City says new brand will be ‘on Target’

The City of Mount Pearl is hiring Target Marketing to spruce up the city’s image.

Target will be paid $113,925 to develop a marketing, communications and economic development campaign.

Corporate and Community Services committee chairman Andrew Ledwell said a Request for Proposals was called to find a firm for the work.

"We entertained a number of proposals from various marketing and consulting firms," said Ledwell. "And based on the analysis of the proposal, both financially and their ability to do the work, we've determined that we would like to award the project to Target Marketing & Communications. We've reviewed this as a committee and certainly see that this is the way forward for us. We expect a quality piece of work from Target and deem them capable of doing just that."

Posted on November 26, 2018 .

Commonwealth Avenue to get a new telecommunications tower

By Craig Westcott | The Pearl

Lucy Stoyles was the only member of Mount Pearl council who voted against a proposal earlier this month to erect a telecommunications tower on Commonwealth Avenue.

The application for the 155-foot high structure was from Eastlink, a major wireless communications provider in Atlantic Canada.

"It's going to be located in the back yard perhaps of 201 to 203 Commonwealth Avenue," said councillor Andrew Ledwell, noting the structure will have an "anti-climb" apparatus to protect it and will sit on a three metre by two metre base enclosed within a 12 metre by 12 metre fenced-in area.

The zoning for the area is Commercial/Mixed. The location is near storage units going towards the end of Commonwealth Avenue on the Brookfield Road side.

"As we know the majority of the properties (in the area) are commercial industries or light industrial uses," Ledwell noted. "This particular tower is a discretionary use."

The application was originally submitted in the fall of 2017, which spurred a review within City Hall as to how it looks at such proposals, Ledwell said.

"There was a public consultation process that was undertaken at the time when we first received the application," Ledwell added. "We scheduled a briefing session for Nov. 7, 2017, as well as circulated notices to all residents within the 150-metre radius of the proposed tower. We didn't receive any commentary and therefore the briefing session was cancelled."

Ledwell said the application has been referred to the various government departments that have a say in the erection of such facilities. After much discussion at council's planning committee, he added, it is recommending to council that the tower be approved.

"It is a discretionary use and of course if council supports the tower the colour, location and design of the tower as well as the landscaping in the area and on the site have to be considered," Ledwell said.

Stoyles seconded Ledwell's motion to approve the tower, but only so that a discussion could be had about it. "I certainly will be speaking against the motion," said Stoyles. "I know we need technology and we need towers."

But Stoyles said the application initially came in for a location behind Mount Pearl Square on Topsail Road and it was turned down. "Then the planning department tried to look at what areas in the city we could actually put these towers in. Our staff did a great job over the past number of months working with Eastlink and communications people looking at where towers could go."

Stoyles said she has a couple of issues with the proposal. First off, she said, such towers should be erected out on the highway, on Pitts Memorial Drive, outside residential areas. "The second thing is, even if we vote no, Industry Canada could turn around and say the tower is going to go wherever they want it. Even though we're voting, they have the final decision."

The councillor said another issue she has is with the number of households that were contacted for their response to the application. "Where the tower is going there's not a whole lot of people within the scope of where we would send out the notices," she said. "So nobody came, because nobody got the notices." Stoyles said the notices should have been sent to a wider radius around the tower to take in more streets.

"I just can't justify voting in favour of it, so I'll be voting against it," Stoyles concluded.

Mayor Dave Aker said his understanding is that Industry Canada will generally follow the wishes of the municipality.

"Not always," said Stoyles.

"But in our experience here in Mount Pearl, I don't think they've ever authorized one without our blessing or cooperation," Aker replied.

Deputy Mayor Jim Locke said he appreciates Stoyles' points. "My thinking on this is we worked with industry and … we basically said, 'We'll identify the areas that are better suited for this, rather than the residential neighbourhoods. The one behind Mount Pearl Square would have been right in the residential neighbourhood… Where this is located in the general commercial (area) to me is an ideal situation from intrusiveness. Now it's going to be 43 metres, which is going to be a tall tower, but again, we do need the technology... If we want the increased service and bandwidths and the high level of service that our residents are desiring, we have to put in the infrastructure. It has to go somewhere.... So, I'm in support of this particular application."

