Business Bulletins News

IW Business Bulletin – April 22, 2022

Photo: Peter Scoular Photography

Progress continues for DEEP’s geothermal power generation facility

DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp. (DEEP) continues to advance the company’s and Canada’s first geothermal power facility in southeastern Saskatchewan. Planned to produce emission-free baseload power, this initial 35 Megawatt (MW) facility is planned for commissioning in early 2025.

DEEP has envisioned a four-stage build that aims to scale the project to produce approximately 140 MW of geothermal power generation in approximately 35 MW increments. Phase 1 development plans include one 35 MW gross geothermal power facility and negotiations are ongoing with SaskPower to increase the 5 MW power purchase agreement (PPA) DEEP secured in 2017. Upon the completion of phases 1 through 4, an estimated 140 MW of geothermal baseload power is planned to be produced in four 35 MW blocks. 35 MW is roughly equivalent to the electricity needed to power 35,000 households.

DEEP’s government subsurface lease for geothermal power is a contiguous 39,120 hectare block. Additionally, DEEP is exploring strategic CO2 storage opportunities to develop a “major multi-use CO2 storage field” within the separate stratigraphic intervals of the lease.

In the coming months, Calgary-based SCOVAN Engineering will complete a Design Basis Memorandum to “maximize the economics of the project” before DEEP reaches “a Final Investment Decision strategy” which is expected in Fall 2022 along with the SaskPower PPA.

University of Regina finishes restoration and modernization of historic theatre

With the support of donors, partners, and the community, the University of Regina (U of R) officially reopened the doors to its Darke Hall on Apr. 21 after a refurbishment and restoration. The historic venue is now ready to resume its role as a premier performance space in southern Saskatchewan for music, theatre, dance and other artistic and cultural expressions.

“I would like to congratulate all those who brought Darke Hall back to life and made today’s grand reopening possible,” U of R president and vice-chancellor Jeff Keshen said.

“This was certainly no small undertaking but thanks to our generous donors, Conexus Credit Union members, Government of Canada, architectural consultants and construction partners we have ensured that this jewel of a performance venue will serve our community for generations to come.”

Darke Hall first opened in 1929. Since then it has been a “beacon of the arts in Southern Saskatchewan” with generations of families having attended musical and theatrical events hosted by organizations such as the Regina Symphony Orchestra. Also, many students of the Regina Conservatory of Performing Arts have performed on its stage and practiced in the rehearsal space.

In October 2019, the U of R announced its restoration plans to the public with construction taking place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The restoration preserves the heritage building’s historic look and feel, while ensuring that its functionality meets the needs of the 21st century.

“Preserving Darke Hall’s amazing history by restoring this building to its former glory – and then some – means that we can experience the space for decades to come,” Christie Schultz, director of the Centre for Continuing Education said. “This remarkable facility will allow us to continue to develop and foster talent in our community and support rising stars in following their performing arts dreams.”

Canadian Western Agribition elects 2022/2023 Board of Directors

At its annual general meeting on April 13, the Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) elected its 2022/2023 leadership team.

Kim Hextall of Grenfell, Sask, was elected as president of CWA. Hextall, along with her family, has exhibited at Agribition for the past 24 years. Additionally, Hextall joined the CWA’s board of directors in 2014, became an executive member in 2016, and recently served as the Chairman of the CWA Scholarship Fund’s board.

Members elected to the CWA Executive are:

  • Vice-President: Michael Latimer – Olds, Alta.
  • Executive Members at Large:
    Kelsey Ashworth – Oungre, Sask.
    Levi Jackson – Sedley, Sask.
    Stephen Scott – Calgary, Alta.

CWA’s Executive Committee also includes Past President, Chris Lees of Arcola, Sask.

Members of CWA elected the following representatives to the Board of Directors to serve a two-year term:

  • Kelsey Ashworth – Oungre, Sask.
  • Levi Jackson – Sedley, Sask.
  • Marty Kratochvil – Milden, Sask.
  • Garth Newell – Carlyle, Sask.
  • Ali Pike – Grand Coulee, Sask.
  • Carol Poole – Pilot Butte, Sask.

Directors that are serving the second year of their two-year term are:

  • Curtis Kuchinka – Regina, Sask.
  • Michael Latimer – Olds, Alta.
  • Courtney MacDougall – Regina
  • Kim McLean – Regina
  • Stephen Scott – Calgary
  • Barry Young – Carievale, Sask.

Appointed directors include: Lori Bresciani (City of Regina), Dana Lajoie (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), and Grant Zalinko (Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture).

Saskatchewan to be first in Canada to mark Treaty boundaries along a major provincial highway

On Apr. 20, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that it and the Office of the Treaty Commissioner are coordinating official Treaty boundary signage in the province. The first signs will mark the boundary between Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 Territory and will be located along Highway 11 between Regina and Saskatoon in the Bladworth-Davidson area.

“We are proud to be the first province in Canada to officially mark treaty boundaries along major highways, working in partnership with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner to recognize the treaties,” Minister Responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs Don McMorris said. “The boundary signage is an additional resource to support Treaty education and reconciliation in our province.”

The sign’s design will include images of the historic Treaty medals provided to Indigenous leaders following the treaty negotiations as well as the original wording of the treaties in English and their respective Indigenous languages to indicate that the agreements will remain valid “as long as the sun shines, grass grows and rivers flow.”

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways is coordinating the production and installation of the signs, with a public unveiling and ceremony planned for later in 2022.

