Saskatchewan government and provincial partners release small modular reactor deployment plan
The week began with an energizing start as the governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Alberta released their joint strategic plan outlining a path forward on the deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) on Mar. 28.
A Strategic Plan for the Deployment of Small Modular Reactors presents a shared vision for using SMRs as a “safe, reliable and zero-emissions energy to power our growing economy and population, while creating new opportunities to export Canadian knowledge and expertise around the world.”
“SaskPower has worked closely with Ontario Power Generation, New Brunswick Power and Bruce Power to advance the pan-Canadian deployment of SMR technologies to the benefit of all regions of the country,” Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskPower said. “In particular, SaskPower’s four-year collaboration with OPG to assess SMR designs for fleet-based deployment in both Ontario and Saskatchewan has laid a strong foundation for nuclear power and to support deep reductions in Canada’s GHG emissions to ultimately achieve net-zero by 2050.”
Since 2019, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick have been working together to advance SMRs in Canada through an inter-provincial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that Alberta joined last April upon the release of the SMR Feasibility Study. The SMR plan outlines three streams of development, with Saskatchewan’s first SMR unit projected to be in service in 2034.
These developments in nuclear energy came as the Federal Government released its 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan on Mar. 29 which pledged to cut emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and the continuation of the current carbon pricing tax.
Stay tuned for Bruce Johnstone’s upcoming story on SMRs and Saskatchewan in our Spring 2022 issue.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic receives $4 million for new campus and signs partnerships
Last week, the Government of Saskatchewan tabled the 2021-22 Budget which included $4 million in capital funds for Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Sask Polytech) to update the historic campus built on Idywyld Drive in the 1940s.
Larry Rosia, Sask Polytech’s president and CEO, showed his appreciation on Twitter writing, “My colleagues and I are grateful to the Government of Saskatchewan for their confidence in [Sask Polytech] following [the] announcement of investments for the planning and design of a new Saskatoon campus as well as expanded nursing education.
In addition to a new campus, Sask Polytech formalized and expanded its relationship with Wanuskewin Heritage Park by signing a four-year MOU on Mar. 25. The school’s tourism management students have been visiting the park weekly since Sept. 2021 for integrated learning opportunities, to take part in activities taking place at Wanuskewin, and to help with trail maintenance and erosion prevention.
“We have a great working relationship with Wanuskewin,” says Josh Davidson, Sask Polytech Recreation and Tourism Management program head. “Everything Wanuskewin offers we teach in our Recreation and Tourism Management program. This partnership is a great opportunity for students to use Wanuskewin’s classroom in the morning for learning and spend time outdoors in the afternoon working on programs for camps, hiking, snowshoeing or skiing. This unique partnership is like a living lab for our students in an incredible, world-class location.”
In London, United Kingdom. on Mar. 31, Sask Polytech and Rosia joined Premier Scott Moe on the last day of his trade mission to the U.K. and Ralph Goodale, High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to sign a partnership with Global University Systems (GUS). GUS is a Netherlands-based international network of higher-education institutions founded through the London School of Business and Finance in 2003. Saskatchewan Polytechnic has stated that the partnership “will open doors to important opportunities benefiting Saskatchewan and our students.”
$300,000 to support Indigenous participation in resource sectors
On Mar. 28, to help meet the Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan’s goal of growing Indigenous participation in the natural resource sector the provincial government announced $300,000 in funding for two projects at the Saskatchewan First Nations Natural Resource Centre of Excellence (COE).
“The First Nations in this province are not anti-resource development, but are rather interested in opportunities for responsible resource development,” Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations’ vice-chief Heather Bear said. “These projects are an opportunity to highlight how the Nations in this province can contribute to the resource sector, while at the same time, offer meaningful employment to their citizens. It’s time for inclusion of First Nations within this industry, and this is a significant step forward in meeting this objective.”
The first project is a comprehensive study to identify the current level and types of Indigenous participation in Saskatchewan’s resource sector, including ownership of companies and equity in development. The second project aims to identify specific opportunities for Indigenous communities and companies to own or participate in projects associated with critical minerals. The studies will be submitted to the ministry in March of 2023 and will consider both First Nation and Métis communities and companies.
“The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes the important role Indigenous organizations will play as we continue to work toward growing Indigenous participation in the resource sector and this funding represents a step toward that important goal which will help drive economic growth,” trade and export development minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Our government appreciates the valuable support the Centre of Excellence has provided as we continue to work collaboratively to achieve that goal.”