Ledwell agreed with Locke. "I'm all for protecting people's privacy and the character of our neighbourhoods, but ultimately we all carry devices like this in our pocket," he said. "Rightly or wrongly, this is the way the world works these days and we are often complaining if the network doesn't work. So, the fact of the matter is we need these types of towers whether they are sightly to look at or not, frankly. And we have to be willing to work with Industry Canada and the various companies in the industry to find places that are suitable for these types of telecommunications towers."

Situating such a tower in a commercial and industrial area on Commonwealth Avenue is probably among the best places in the city for such infrastructure, he added. "That's why I'm bringing in the motion today and that's why I'm going to be voting in support of it."

Put to the vote, the motion to approve the tower was approved with Stoyles offering the lone nay.

Posted on November 26, 2018 .

Finding good workers key to small businesses

By Craig Westcott | The Pearl

As Canada celebrates Small Business Week this week, people in this region find themselves in the strange paradox of living in a province with the highest unemployment rate in Canada, but also a market where employers are, in some cases, starved for talent.

The Mount Pearl - Paradise Chamber of Commerce tried to address that conundrum last month by holding a job at the Reid Community Centre. Some 29 companies set up booths to meet prospective employees and take resumes from the 250 or so job seekers who showed up.

Among them were three students from Bangladesh, Marium Oishee, Fabiha Darannum and Samiha Subah.

“It was pretty good," Oishee said of the job fair. "There were lots of employers from different fields."

Oishee is looking for part time work, preferably in retail, while she completes her studies.

"The job fair was pretty good, actually," agreed Darannum, a business administration student at the College of the North Atlantic. "It was the first time I attended one, so I was nervous, but it was good."

Darannum said it is tough finding work in the St. John's area.

"I am also looking for a part time job, because I am going to start my education this winter semester," said Subah. "So I'm looking for a part time job, hopefully in retail, or a coffee shop."

Subah said she hopes to live in Canada as a citizen someday. "But the education is the most important part (for coming here now)," she said. "Once I'm done with my education, hopefully, if possible, I will try to live here."

All three live in St. John's. Getting around to job interviews is difficult, Oishee admitted, because they don't have a car.

The chamber's executive director, Wanda Palmer, said there was a good reason for holding the job fair. "Our community needed it," said Palmer. "We have members, and businesses, who are starving for employees."

Reflecting on the number of people who came looking for work, Palmer observed, "That's telling you something."

Palmer said the employers were pleased with the turn out. "They had a fabulous turnout today," said Palmer. "The couldn't get over the quality and quantity of people who came through."

The chamber's vice president, Dave Halliday, who was also on hand for the event, was with a company that reflected some of the reason for the disconnect between the high unemployment rate and companies needing talented people.

"We're in a unique position because we've only been in this market under the Bonshaw name for one year now," said Halliday, a marketing consultant with Bonshaw Media, a digital marketing company. "So we've been kind of going through a start-up phase, kind of just getting out the brand of Bonshaw. So it's been challenging in that way, because nobody really knew who Bonshaw was... We only operate with a team of three people here in St. John's, but over the next year we'll probably be looking at a little more growth and taking on a few more people."

Halliday said the job fair was bigger in terms of employer and job seeker turnout than one held last spring.

Posted on November 26, 2018 .

A hill to debate on

City takes next step in Kenmount Hill development scheme

By Craig Westcott | The Pearl

Mount Pearl council has approved the hiring of a commissioner to hold another hearing on amendments to its City Plan to accommodate the Kenmount Hill Comprehensive Development Scheme, but not without an ear to the growing opposition from some people already living on the hill.

