The Updater - January 2015 Edition

The Power of Procurement

Mark Williams (President) – Laurentian Technologies

After 30 years of working in the IT industry, Mark Williams made the decision to use his experience and expertise to start his own IT company. Partnering with three others, Williams founded Laurentian Technologies in early 2012, a technology equipment and service provider with a wide range of technical solutions for various clients. Targeting both government and commercial consumers, Laurentian Technologies offer unique products that differentiate them from other IT companies.

"The biggest asset Laurentian has is we have the capacity to engineer the proper solutions for any size of business," states Laurentian Technologies founder Mark Williams "… we install and support what we sell, using our own people instead of relying on the manufacturer to do the product support and installation for us."

Recognizing the advancements made by PSAB, Williams decided to register his business in the Aboriginal Business Directory, following the guidelines set out by the AANDC under PSAB.

Laurentian Technologies was able to realize the potential opportunities offered by PSAB. With PSAB coordinators now helping guide many government departments, they were introduced to important contacts and began gaining visibility.

"[…] AANDC and the coordinators are there to offer assistance by explaining how the program works and perhaps point you in the right direction but are not there to give you handouts,"

While PSAB has helped Laurentian Technologies gain traction with government procurement, Williams and his partners made sure to market their business as an IT company first with the added bonus of being Aboriginally owned, highlighting their expertise to commercial clients.

"[…] We are always expanding our knowledge, product offering and customer base. I wake up every morning knowing there will be some kind of challenge but look forward to it."

To learn more about Laurentian Technologies check out their website:Laurentian Technologies

Aboriginal Tourism

A Growing Canadian Industry

Tourism is a key sector of our Canadian economy and it is fitting that Aboriginal tourism has been identified by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments as a strategic priority.

According to the 2002/03 National Study on Aboriginal tourism, the sector is gaining momentum with revenues totaling over $750 million and 8,470 employed from Canadian Aboriginal businesses (not including casinos). Guided by the Federal Tourism Strategy which was established in 2011, AANDC has worked on developing agreements with the industry and government departments across Canada. In 2012-2013, AANDC provided approximately $4.3 million in support of Aboriginal tourism – a 60% increase compared to 2011-2012.

AANDC's Strategic Partnerships Initiative (SPI) has also supported the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia's Cultural Action Plan, a plan that predicts an establishment of 100 'market ready' tourism businesses by 2017 with the goal of generating $68 M in annual revenues, and employing 4,000 people.

Looking to the future, the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada, a national association devoted to promoting Aboriginal tourism, has presented the preliminary results of the National Aboriginal Tourism Research project at the Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers' meeting earlier this year. Seeking to outline the characteristics, challenges and opportunities in the Aboriginal tourism landscape, the project's final results will be released in March 2015.

The Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada will also unveil a brand new national Aboriginal Tourism Web Portal that will act as a simple-to-use tool for visitors, entrepreneurs and the tourism industry to search for up-to-date information on cultural festivals and activities across Canada.

Vancouver Shipyard's $170M Modernization Project

Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards recently celebrated its two-year Shipyard Modernization Project, which was completed ahead of schedule and under-budget. This project enabled 25% of its shipyard construction work to be performed by First Nations Joint Venture companies. The full production on the new vessels scheduled for Spring 2015 will allow Seaspan to create stable work over the next decade for suppliers throughout B.C. and across Canada.

The completion of Seaspan's Shipyard Modernization Project coincides with the commencement of construction on two initial blocks for the first National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy ship, the Canadian Coast Guard's Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel, slated for completion by the Summer of 2016.

Making PSAB Work for You

Date modified: