Business Bulletins News

IW Business Bulletin – April 29, 2022

Skyxe Saskatoon Airport
Skyxe Saskatoon Airport

Vancouver developer has plans for downtown Saskatoon grocery store

B.C.-based real estate developer Arbutus Properties has submitted a proposal to the City of Saskatoon for a Pitchfork Market + Kitchen grocery store at Saskatoon’s Midtown Plaza. The plans include a full-service retail grocery store with restaurant and takeout.

If approved, the proposal could also see $220,000 in infrastructure changes in the area, including “installing a full traffic signal at the intersection of Auditorium Avenue and Idylwyld Drive, removing the median on Idylwyld Drive between Auditorium Avenue and 22nd Street, and installing a traffic island at the intersection of 21st Street and Idylwyld Drive.” The City notes that these infrastructure changes were all previously identified in its Imagine Idylwyld project plan.

The City of Saskatoon’s Standing Policy Committee on Transportation will consider the request when it meets on Monday, May 2, 2022.

If approved, the Pitchfork Market + Kitchen grocery store would be the second location in the city, with the first in Saskatoon’s The Meadows neighbourhood.

Saskatchewan companies make 2022 Best Workplaces™ in Canada list

The 2022 list of the 50 Best Workplaces™ in Canada was announced this week, with four Saskatchewan organizations making the list. 7shifts was named number one among companies with 100-999 employees, with Vendasta appearing at number 26. Coconut Software made the list at number 8 among companies with 50-99 employees, and the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association appeared at number 36.

“This is such an exciting milestone for all Vendastians because it’s an outcome of employee feedback,” said Vendasta’s vice president of people operations Jean Parchewsky. “Knowing the team is passionate about our company and the work they do showcases the commitment we have made to our team into building and supporting an exceptional employee experience.”

SKYXE welcomes new board members

Saskatoon Airport Authority (SAA) announce the nomination of two new members, Chief Tammy Cook-Searson and Mark Leach, to its board of directors on Apr. 27.

“We are pleased to welcome Chief Cook-Searson and Mr. Leach to our Board,” said David Weger, SAA’s board chair. “These individuals bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in their respective fields and will be an asset to the Board as we further the Saskatoon Airport Authority’s Vision to be Canada’s most valued airport experience.”

The SAA board also said goodbye to retiring board member William Hogan who served on the board since 2013.

“We are fortunate to have had Bill as a member of the SAA Board over the last 9-years and have benefited from his experience in business development and community planning initiatives in Northern Saskatchewan,” said Stephen Maybury, president and CEO of Skyxe Saskatoon Airport. “Bill has given a significant amount of time and effort to our Board over the years, and we have benefited from his direction on our Community Consultative, and Safety Health and Environment, Committees.”

Croptimistic receives funding

Saskatoon agtech firm Croptimistic Technology Inc. (Croptimistic) has been granted $1.1 million in funding for its $5 million project to “automate and scale SWAT MAPS to advance Canadian agriculture.” The funding comes from the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN). SWAT MAPS collect and house data on soil, water and topography for use by agricultural producers.

“This project will combine years of practical on-farm experience from SWAT MAPS and other industry partners with leading academic researchers across Canada. The result will be new and improved tools that will help Canadian farmers make better decisions in the field when it comes to applying seed, fertilizer, and other inputs,” said Evan MacDonald, P.E.I.-based PhD candidate and project lead for Croptimistic.

The project, led by Croptimistic along with researchers at the University of Regina, the University of Prince Edward Island, and the University of Saskatchewan will expand SWAT MAPS’s capacity, through collaboration with Canadian commercial and smart farms.

“We are privileged to have our SWAT ECOSYSTEM working directly with the team of experts spanning across three Canadian universities on automating technologies such as plant stand counts, soil survey connections, and on-farm trial evaluations,” said Cory Willness, CEO of Croptimistic.

Cleanfarms’ Tammy Shields wins award

Moose Jaw agricultural recycling firm Cleanfarms saw Tammy Shields, their western region program coordinator, recognized for her work establishing grain bag recycling in Saskatchewan. Shields was presented the 2022 prestigious Waste Minimization Award at the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council (SWRC)‘s annual Waste ReForum conference. The award honours those who have “made an extraordinary contribution to waste reduction in the province.”

