what is uncomfortable until you move through it into openness. It’s very difficult and painful to lean into our discomfort, but we can cultivate compassion for ourselves and others by being willing to go there. We may have less anxiety if we are actually willing to turn toward the mystery of ourselves instead of avoiding it, and hoping the uncomfortable feelings will go away.

What if in turning toward our wounds we discover a doorway not only into ourselves but our compassionate connection with others? Before we specialized our skills and erected buildings to house us separately from one another, we lived and worked together. Tribes survived only as a group. If anyone wandered off on their own, they were at greater risk. It was natural to care for one another, because we were intimately interdependent. We needed everyone in the tribe. No one was expendable.

What if the raw, painful feelings we experience during loss and tragedy are actually doorways to the ultimate happiness? When we shed our walls and let others in, we have an opportunity to feel truly loved and supported, to feel a deeper connection than we may have felt before.

What if a wound is only a wound because something had to be closed in order to open? If we are simply open, does our notion of woundedness cease to exist? Perhaps our wounds are there to remind us that we were closed off in the first place. Perhaps we can see them as an invitation to surrender to the deepest union with ourselves, with each other, with infinity.

Bonita Kay Summers is the founder of Spirit Kelowna.

This column was submitted as part of BWB Wednesdays.

GTEC gets into Ontario
Okanagan Edge Staff - 11:11 am - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

A Kelowna cannabis company has completed its first shipment to Canada’s largest pot market.

GTEC Cannabis Co. sent five products to Ontario Cannabis Store recently, marking its first foray into the country’s most populated province.

“We are confident that entering the Ontario market will enable us to repeat our success from British Columbia,” GTEC founder and CEO Norton Singhavon said in a press release. “The expansion of our national distribution will play a key role in accelerating our revenue trajectory, as we strive to become a profitable organization that delivers quarterly growth while creating long-term shareholder value.

Ontario Cannabis Store will launch GTEC’s products in the coming weeks. Included in the order was BLK MKT, which has been one of GTEC’s most popular strains.

“This is another significant milestone for GTEC to release our highly sought after brands in the Ontario cannabis market,” GTEC head of sales Scott Locke said. “The OCS team has been excellent to work with and has proven to be a reliable partner in bringing our brands to Ontario consumers. The Ontario launch advances our strategy to become an industry leader in premium cannabis products.”

Time to end tipping?
Troy Media - 9:48 am - Columnists

Photo: Contributed

By Sylvain Charlebois

In North America, the tipping culture has always been a source of pride, giving customers the last word when human interaction is involved. Good service deserves a good tip, while an unsatisfactory experience results in no reward for the server.

In some European and Asian countries, the tip is included in the price at the restaurant. Not here.

But defining what good service looks like is purely subjective. Most importantly, some in the food industry see tipping as a lever for discrimination against certain employees.

A Toronto-based restaurant recently stopped accepting tips in a move the owner says is an effort to pay staff more equitably.

Richmond Station, a restaurant on Yonge and Richmond streets in downtown Toronto, has moved to what it calls an inclusive compensation model. That means all tips for staff are included in the price. Prices on the menu have been adjusted for an average tip of 18%.

Embedding tips can solve some problems. First, tipping clearly contributes to the disparity in pay in restaurants, so waiters often earn double what cooks earn. Hiring back-of-house staff has been problematic for many restaurateurs.

Studies show that tipping promotes age, race and gender bias, and that tips make servers more vulnerable to sexual harassment from customers. This is the dark side of tipping that customers often don’t see.

The concept of subjective tipping has always been a little odd. No other profession would accept that strangers can determine the salary of employees. Methods to evaluate performance will vary from customer to customer. What’s incredibly subjective can also be biased and inequitable. It’s human nature.

This is certainly not the first time a restaurateur has tried to eliminate tipping. In the U.S. and Canada, some restaurateurs have run experiments. A 2017 study found that the quality of service declined by eliminating tips directly from customers. Another study in 2018 concluded that the restaurateur’s revenues decreased as prices on the menu increased. Most abandoned the initiative as it made their operations less competitive. Most of these projects were failures and the markets weren’t ready for it.

But COVID-19 has changed many things.

