Manufacturing & Transport
Sometimes a personal conundrum can inspire a great business idea. For surfer Dylan Green, the 31-year-old owner of Tofino Bus Ltd., it was the lack of cheap, fast transportation between his home base in Victoria and the surf town of Tofino. In 2002 Green was a UVic student living in Victoria.
Let me get this out of the way right up front: I am an American. I have been visiting Vancouver for years, most recently on a beautiful spring day last April to give a speech sponsored by UBC and SFU. On the same day, I took a tour of Metro Vancouver’s walkable neighbourhoods with folks from Smart Growth BC, getting a first-hand experience of what it’s like to walk and take public transit in this region.
Different players cite different reasons for the discrepancy: manufacturers say it’s because Canada’s smaller market isn’t as profitable as that of the U.S., while critics maintain manufacturers charge more in Canada simply because they can. Last summer, thanks largely to...
What is it about Vancouver that attracts the eccentric fringe of the airline industry? The question seems only reasonable in the wake of this spring’s collapse of Oasis Hong Kong Airlines. It would be one thing if just one offbeat billionaire’s dreams of a low-cost long-haul airline went up in flames. But the collapse of Oasis came just one year after the sudden demise of Harmony Airways, another low-cost carrier started on the whim of a wealthy entrepreneur who saw a...
Deltaport sticks out into the Georgia Strait like a hatpin – a squarish man-made island tethered to the coast by its thin causeway. On the west side of the island, great dunes of sooty coal await loading onto Pacific-bound freighters.
Not that long ago, the rail industry in B.C. looked like it was headed the way of commercial fishing. Trucking was gobbling up market share. Derailments seemed like a weekly occurrence. Canadian National Railway Co. (CN) and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP) were digging up sections of unused track, while bureaucracy and stale thinking made the companies sluggish and unwieldy.
I like to drive. There, I said it. I’m one of those people melting ice caps and enriching Middle Eastern despots not because I can’t earn a living without a car and not because the housing market is forcing me to commute from Mission (or wherever it is desperate Vancouverites are buying single-family homes these days).
Inside the cavernous Richmond Yachts plant off Dyke Road, the smell of fibreglass permeates the air. Along half its width is an unfinished 142-foot yacht, whose sleek superstructure reaches to the ceiling. It is surrounded by a maze of scaffolding.
I had imagined the trucking industry would be harried and bare-bones utilitarian. Had I badly misjudged? Lew Donald shakes his head. “No. Other trucking companies are nothing like this,” he says, refilling his coffee mug in the spacious drivers’ lounge, complete with its own Internet station where drivers can check...