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Tony Wanless

Recent Posts on BCBusiness - Page 4

Oct 31, 2012
One Big Union – Again

The movement to create a giant union in Canada that would not only represent workers, but also the unemployed, students and generally disadvantaged sounds great, but is completely unworkable. In my working life, I’ve belonged to several Canadian unions; it was often a requirement for the job. Like most union members, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with them.

Oct 25, 2012
Progress Energy Deal Falls Flat

Ottawa surprised everybody when it turned down the Malaysian takeover of Canadian gas company Progress Energy. But the denial of a deal that was to be a linchpin of B.C.’s energy industry may have just been a move in a larger chess game. The $5.9-billion deal was expected to spearhead a B.C. economic strategy that’s based on extracting oceans of natural gas from northern fields, liquefying it and shipping it to Asia.

Oct 19, 2012
Big-Box Stores Face Possible Death

The big-box store almost killed the local, main-street retailer, and now online retailers are threatening to do the same to the big-box store. Are jumbo stores the next victim of retail evolution? About four years ago I wrote about how big-box store Canadian Tire was shutting down the e-commerce function of its website because people were using it to research items and then buy them in a physical store. My, how things have changed.

Oct 17, 2012
Northern Gateway: The Walking Dead

With opposition increasingly coming from all corners, the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline project is on its way out the door. Like a zombie that still roams the earth after its death, the Northern Gateway pipeline project is no longer among the living.

Oct 10, 2012
Customers Force Retailers Into New Territory

Coming soon to a Canadian retailer near you – maybe: mobile shopping. A recent survey by the Retail Council of Canada and IDC Retail Insights shows that Canadian retailers recognize that they have to go mobile to retain customers, but are...

Oct 5, 2012
Reinventing Business To Be More Human

A group of young people who “reinvented business” in an event this summer has clearly signalled that the old, distant way of treating customers and employees can’t last. Ever wonder why most businesses operate as they do — the same old things in the same old way? People will tell you that it’s because it’s “more efficient,” “easier to manage,” “creates profitability,” blah, blah, blah.

Oct 5, 2012
Kashoo App Boosts Online Business

The online economy has created many opportunities for small service companies to move into what was traditionally big-company territory. Costs are often much lower, distribution is easier, and by extending a company’s reach from local to global, the web opens...

Oct 3, 2012
The Slippery Slope of Government Subsidies

He was only trying to woo a hostile audience, but national NDP leader Thomas Mulcair raised the touchy subject of subsidies while speaking in Toronto last week. Mulcair’s speech was in the lion’s den – to the NDP-unfriendly Canadian Club, which is usually loaded with corporate bigwigs who wouldn’t be caught dead talking to a Dipper.

Sep 28, 2012
Vancouver Golf: A Good Game Spoiled

Shifting consumer habits, population growth and high costs have hit the golf industry hard. The industry is spiraling downwards as competition for a dwindling customer base increases. A long time ago, I was a golfer. I worked afternoons so a couple of times a week I would hit the local links early for a quick round. I laughed at that anonymous (No, it wasn’t Mark Twain) quote that “Golf is a good walk spoiled”.

Sep 25, 2012
QLT: Back to the Drawing Board

It appears that QLT, the first of Vancouver’s biotech companies to hit it big, is shrinking down to its initial role as a drug developer. This week, Vancouver-based QuadraLogic Technologies sold off its flagship product, Visudyne, a treatment for age-related blindness, for US$112.5 million.

Sep 20, 2012
Boosting Fledgling B.C. Startups

A new program launched by BC Innovation Council will provide mentoring to entrepreneurs trying to get new startups off the ground. A couple of Christmases ago, I was judging business plans submitted to a competition at UBC. Usually, with these student competitions, the plans are half-formed and need some work to differentiate them from a dozen other similar businesses out there.

Sep 18, 2012
Petty Politics Trump TransLink Expansion

Stop the political gamesmanship over money, and find the funds for a TransLink suggestion to get more people in the suburbs on rapid transit. TransLink has thrown down the gauntlet over increased transit in the suburbs in the hopes it can generate some cash to fund ambitious projects.  

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