First, since the reopening of restaurants in June and July across the country, many have noticed that restaurant prices haven’t decreased. On the contrary, prices have increased, mainly because food is more expensive. But prices also are set to make operations profitable despite new public health standards and physical distance measures. Most would hardly notice if tips were suddenly included in menu prices.

Second, since the beginning of COVID-19, the desire to offer a decent wage to employees who constantly interact with customers during a pandemic is palpable. The current situation has made us realize that many of these positions are filled by people who earn quite little. They take risks, several times a day.

The people who hold these positions are often women and/or minorities, who are often discriminated against—another important challenge communities currently face.

Ending tipping won’t be easy. Tipping grants power to customers, and many of us are addicted to it.

However, with decades of high staff turnover, ongoing staff shortages, stories of harassment and questionable employment practices, the hospitality industry has shown that it can’t follow standards that make the sector an attractive option for job seekers.

A recent Canada-wide survey conducted by Dalhousie University suggests that most Canadians (56% of respondents) now favour including tips in menu prices. That represents a surprising change. For years, Canadians felt differently.

If the sector wants to value its employees and become a decent option for people who want to work, a conversation about the future of tipping is long overdue.

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is senior director of the agri-food analytics lab and a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University.

Five decades in real estate
Jon Manchester - 8:57 am - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Joe Pearson knows a thing or two about real estate.

He should, after all; he’s been a Realtor for 50 years.

Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board president Kim Heizmann recently awarded Pearson with a long-service pin.

“We typically award, on average, 11 25-year pins each year. We have awarded 30-year pins, even the occasional 40-year pin. It is very rarely that we have the privilege of awarding a 50-year pin,” Heizmann said. “In fact, we found it difficult to recall the last time we acknowledged 50 years of service at OMREB.”

According to the Real Estate Council of B.C., Pearson holds licence No. 011543.

Heizmann noted one of the latest licences issued is No. 185034.

“That’s a span of 173,491. That’s a lot of water under the bridge and a lot of other agents left in the dust!”

A lot has changed in those 50 years.

Pierre Trudeau was prime minister of Canada in 1970; W.A.C. Bennett was premier of B.C. A dozen eggs cost less than 60 cents. Gas was 80 cents a gallon, or just 22 cents a litre. The average price of a house in Toronto was less than $30,000.

Six hundred of OMREB’s current members hadn’t been born yet.

“Joe is a well-respected Realtor,” Heizmann said. “He has not only provided exemplary service to his own residential and commercial clients, but he has also served our industry on the OMREB board, where he was president in 2003; on the professional conduct committee, and in other capacities. He has also volunteered at the provincial and national level. And although fully entitled to rest on his many laurels, Joe returned to serve one more time on the OMREB board, having been elected earlier this year.

“A remarkable record of service and dedication.”

Former mill site finally sells
Chelsea Powrie - 7:43 am - Biz Releases

The sale of a mill site in Okanagan Falls long plagued by offers falling through has finally closed.

The old Weyerhaeuser mill location, previously intended for purchase by a cannabis production company, has been sold for $6.8 million to an unnamed B.C. investment company by Sunniva Inc.

“Finalizing the sale of the land in Okanagan Falls effectively completes the disposition of our Canadian assets and marks a milestone in our strategy to focus solely to the U.S. market and the development of our California assets,” Sunniva Inc. CEO Dr. Anthony Holler said.

The price tag is considerably lower than a 2019 offer of $20 million that fell through.

A press release from Sunniva Inc. Tuedsay indicates the $6.8 million sale will net the company $3.2 million in cash proceeds.

Sunniva originally purchased the site for $7 million, but made significant investments in construction assets to build a 759,000 square-foot greenhouse on the 114-acre site.

A court filing from CannaPharmaRX, one of the previous interested buyers, this spring alleged that Sunniva Inc. and its numbered subsidiary still owed a total of $3.2 million on their mortgage.

Top 40: Fiona Patterson
Contributed - Aug 11, 2020 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce are partnering to showcase some of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs through the “Top 40 Under 40” program.

Sponsored by BDO, the “Top 40 Under 40” recognizes high-achieving professionals in our community and showcases their accomplishments. This marks the sixth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees will be featured throughout the year on Okanagan Edge.

********************************************************************************

When Fiona Patterson was a little girl, old enough to know that mixing baking soda and vinegar could turn a mountain into a volcano, her grandfather pulled her aside in his study one afternoon to showed her cross-section of the brain in a palm-sized petri dish.