“When we looked at how agricultural plastics recycling has evolved in this province, Tammy Shields was a key driver. Everyone who is involved in recycling grain bags in Saskatchewan has benefited from her dedication,” said SWRC executive director Joanne Fedyk.

Cleanfarms is an agricultural industry stewardship organization that recovers and recycles agricultural and related industry plastics, packaging and products, with staff working in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

SREDA announces SOAR finalists

Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) announced the finalists of its SOAR kihiw paskîyâkêwin Indigenous Entrepreneurship Competition on Apr. 25. The competition finalists were awarded their prizes at the pitch finale held at the Dakota Dunes Resort.

The finalists are:

  • Christine Marie, Awasis Boutique – Prize: $15,000
  • Timothy Hudy, Theo Clean Janitorial Services – Prize: $10,000
  • Alicia Hrbachek, Ally’s Cake Creeations – Prize: $10,000
  • Delaney King and Cole Tait, Preventative Measures Ltd. – Prize: $5,000
  • Joshua Turner, JT’s Beach Cafe and Tiki Bar – Prize: $5,000

The competition, presented by PIC Group, is open to majority Indigenous-owned businesses in the Saskatoon region.

CAPP appoints new CEO

Calgary-based Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) announced on Apr. 27 that Lisa Baiton has been appointed as the organization’s new president and CEO. She joins CAPP on May 2, 2022.

“As a proud Canadian, I’m invested in the success and progress of our oil and natural gas industry,” said Baiton. “We are at a time when the world is grappling with the unprecedented challenges of ensuring energy security and achieving GHG emission targets in the face of consumer demand for affordable and reliable energy. CAPP will be a constructive and solution-oriented partner to address these collective, global challenges. Canadian producers are uniquely positioned to be secure suppliers of sustainable energy and global leaders in GHG emission reduction through the advancement of technologies.”

Baiton joins CAPP from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, where she was a member of their global leadership team. She also worked for Environics Communications and the Canadian Bankers Association, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Saskatchewan and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management (Northwestern University) and Schulich School of Business (York University).

“Lisa has a deep understanding of the major issues that define the global economy,” said Craig Bryksa, chair of the CAPP board of governors and president & CEO of Crescent Point Energy. “She will bring immense value to the organization as CAPP faces a new era of opportunities and challenges, while striving to enhance the contribution of Canada’s oil and natural gas industry in addressing energy security, energy affordability and global emissions reductions.”

Whitecap Resources reports Q1 results

Whitecap Resources Inc. reported its Q1 2022 results on Apr. 28, reporting record production in the quarter and a record $652 million in profit. The company also reported that it anticipates reducing its net debt to $800 million by the end of Q2. Its overall production guidance remains the same.

New partnership for U of S scientist and Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation

Edmonton’s Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) announced on Apr. 28 that it has partnered with University of Saskatchewan research Dr. Anil Kumar to develop a “high-throughput drug screening platform to identify novel drugs and drug-targets that show a high potential to develop new antivirals effective against all prevalent and emerging variants of the Coronavirus.”

“SARS-CoV-2 is a biosafety level 3 (BSL 3) virus and through this project, we’re building an infection system that can be safely used in a BSL 2 lab at API. This system can be used to test thousands of compounds in a single run, accelerating the drug discovery process,” said Dr. Kumar, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Saskatchewan. “We are thankful to have API as an industry partner. With their partnership, we will have access to their well-established drug development pipeline and the compound libraries for the screening system.”

API is a not-for-profit life sciences organization that works to commercialize research.

Saskatchewan leads in retail trade growth

Saskatchewan announced on Apr. 22 that the province leads the country in year-over-year retail trade growth. Between Feb. 2021 and Feb. 2022, the value of provincial trade increased by 13 per cent – the most among the provinces.  Saskatchewan saw a total value of retail trade over $2 billion in Feb. 2022. The province also saw the highest month-to-month and year-over-year growth in both wholesale trade and manufacturing sales, and the  second highest month-to-month growth in merchandise exports.

Coming soon: Ceres Global Ag Q3 Earnings on May 11.

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