Grande Prairie struggles with acute labour shortage

At Stratus Pipelines in booming Grande Prairie, general manager Errol White is posting help wanted ads and bumping up wages, sweetening the pot with extra training and footing the bill for housing and food.

Those are all signs that Alberta’s long-looming labour shortage has arrived in Grande Prairie, and White is on the front lines.

“It’s next to impossible to find people; we’re getting into wage wars at this point,” White said.

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My only prediction for 2013

At this time of year, we all stop and reflect as to what has transpired over the past 365 days and prepare for yet another tour around our Sun. New Year’s resolutions will once again be made and for the most part will be forgotten in 6 weeks or less.  My only resolution I have ever made was on Dec 10, 1985 and that was to exercise on a continuous basis. Although it has been difficult at times, I have kept going to this very day.

As for predictions for the coming year, I have only one. 2013 will be the year that the first internet powered real estate boom will begin to take effect in Alberta.  It will be unlike anything the world has ever seen because the web will be a fundamental shaping not only the economic and political landscape of the province, but also Canada. The Facebook and Twitter resources on this site will be followed by many worldwide and it will serve to attract an enormous influx of people, resources and investment capital in a way that will only further accelerate the economic advantage of the province over the rest of North America.

Sometime during 2013, I will be adding one more municipality which lies outside Canada to the group of cities receiving news coverage. Its purpose will serve to accelerate the generation of tens of thousands of real estate transactions in Alberta and I will have more to say on this topic at a later date.

So there you have it. My only prediction for 2013 and a year from now, you alone will decide if I am correct or not.

Happy New Year!!

Friends rarely make the best business partners

CALGARY, AB, Dec. 30, 2012/ Troy Media/ – A big part of entrepreneurship is choosing your partners.

Over the life of the venture you will likely spend a great deal more of your waking hours with your business partners than you will with your spouse, or any significant other who cares to hang about in a non-paid capacity for that matter. A lot of companies are started by friends, which is entirely understandable.

“I want a new hoodie, but every hoodie out there sucks.”

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Keyano to grow health programs in 2013

Though it has a monopoly on post-secondary education in the region, Keyano College has not sat back and used its status as an excuse for complacency, but rather as a platform for growth.

The year 2012 has seen the college expand and grow, in terms of physical infrastructure, programs and services.

President and CEO of the college, Kevin Nagel, says the past year was important in establishing a baseline of needs throughout the region and the college and has set the school up with a better idea of how to move forward.

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A look at Alberta’s oil industry, and its less than clean image

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say the oilsands have been taking a beating in terms of public relations.

Just look at all the pushback to Keystone XL in Nebraska, Northern Gateway in Alberta and B.C., and a pipeline reversal project in Ontario, Quebec and New England states.

Over the years, both industry and government have tried various tactics to overcome Alberta crude’s stigma.

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Job well done by city in 2012

Much was accomplished in Lethbridge during 2012. But now, Mayor Rajko Dodic is looking forward to more civic achievements in the new year.

Before the current city council concludes its term, the mayor will also lead discussions about capital projects that could shape the city’s future.

Completing Enmax Centre upgrades, hosting an international sports event there, and welcoming thousands more visitors to events throughout the year were some of the high points of 2012, he says. So was the construction start on a new community arts centre, confirmation of major grants for a sports complex, and re-opening the major Bridge Drive utility corridor.

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Long-term plans for Clairmont coming together

Plans to make the industry-heavy bedroom community of Clairmont into a self-sustaining community are one step closer to reality after County of Grande Prairie council passed second reading of the Clairmont Heights area structure plan last week.

The plan, which includes a downtown promenade and a mix of low, medium, and high density housing in the hamlet, includes development straddling the north side of Clairmont Lake.

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