"This is a framework for the future growth of this area," said councillor Lucy Stoyles earlier this month in introducing the motion to hire the commissioner and amend the City’s municipal plan.

With the zoning deemed Mixed Development, it will allow for various housing styles with links to recreation spaces and accommodation for commercial uses west of Mount Carson Avenue, she explained.

"This is private land, private developers have come in to us (to develop it)," Stoyles said, noting up to a few years ago the land could not be developed because of regulations against construction of properties above the 190-metre height of land.

That rule was changed by the previous PC administration and the City of St. John's just prior to the development of Galway, which is also above the 190-metre contour, sparking a small rush towards development in similarly situated areas.

"When I first got elected to council 20 years ago, it was never seen that this land would be developed," Stoyles admitted. "We never dreamed that we would be here today talking about this land. So, in a sense, it's really good news for the City that we have a lot of land and a lot of growth to continue here within our city."

Stoyles said the City has followed all the public briefing requirements for the development plan and held public hearings and even an extra open house. Among the issues raised by people, she added, were concerns about traffic, water and sewer infrastructure, zoning changes, property values and the enjoyment of open spaces for recreation.

"We heard everybody's concerns," said Stoyles.

On August 22, Stoyles said, the plan was sent to the Department of Municipal Affairs for an environmental review. That came back okay in September. The next step, she said, is to hold a public hearing.

"Again, the people in that area can come out and have their say again to an independent commissioner and be heard," Stoyles said. "At the end of the day, this land is going to be developed because the City can’t afford to buy land and say we're not going to do anything with it. It's not our land."

"We're the regulator," said Mayor Dave Aker.

Something is going to be built on that land, Stoyles said, arguing it is the responsibility of council to regulate the type of development that does take place to protect the best interests of the city. "And we're going to try and do that to the best of our ability," said Stoyles.

Commissioner George Trainor will hold the public hearing on October 25 at 7 p.m. at the Pearlgate Track & Field Complex.

"There are two main things we're doing here," said Aker. "We're amending our Mount Pearl Municipal Plan, which is the overarching document form the provincial government - you could call it our constitution. We're also amending our development regulations, which gives council the authority to approve the development of land according to the standards we have set."

Before proceeding to a vote, Aker asked if there was anyone opposed to those changes.

"First of all, I just want to say I am not opposed to development in the area," responded councillor Isabelle Fry. "This has been a learning process. One of the things that stands out to me is the extreme difference between what's there and what's being proposed... I also have a concern with the traffic in the area. I don't feel comfortable yet with the whole roundabout and how it's going to connect."

Fry said she would like to see development there. "There are a number of things here (of concern) for me," she added. "It's the passion of the residents and their strong belief in having questions answered. I don't know what can be done about it. I want to acknowledge it has been a difficult discussion for all of us."

Fry said another concern is the City's plan to limit the construction of single-family homes in favour of multi-unit structures, creating a heavier density.

"One of the challenges with this whole area that we're rezoning is that there are multiple property owners and each of them have different development objectives," said Mayor Aker. "The swath of land starts on the southern part of Kenmount Road and works its way all the way across Wyatt Boulevard all the way over to Blackmarsh Road. There are multiple developers... On the residential side, which is more on the Wyatt Boulevarde side - that's the area that we've received the most feedback and I think we're all the most sensitive to - I believe the developer would like to meet the needs of families and residents of Mount Pearl, as well as the region, with as many different types of housing as possible... That's what newer residents want. But in this particular situation, some of the older residents don't want change."

But Aker noted with each round of public consultation, council has amended its course regarding the proposed scheme. And as each development application proceeds in the future, it will have to come before council for review.

Fry said she just wanted to put her concerns on the record "and make it clear how tough this is on some of the residents."

Posted on November 26, 2018 .

From pumping gas to collecting millions, Kenny's journey so far

By Craig Westcott | The Irish Loop Post

Innovate or die. That’s the message Fermuese native and technology entrepreneur Karl Kenny delivered earlier this month as the guest speaker at the Celtic CBDC’s annual general meeting held in Bay Bulls during Small Business Week.