Patterson didn’t think much of it at the time, chalked it up to another one of his neurosurgery stories and carried on with her day. Fast forward a decade or so to her acceptance into university to become a psychologist and her grandfather asked her, “Why aren’t you going to medical school?” She couldn’t answer him then, but she could surely answer him now:  Patterson is a relationship person. She has come to understand that deep healing comes not necessarily from a prescription or a pill, but from connection and presence and empathy.

Before, during and after graduate school, Patterson worked as a clinician and educator for the health authorities on Vancouver Island and in Vancouver. Longing for greener space and more inspiring work, Patterson and her husband moved to Kelowna. She transitioned into private practice quickly and began establishing her expertise in the field of trauma. Trauma is a big umbrella, but Patterson’s practice largely caters to adults who’ve experienced early childhood attachment wounds and to women who’ve experienced perinatal loss, infertility or mood disorders.

Patterson’s leadership approach is one of empathy, accountability, confidence and organization. She believes people need to feel secure and safe in any kind of relationship in order to thrive. As a leader, Patterson establishes a rapport with others that welcomes ideas, respects choice, honours boundaries and limits, rewards integrity and intrepidness, is inclusive, and celebrates victory.

During her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Patterson volunteered with several organizations. She started out volunteering with crisis lines as a support worker and eventually ended up in a supervisory role. She then transitioned to volunteering with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, where she was a mentor to a 10-year-old girl, and then to Citizens Counselling Centre, where she was trained as a lay counsellor and provided more than five years of service.

Since her move to Kelowna in 2013, Patterson has shared her time with the Rotary Club, acted as a consultant and philanthropist for Mamas for Mamas, MOGA, and the KGH Foundation, and periodically written a column for Castanet. From time to time she will offer pro-bono workshops of a specific nature to local organizations.

Patterson has her master of arts degree in counselling psychology and is currently pursuing her doctor of psychology.

Patterson’s greatest achievements in life are not marked by approval from others or degrees, but by the feeling of fulfillment in the life she has designed for herself, and the sense of safety and security she has engineered in her closest relationships.

External validation is nice, but it’s not nearly as effective or durable as the validation that comes from within.

Gold drags market down
The Canadian Press - Aug 11, 2020 - Okanagan Biz

Photo: The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index lost more than 100 points Tuesday as the price of gold retreated and dragged down the materials sector on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The S&P/TSX composite index shed 108.49 points to 16,497.01.

The materials sector, which includes the big gold miners, was the worst performing on the index. Shares in the sector lost, on average, 5.89% of their value as the price of gold, which recently enjoyed multiple record-breaking days, plummeted.

The December gold contract retreated by US$93.40 to US$1,946.30 an ounce.

“I think generally you have risk-on sentiment today,” CIBC Asset Management portfolio manager Natalie Taylor said.

“You’re seeing a lot of strength in cyclicals and weakness in some of your defensive sectors.”

The weaker, defensive sectors for the day included utilities—down 0.45%—and technology—down 0.87%. The health-care sector also fell by 2.62%, the second largest loss within a sector Tuesday.

Meanwhile strength appeared in sectors with cyclical stocks, she said, including the financial sector—up 1.45%—and consumer discretionary—up 1%. They were the two biggest gainers for the day on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The Canadian dollar traded for 75.24 cents US compared with 74.88 cents US on Monday.

— With a file from The Associated Press

Moores Kelowna staying put
Laura Brookes - Aug 11, 2020 - Okanagan Biz

Photo: Google

Moores Clothing for Men has confirmed its Kelowna store will remain open after the company announced it had filed for bankruptcy.

A customer service representative told Castanet the Kelowna store on Harvey Avenue is not part of the restructure plan.

Moores’ parent company, Tailored Brands, said over the weekend it will continue to operate most stores but will aim to reduce its funded debt by $630 million.

Tailored Brands chief executive Dinesh Lathi said the pandemic has forced societal and economic changes that has severely impacted the business.

“It means fewer in-person meetings, wedding celebrations and special events. Simply put, people are staying home more, and our clothes are better suited to being out and about.

“In July, we announced some store closures. However, we will continue to have stores across Canada operating as usual. Nothing about our decision to seek Chapter 11 protection changes that.”

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