“A sign seems like such a small thing, but it represents something significant. Think about the number of Treaties that cross through where the province of Saskatchewan now lies. Our highways cross these territories and that has to be recognized and acknowledged,” Treaty Commissioner Mary Culbertson said. “It is so important to see this project underway, we are starting with one sign, but hope to see this for all our Treaty boundaries.”

Co-op Refinery Complex to invest more than $100 Million in annual turnaround

On Apr. 18, the Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC), an oil refinery spread over 544 acres in the City of Regina, announced it is investing more than $100 million over the next 40 plus days stating, “The investment is an integral part of ensuring that the refinery continues to operate safely and reliably.”

The “2022 Turnaround” officially began with the announcement and is scheduled to run into early June with the refinery will be taken down for repairs, maintenance and upgrades during this period.

“Our annual Turnaround is one of the most important economic events in our community,” said Gil Le Dressay, vice-president of manufacturing. “We invest significant financial resources in our facility during Turnaround. This year’s project also creates about 1,200 additional temporary jobs through the duration of the project. Our Turnarounds are an investment in our future, ensuring the safety and reliability of our operations, as we continue to further our role as an economic engine for our local community, the Province of Saskatchewan, and all of Western Canada.”

While the creation of jobs is a major benefit of the Turnaround, with increased activity on site, CRC aims to be extra diligent about safety and [to ensure] we are a good and responsible neighbour.”
Peak traffic hours will occur between 5 -7:30 a.m. and 4-7:30 p.m. as workers come and go during shift change. CRC will use Fleet Street for contractor parking and its security provider will manage the parking area’s gate in an effort to minimize inconvenience or traffic delays for the public.

Star Diamond announces closing of second tranche of private placement

The Star Diamond Corporation (Star Diamond), a Canadian-based corporation engaged in the exploration and development of mineral properties, announced the completion of a second tranche under the previously announced non-brokered private placement of units of the corporation on Apr. 21.

Tranche is a French word meaning “slice” or “portion”, and in investing it describes a security that can be split up into smaller pieces and subsequently sold to investors.

In its second tranche, Star Diamond issued an aggregate of 2,706,933 units at a price of $0.30 per unit for aggregate gross proceeds to the corporation of $812,079.90. Each unit is comprised of one common share in the capital of Star Diamond and one common share purchase warrant. Each warrant will entitle the holder thereof to purchase one additional Common share at a price of $0.40 per common share at any time prior to Apr. 21, 2024.

Together with the proceeds realized from the sale of units in the first tranche completed on Apr. 6, 2022, Star Diamond has received aggregate gross proceeds of $5 million from the offering and stated “insiders did not participate in the offering.” The net proceeds from the offering are anticipated to be used by the corporation to settle its current working capital deficiency, for technical analyses and evaluations of the its mineral property interests, and for general corporate purposes.

Star Diamond has two exploration properties in Saskatchewan .

Post-secondary students to help small businesses with e-commerce and digital presence

On Apr. 19, Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Sask Polytech) announced that students and recent graduates in the province will be eligible to apply to co-op positions and employment opportunities created by Connected Saskatchewan, a consortium of orginaztions working to implement digital enhancement strategies for businesses over the next three years.

Connected Saskatchewan is the provincial delivery agent for the federal government’s Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP). The four organizations in the consortium that are responsible for delivering the program in the region include the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance (SEDA), Sask Polytech, Economic Development Regina (EDR) and Digital Main Street.

CDAP will support 384 e-commerce advisor placements over three years, with the first cohort starting on May 2. Applications are currently being accepted for the first cohort of 32 advisors which is a multi-year agreement and additional work terms will be offered in the future.

“This is an amazing employment opportunity for students and helps Saskatchewan small businesses develop their e-commerce footprint,” Sask Polytech president and CEO Larry Rosia said. “We are creating paid work-integrated learning opportunities for students and alumni, where they receive guidance from faculty and Digital Main Street to deliver value-added services to small businesses in support of the Saskatchewan economy.”

Sask Polytech, along with Digital Main Street, are providing successful applicants with one week of intensive training on e-commerce tools and cybersecurity. Each cohort of applicants will be ready to help an estimated 3,100 small businesses over the course of the three-year program. Each e-commerce advisor will work with a handful of small businesses during their work term. Faculty and Digital Main Street will continue to make ongoing educational resources available to the e-commerce advisors throughout their work term.

“Expanding our existing programming and being able to partner with Sask Polytech and this entire consortia in Saskatchewan is a very exciting opportunity. We look forward to working together to create meaningful work placements for youth, as well as supporting as many small businesses across as we can across the Province,” Darryl Julott, managing lead for Digital Main Street said.

Next door: Winnipeg’s Hudson Bay building gifted to Southern Chiefs

Friday, Apr. 22 saw the Hudson’s Bay Company officially announce the gifting of its former flagship downtown Bay store to the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO), which represents 34 Anishinaabe and Dakota Nations in southern Manitoba. The SCO plans to spend $130 million to redevelop the 655,000-square-foot, six-story building on Portage Avenue and Memorial Boulevard. Named Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn (meaning “it is visible”), the project plans include 300 affordable housing units, office space for Indigenous businesses, health centre, child care facility, art gallery, and two restaurants.

“Today can be another step forward to a brighter future, one that reflects what our ancestors dreamed of. This project is an act of reconciliation and is our vision to revitalize the heart of Winnipeg’s downtown, for the benefit of all, in line with our traditional, holistic approach to sustainable economic development,” said Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, Southern Chiefs’ Organization.

Coming soon: Hudbay Minerals Inc. (Hudbay) first quarter 2022 earnings call on May 10.

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