Kenny, who got his first introduction to the important of technology to the modern world as a member of the Canadian navy, sketched a resume of his career to date, the lows as well as the highs, and offered a bit of advice for the small business operators in the room.

"Someone said to me the other day, 'Karl, we're seeing you in the news a lot, you've been a real overnight success.'” Kenny said. “I said, 'It's been a really long night baby, a really long night.'"

The member of Newfoundland and Labrador's Business Hall of Fame has had a rollercoaster career in the high technology industry, earning millions in company divestitures at some points and crashing to a receivership on the bottom end at another point. But he is still clearly hooked on the opportunities available in high tech.

Kenny said his first job was pumping gas at Jim Kenney's gas bar in Fermuese. "It was great, I was making 35 bucks a week, which worked out to about 65 cents an hour at the time,” he recalled. “Then I joined the navy and had a great career and learned a lot. I was a kid and I learned a lot about leadership and persistence and doing hard work."

Kenny said there is an important distinction between innovation and invention.

“People think they are the same, and they’re not,” said Kenny. “Invention is the creation of something, and innovation is taking that invention and making it better. I’ll put it into kind of a context here: John DeLorean lost $200 million building the DeLorean car. He invented the DeLorean. Steven Spiegel took it and did the Back to the Future series and made almost $2 billion in profit by innovating the DeLorean."

Sony is a similar example, Kenny argued. It invented, with its Walkman, the idea of walking around with a compact, mobile play list of music. "Look at what Apple has done with that?" he said. "That's what innovation is really all about."

Kenny said after leaving the navy he moved to Seattle and became a contractor to Microsoft.

"I didn't invent the mouse,” he said addressing a popular myth about him Newfoundland business circles as to how he made his first million. “The mouse was invented back in '65. I sold that company in 1990. I had some options when Microsoft went public. It put some jingle in my jeans. I was only a kid, I was not even in my 30s then, and I took three years off and travelled the world.”

In 1993, said Kenny, he began work with an electronic charting system, the kind of technology that others eventually refined into Google Maps. “I sold that company to an Italian firm in '93. Again, you think you're doing something really smart, but I didn't see the Google Maps play, so I sold way ahead of time,” said Kenny. “The big news in my life so far has been Telepix. I started Telepix in '96... I sold that for $100 million. People say, 'A hundred million dollars!' It didn't all stick to Karl's fingers, I had lot of investors and shareholders and bankers... But again, a little bit of jingle goes into the jeans. But I should have waited, because a couple of years after that along came Instagram and facebook and Snapchat and youtube with enterprise values in the billions. Missed it again!”

Kenny co-founded Marport in 2003, a marine technology company in St. John’s. It had actually started in Iceland some years before. His main partner was St. John’s businessman Derrick Rowe, who had famously, at least in local business circles, been part of a group that ousted Vic Young and the board of directors of FPI Limited in a hostile takeover. The pair bought and reconstituted Marport as a St. John’s company. It garnered many headlines for technological successes, but like many high tech start-ups, struggled financially. It eventually went into receivership with ACOA chasing it at one point for $2.3 million in unpaid loans. Some of its high tech sonar products, as did Kenny, survived.

“That was really, really cool stuff,” Kenny said of the products Marport developed, some of them in use in his current company, Kraken Robotics. “We got a lot of patents, international awards,” he said. “We brought in a private equity group out of Boston that I made a really bad deal with. It was a big mistake, lost a lot of money, the jingle in my jeans and the other things sort of went down the pipe. And that was bad. But I exited with some really cool technology, synthetic aperture sonar technology and a handful of really, really smart boys and girls in terms of engineers and scientists.”

That’s when Kenny started Kraken, with six employees in 2012, operating out of the same building where Marport had been located.

