Quarter Update – March 31 2021
Five Year Plan
ʔaq̓am Community Enterprises has completed a final version of its five-year plan and it is now board approved. This plan will now guide our work priorities and annual budgets for the next five years.
Board of Directors
ACE has recruited two new directors to its team on March 25 2021. Kara Whitehead and Gord Cumming have now joined our board of directors. We are very excited to expand the capacity and knowledge base of our board of directors. Long-term stability of our governing board is always a priority, ensuring a knowledgeable, cohesive, professional and respectful team is important.
We have re-posted an opportunity for an assistant manager to help support our store manager, Leslie Joseph. The Assistant Manager posting closes April 9th, 2021. The goal here for ACE is to provide an opportunity internally for our staff, to relieve the pressure of the manager and to follow our succession plan to best support the overall structure of the business.
ʔaq̓am Trading has started 2021 slowly, but still holding its own during the third wave of the covid19 pandemic. Our staff continue to be prudent with safety measures to protect themselves and our customers. As vaccinations catch-up we hold hope that travel restrictions will ease in the coming months to allow for the full potential of revenue.
Utility Scale Solar Project
The utility scale solar project continues to be a high strategic priority for 2021. The completion of this project will secure long-term revenues for the community of ʔaq̓am by using the most abundant resource the community has.ACE will be taking actions to complete our remaining lease requirements with the Lands department. The goal is to complete what we can control in order to have the project as ready as possible when the opportunity aligns. Completing what we can control shows the government and private business our commitment and belief in this project for our community. ACE will be focussing on further environmental studies, archaeological review, geotechnical review and completing a land appraisal in 2021.
ACE continues its partnership alongside FortisBC Holdings Inc. who continue to assist in plant design and technology.
ʔaq̓am Community Enterprises, alongside Chief and Council, will continue negotiations and engagement with the provincial and federal governments for an Energy Purchase Agreement. We will also continue to explore selling the power to ourselves, aligned with a project demand business model. With new federal climate targets being announced recently ACE knows that the opportunity for our solar project is now. Along with continued work on the draft lease with ʔaq̓am ACE will be hiring a strategist to assist in making connections between federal and provincial governments and private business to see our project through to completion. Solar technology has come along way and the technology continues to improve.
D&B Flagging & Traffic Control
D&B has completed its spring onboarding recruitment of seasonal staff and we have hit the ground running with a plethora of work available. Carlin Dennis is back for his second season as general manager for D&B. D&B will continue to work on updating its truck fleet with two new trucks per year for the next five years to stabilize and allow expansion of operations with a reliable truck fleet. 2021 will be a stabilizing year as we complete the transition away from Nupqu and integrate the staff and management into ʔaq̓am’s finance and human resources policies and procedures. We see great potential for this business for citizen employment opportunities as well as profitability for our corporation. D&B generated just under a million dollars in revenue in 2020 and we look forward to reaching our revenue and net profitability goals for 2021.
Due to the Covid19 pandemic this project feasibility and business plan has been under constant delays. Our lead consultant was admitted to hospital due to Covid19 and we wish him and his family a full recovery. Our feasibility, modelling and business plan have been shuffled to other IplayCo. Team members. Our full report has been promised to ACE now for the end of April 2021.
Fencing has now been installed around the existing pit and we will be improving signage over the next few months as the ground thaws.
With the assistance of VAST Resources, ARLP is has submitted a Species at Risk Permit application in order to allow operations in phases 1 and 2 of the gravel pit plan. This review will take several months. Future operations for phases 1 and 2 will depend on the outcomes of this species at risk application.
We are currently pursuing further business opportunities with CIF concrete, MainRoads and B/A Blacktop.
Renewable Forest License A92027
ARLP’s winter contract with Canfor has been proceeding and harvest is close to completion. ARLP did miss a full harvest in the summer of 2020 due to a combination of covid19 factors and wildfire risk. The lost harvest of 2020 is now scheduled for early summer of 2021.
We continue conversations about new harvest opportunities with British Columbia Timber Sales and Canfor. We continue to work alongside ʔaq̓am’s lands department staff, Julie Couse (director) and John Brace (forester) to ensure we always incorporate ʔaq̓am’s harvest stewardship principles into our decisions.
ACE has submitted an application in step two of the Provincial agricultural granting program. This step has aligned us with expert greenhouse designer as we continue to explore large scale green housing combined with outdoor crops and animal production. This step of the grant provides up to $10K in funding for business planning and modelling.
ACE will continue to explore and identify priority locations on ʔaq̓am lands to locate a new agriculture business. Food security will continue to be an important issue locally and globally that we would like to put our energy towards as per our strategic priorities.
ACE continues to explore business opportunities that are aligned with our strategic priorities.
Christopher McCurry CEO, ʔaq̓am Community Enterprises and
On behalf of the ACE Board of Directors