SSC Security Services Corp. becoming Canada’s largest publicly traded security company through $23.95 million acquisition
The all-cash deal was announced on Mar. 30, with the Regina-based SSC Security Services Corp. (SSC) sharing it had entered into a definitive share purchase agreement to acquire Logixx Security Inc. (Logixx), a provider of security protection for leading enterprise and commercial clients in Toronto from its corporate owner, Avante Logixx Inc. (Avante).
An initial agreement between SSC and Avante announced on Feb. 9 was mutually terminated by both parties in order to enter into the current share purchase agreement. SSC will pay Avante $23.95 million in cash for the Logixx Shares with the purchaser taking ownership of Logixx on a debt-free basis and with $7.5 million of net working capital.
Already a leading provider of physical and cyber security services to corporate and public sector clients, SSC claims it will become the largest publicly-traded security company in Canada upon the expected closing of the transaction within the next 60 days.
“We believe this is a better deal for SSC and its shareholders than the one we announced on February 9,” Doug Emsley, chairman, president, and CEO of SSC said. “It allows us to acquire the part of Avante’s business that is the most similar to our existing business, do it at a lower EV/EBITDA multiple than we would have had to pay for all of Avante’s business, do it with cash on hand and no dilution to shareholders, and end up with a debt-free well-funded national physical and cyber security company.”
Glen Ewen-area oil well revealed to be best in company’s history
Calgary-based Saturn Oil & Gas Inc. (Saturn) announced the preliminary results from its first drilling program at its Oxbow Asset in southeast Saskatchewan. The company reports a 100 per cent success rate after drilling six horizontal wells in the Frobisher formation in the Glen Ewen area.
“Our first drilling program at the Oxbow Asset has exceeded our expectations,” said Justin Kaufmann, Saturn’s senior vice-president of exploration. “By targeting the drilling program towards the development of our established light oil pools, we have reduced the program’s geological risk profile, while achieving meaningful new production additions. The top producing well of the recent Oxbow drilling program, the Glen Ewen 101/7-26 well, is the best performing well in Saturn’s history.”
Saturn is also focusing on returning inactive wells back to production, and through its Production Optimization Program, it reports having brought 19 previously inactive wells online to date, and a 500 per cent return on invested capital directed to the program.
PFM Capital Inc. Invests in DyMark Industries Inc.
On the behalf of SaskWorks Venture Fund Inc., PFM Capital Inc. (PFM) announced a new strategic investment in the Saskatoon-based diversified metal fabrication business, DyMark Industries Inc. (DyMark) on Mar. 28.
“DyMark is a proven and established leader in Saskatchewan’s steel fabrication and industrial construction sector. We are excited about the Company’s growth prospects and our new partnership.” said Jeff Linner, partner and CIO at PFM.
The company has been operating in Saskatchewan since 2002, employs about 50 people, services construction, agricultural, mining, and industrial projects specializing in structural steel fabrication, steel erection, detailing, sandblasting, painting, and weigh scale system manufacturing.
“We are excited to be partnering with PFM to ensure DyMark remains a strong, innovative, and reputable Saskatchewan-based business for the foreseeable future,” said DyMark’s president Marc Paquette. “DyMark has been at the forefront of the province’s industrial, manufacturing, mining, and construction sectors. PFM’s appreciation for the business we’ve built along with the communities that we work and live in made them a logical partner for us.”
Protein Industries Canada announces Plant Forward conference
On Apr. 1, 2022 Protein Industries Canada, along with Pulse Canada and Plant-Based Foods of Canada, are hosting a new conference coming in November. Plant Forward is the first Canada-led international conference for the plant-based food, feed and ingredients ecosystem. The two-day event will be held at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto on Nov. 1 and 2, 2022.
“Canada has a strong worldwide reputation and brand anchored in quality, nutrition and sustainability, and we strive to extend our global reach and anchor our Canadian brand as the preferred source for plant-based food and ingredients,” said Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel. “We invite companies from across the globe to join us in Toronto at Plant Forward where we can share insights, make connections and collaborate for the future of plant-based food.”
Plant Forward headlining keynotes are Heather Mills, founder of multi-award winning VBites; and Suzy Amis Cameron, founder of OMD and co-founder of Verdient Foods.
Registration is open now. For more information and event details, please visit plantforwardconference.com.