"We're now 60 people, (with) international operations,” said Kenny. “We started off doing sensors, this thing called synthetic aperture sonar. It does really high-resolution imaging on the seabed, it lets us find very small objects at very long ranges. It was designed primarily, initially for military applications, but now it's getting a lot of attention in the oil and gas sector and we just finished some major projects there offshore. These things sell for around $350,000 to $400,000 a pop. So they're not flying off the shelves like hamburgers or stuff that, but there is a market for them."

Kenny said at first Kraken sold the sensors to other companies for use in their robots. "But then we said, let's move up the food chain, let's start building our own robots and adding value to our own building and material costs."

Along the way, Kenny said, Kraken Robotics has leveraged significant investment with the company going public three years ago on the TSX. "We're exporting to 10 countries we have 60 people, (including) 10 PhDs, and as a small company we're pursuing about $250 million worth of business internationally right now,” said Kenny. “So we are not hunting elephants. The technology has been validated. But this is not about the boat, this is about the sailors, it's about the team that allows us to get where we are today. This is not the Karl Kenny show, this is the Kraken show."

A while ago, Kenny said, the people at Kraken sat back and looked for ways to increase its profit margins on sales, someone it was able to do.

"Our average selling price now ranges from $50,000 to over $3 million (U.S.) a pop,” he said. “This is a very broad portfolio… So we got good margins out of this which allows us to invest continually into our R&D. And that's one of our strategies, relentless innovation to be able to drive these products to these types of customers - Lockheed Martin, Boeing, the US Navy, Atlas Electronic in Germany, Ocean Infinity. These guys aren't fools, so the level of due diligence that's done in our company in terms of commercial, technical and intellectual property is pretty intense."

This fall, Kraken technology is been used by Ocean Infinity in a project offshore Newfoundland. Ocean Infinity is also an investor in Kraken, Kenny noted. The international marine surveying company is running sea trials on two underwater robots offshore Newfoundland on a ship that is using Bay Bulls as its local port. The underwater visualization gear is Kraken technology.

"This is the way of the future," said Kenny. "We're going to be taking people out of harm's way and putting robots down deep. We're operating at depths of up to 6,000 metres, the full ocean depth, to get down deep and find everything from underwater mines to pipelines to cables to treasure."

Kraken recently won awards for technology that is being used in offshore wind farms, Kenny noted.

"You've got to know where the money is, you've got to go to where the money is," said Kenny. "I see a lot of small companies blow their brains out by chasing opportunities they can't ever realize, they run out of cash and then they die… We firmly believe that robots are changing everything, everything from manufacturing to production to medical, we've all heard about the Google self-driving cars, we're going to see the same thing in our world. The dull, dirty and dangerous jobs that humans are doing today, machines should be doing... And the market is growing significantly. It's a huge, huge opportunity for us."

Kenny’s speech drew rapt attention from audience members, a good many of whom pressed him with questions and requests for advice.

"So what have I learned so far? I've learned a lot,” Kenny said. “I've learned you win, I've learned you lose, and I've learned you make money and I've learned you lose money. And as I said earlier, it's not about your boat, it's about your team, it's the sailors round that that, that's what's going to get you there. And the most important things in life aren't things. I used to think it was. But after you buy a couple of fancy cars and you get all that stuff, there are more important things. Money to me just gave me financial independence, it just gave me a little jingle in the jeans (so) that I didn't have to do crap that I didn't want to do... Don't be miserable. How many people do I see who are miserable in their job and they're not happy. Do more of what makes you happy, whatever that is. When Dad was alive, we used to go rabbit hunting up in Fermuese. And I'd say, 'Dad, there's a rabbit, there's a rabbit, there's a rabbit, let's go chase the rabbit.' And he said, 'No, no, no. We're going to get one rabbit, because if you chase a whole bunch of rabbits, you're going to go home hungry.' So the lesson there is stay focused on what you do. And it's hard sometimes, particularly in small technology companies... Stay focused on what you do. Also know where you're going. And if you don't have the courage to cannibalize yourself, if you don't have the courage to continue to innovate, the competition will and you will be out of business."

Posted on November 26, 2018 .

Show us the plan, says Holyrood council

Town passes motion asking province for details on Muskrat Falls mitigation

By Craig Westcott | The Shoreline

Holyrood council has batted around the idea for some time as to what to do about the looming rate increases to power bills facing its residents once Muskrat Falls comes onstream. On Tuesday, council voted to send a letter to Harbour Main MHA Betty Parsons asking how the province intends to mitigate the financial burden on residents, particularly senior citizens and low income earners.

The motion was tendered by councillor Roger Moyette.

“A lot of people are starting to complain and starting to wonder how they’re going to adjust their budget based on the hikes,” said Moyette. “What I would like to see is someone from the government actually have a plan in place to help people who are on fixed incomes because right now, as far as I can see, they’ve talked about a plan, but they haven’t shown a plan yet. This motion asks Betty Parsley how the provincial government plans on helping the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador with these hikes, because some people just really can’t afford it. So, it would be nice to see the government step in and actually present a plan rather than talk about a plan.”

Mayor Gary Goobie, who earlier this fall presented council with a proposal on at least one idea the province might use to soften the blow of Muskrat Falls - by nationalizing Newfoundland Power and rolling it into Nalcor, said he supported Moyette’s motion.

Obviously this has been ongoing now for quite a while,” said Goobie of the concern in the community about electricity costs. “The latest figures I think is that the province, through rate mitigation, is going to have to come up with around $400 million a year. That’s a significant amount of money. There are many people out there who are pretty concerned. I’ve spoken to many seniors, as I’m sure many of you have, who are living on fixed incomes and a lot of them are actually scared. They’re scared of what could happen if their light bills go up. You’re talking medications and general living expenses and if their light bills are impacted in a negative way it will have an adverse impact on them, not only seniors but single mothers trying to raise children, families with mortgages. It’s going to have an impact on the province as a whole.”

Deputy Mayor Curtis Buckle, who participated in the meeting by teleconference, agreed with much of what Goobie had to say. “At the end of the day, people just can’t afford it,” Buckle said. “People are hurting and this is going to make them hurt even harder.”

Posted on November 26, 2018 .

Shining bright in small businesses

CBS showcases Bright Business Awards

By Craig Westcott | The Shoreline

Paul Heffernan had his hands full with hardware instead of grocery bags last Friday as the manager of the Sobey’s Supermarket in Long Pond accepted two Bright Business Awards from the Town of Conception Bay South during the wrap-up event to mark Small Business Week.

Sobey’s was the winner of the Community and Partnership Award, which had 11 nominees, and was selected as the Business Improvement Association’s Member of the Year.

“Sobeys regularly demonstrates its commitment to Conception Bay South through sponsorships, fundraising initiatives, and volunteering in the community,” said CBS councillor-at-large- Kirk Youden, who presented the award. “Staff members can often be seen serving breakfast to children of St. Edwards Elementary School, offering lunch to veterans on Remembrance Day, or cooking supper for guests at Ronald McDonald House. It is a strong supporter of the CBS/Paradise Food Bank, and recently teamed up with Parsons Transportation to help fill a school bus with clothes and items to donate to a community in Africa. Furthermore, they offer regular story times and cooking classes for the community.”

The award for the ‘Beautiful Business of the Year in a Multi-Tenant Building’ went to Regular Power Clarke Bennett Lawyers of Long Pond.

“Regular Power Clarke Bennett Lawyers has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years,” said CBS councillor-at-large Cheryl Davis. “What was once a coffee shop and restaurant, now offers a beautiful expanded space for a thriving law firm and a successful bank (Scotiabank, which is set to move into the building next month). The work to cultivate a sleek and modern building exterior has been matched with significant landscaping and a paved parking lot, which makes it a truly beautiful business.”

The winner of the Beautiful Business of the Year for a Single Tenant Building went to Dawe’s Plumbing and Heating, also in Long Pond.

The David Murphy Chamber Leadership Award, named in honour of the late, long serving president of the Conception Bay and Area Chamber of Commerce, went to Platinum Construction of Foxtrap. It was presented by Murphy’s wife Jennie Murphy.

“This business is an active member of the CBA Chamber of Commerce and its owners are engaged in various volunteer opportunities in the community and in their industry,” said Murphy. “In addition to creating a thriving construction business, the owners of this enterprise give back to the community in countless ways through sponsorships and volunteer hours and are looked to as community leaders.”

The G. Noseworthy Award, named for Glenda Noseworthy, the former long serving executive director of the CBA Chamber of Commerce, went to Gordon Byrde of Shawn’s Muffler and Brake Shop in Long Pond. Ellen Rose of Sobey’s was the category’s other nominee.

“This is actually our only individual award dedicated to a specific employee,” said Krista House, the Town’s economic development coordinator, who served as emcee of Friday’s event. “It celebrates an individual’s long service and devotion to their employer.”

Employers must be members of the CBA Chamber of Commerce to qualify.

“As a lead mechanic at Shawn’s Muffler and Brake Shop, the winner of this year’s award brought decades of experience to the business when it was opened by Shawn Greenslade in 2001,” said councillor Davis. “Sadly, Shawn lost a battle with cancer in June 2017, but the recipient of this year’s award has been there from the start and continues to be there today. This gentleman can always be trusted to step up and lead, which was no different when Shawn was facing illness. Often the quiet leader, Gordon has a way with people, and when you speak to him, whether you are a customer or staff, you know you have his undivided attention. He has been a longstanding and loyal employee, who has played a key role in the company’s success over the years and fosters a company culture and service standard that has consistently made customers as well as staff, feel they are amongst trusted friends. And if you wonder why I am emotional - he lives next door. It touches my heart, I know him personally and every bit of this is true.”

Invested Mama, owned and operated by Jackie McCann-Scott, won the Town’s Established Business of the Year Award.

“Invested Mama is owned and operated by a woman with a passion for financial success,” said Conception Bay South MHA Barry Petten. “This enterprise assists individuals and businesses through financial, insurance, and investment service offerings. Jackie McCann-Scott uses her platform to directly contribute to financial education in the community by performing seminars and presentations, publicizing financial advice columns, and commenting on the economy during radio programming. She is also the proud President of the provincial chapter of Advocis - the oldest and largest voluntary professional membership association of financial advisors and planners in Canada.”

In 2013, McCann-Scott decided to refocus and rebrand her business to focus primarily on female professionals, business owners, and decision-makers, Petten added.

The New Start Up of the Year Award attracted six nominations and went to The Wee Gym, operated by Bobbi-Lee Gosse.

“In the 13 months that this business has been open, it has grown to a team of 12 employees, over 200 members, and has hosted over 300 birthday parties,” said councillor Youden. “They are proud to provide a great work environment and above average pay for many youths in the province. They are also proud to offer a unique offering of programs to residents and is the first of a kind in the town. In addition to local customers, they are bringing a large number of customers from throughout metro, thus creating a spin-off for a variety of local businesses. They are proud of their community involvement and staff volunteer at local school breakfast programs and are continually seeking to be involved with local events in any way possible.”

The awards this year were sponsored by TD Canada Trust.

Posted on November 26, 2018 .

Sunset owner says new day dawning for CBS motel

By Craig Westcott | The Shoreline

The new owner of the Sunset Motel has some big plans for the Conception Bay South establishment.

“Our company, which is based out of Clarenville, has been in the tourism business for many years,” said owner Rod Murphy, who was one of the keynote speakers at the Bright Business Awards held last week.

Murphy’s company owns a motel and RV rental business in Clarenville.

“So why the Sunset and why CBS?” Murphy said. “First of all, we’ve had our eye on CBS for quite some time. We see it as a growing community which is very well-managed and very pro business with all the amenities and services of a large city.”

But Murphy said when his company first looked at the Sunset Motel, it didn’t look overly enticing. “While it had a great reputation as being very clean and friendly, it’s occupancy rate of less than 30 per cent made it a very tough business model,” he noted. “But the further we looked at it, we saw it was the only motel in CBS. And with a great vision to bring it to a higher standard, we thought that we could improve greatly on that occupancy rate. So that brings us to where we are today - up to our armpits in gyproc, dust and paint.”

Murphy said the company has embarked on a total “redo” of all 18 rooms at the Sunset with the goal of making it a first-class destination for business travellers, tourists, sports teams, wedding guests and the travelling public.

There is tremendous potential for tourism growth in CBS with the huge bus tour market here untapped, Murphy argued.

“We’ve been very pleased to see how proactive the CBS municipal government as well as the Manuels River Interpretation Centre has been in promoting the town as a beautiful tourist destination,” he added.

In the next couple of weeks, Murphy said, the company will reopen the east wing of the motel with eight “total new rooms” including new carpets and furniture. “By Christmas we hope to have the entire motel completed, all the rooms as well as a new façade, and new soundproof windows and doors, which was one of the major complaints the hotel was getting - the rooms were really noisy from the outside traffic,” he added.

“We know that we are making a sound investment in the hotel and as such in the town of CBS,” said Murphy. “We hope that the often-heard phrase ‘There’s really nowhere to stay in CBS will be a thing of the past and the Sunset will be a great compliment to this beautiful town that people will be proud to recommend... We look forward to being a proud member of the CBS business community.”

Posted on November 26, 2018 .

Taking a second look

Costello, Joy want Holyrood council to revisit mineral exploration permit

At least two Holyrood councillors are calling on their colleagues to revisit the issue of an access road the town approved some time ago for a mineral exploration company wanting to explore the wilderness area south of the town.

Councillor Jim Joy called attention to an e-mail all councillors received pertaining to the Big Triangular Pond project, which the Supreme court has cleared to proceed without an environmental assessment.

A group of concerned citizens, including some in Holyrood, who are opposed to the Eagle Ridge Resources project, have been lobbying the province and the town to stop it. One of their arguments is that the proposed 11-kilometre access road will lie within a future watershed area for the northeast Avalon.

“There are some specific points (in that e-mail) that need to be addressed by council,” said Joy.

Councillor Kevin Costello agreed. “We definitely need to have those discussions soon,” said Costello. “There are definitely some things we need to talk about and get alignment on with each other and hopefully make sure the proper environmental safeguards are in place if that project is to proceed.”

Posted on November 26, 2018 .

Website contract draws a nay

The Town of Conception Bay South’s website is about to get a $24,500 makeover, but at least one councillor wouldn't support the contract citing the work wasn't offered in a public tender or request for proposals.

The motion to award the contract to Ray Agency was put forward by financial and administrative services committee chairman Richard Murphy. It was seconded by Ward 2 councillor Junior Bursey. Ray Agency is the same company that was awarded a $40,000 contract to craft a television commercial promoting the town that will air during the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling tournament being hosted at the CBS Arena next month.

"I'm quite happy to see this recommendation here this evening," said Ward 3 councillor Gerard Tilley. "And I speak out of frustration for the past couple of years that I've been going in on our website and personally I don't think it's very user-friendly. So hopefully we'll get all the kinks worked out when this agency comes in and revamps our website."

Councillor-at-large Kirk Youden, however, noted he voted against the recommendation at the finance committee and was voting no again at the public meeting Tuesday night. "I don't question that we need some updating to our website," Youden said. "And I understand this is an extension of existing work, but I would have preferred to see that go to some sort of (public) expression of interest and I'll be voting against it for that reason."

Mayor Terry French said given the Ray Agency is producing the television commercial it's important that the website offer the same type of "feel." From what he has seen, he added, the agency has done good work. "I'm certainly supporting it," he said.

Posted on November 26, 2018 .