Government of Canada launches program to support Lytton’s business community

The Lytton Business Restart Program provides contribution funding to support the restart and revitalization of local business in Lytton, B.C. 

February 15, 2024 – Lytton, British Columbia – PacifiCan

A vibrant business community is vital to the recovery of Lytton, B.C. Businesses provide jobs, create places to gather, bring in visitors, and are a big part of what draws people to a community.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced that the Lytton Business Restart Program is open for applications. Through this $7.2 million program, PacifiCan will provide funding to eligible small businesses who will operate in the community of Lytton.

Since the devastating Lytton Creek Wildfire in 2021, complex land recovery efforts have taken place, and the community is now ready to focus on rebuilding. Last year, the Government of Canada launched a program to help Lytton homeowners rebuild more fire-resilient and climate friendly homes. Now, the Government of Canada is here to support the restart of Lytton’s business community.

The Lytton Business Restart Program will help Lytton build back its economic core. Returning and new businesses can apply for support through the program, which has two funding streams tailored to the community’s needs. The Rapid Restart stream provides up to $20,000 in non-repayable contributions for returning businesses that require a small amount of funding to restart operations. The Small Business Recovery stream provides larger amounts of funding up to $1 million as repayable contributions, with some consideration for non-repayable contributions for businesses that have been identified as critical to Lytton’s rebuild and longer-term economic vitality.

In response to local needs, the Lytton Business Restart Program is open to small businesses that plan to operate in the Village of Lytton and within 15 kilometers of the Village, including on reserve. Throughout the intake period, PacifiCan will actively seek proposals, including from Indigenous businesses, as well as those operated by women, youth, and other underrepresented groups. PacifiCan is also working in partnership with the local Community Futures, which will help potential applicants with business planning.

PacifiCan is one partner supporting Lytton’s recovery, alongside the Province of British Columbia, other federal departments, the Village of Lytton, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, Indigenous communities, and leadership in the region.

For more information, visit the PacifiCan website at Potential applicants are encouraged to reach out to the

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Business leaders say halted trade talks harm India and Canada

MONTREAL — Business leaders continue to grapple with fallout from the rift between the Canadian and Indian governments, saying the suspension of free trade talks helps no one.

Thesouringrelationship marks a major hurdle to boosting bilateral trade beyond last year’s $20.9 billion in goods and services and deters Indian students from studying in Canada, commercial groups say.

“Stopping any trade discussion or trade negotiation doesn’t make sense. How will that help us as a country?” asked Satish Thakkar, chairman of the Canada India Foundation. Canada halted trade treaty talks on Sept. 1.

“This is the biggest fall in Canada-India relations since the 1970s.”

They rapidly deteriorated after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Parliament on Sept. 18 that New Delhi may have been involved in the killing of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh independence activist who was shot dead in June outside the gurdwara he led in Surrey, B.C.

In response, the Indian government suspended visa services for Canadian citizens — partially restored last month — and revoked diplomatic immunity from Canadian diplomats, prompting two-thirds of them to leave the country.

The trade potential between Canada and India — the world’s most populous nation and fastest growing large economy — remain largely unrealized, observers say. India remains Canada’s eighth-largest trading partner, well behind the U.S. and China.

Negotiations on the would-be Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement launched in 2010 before foundering in 2017. They resumed in 2022, with the goal of reaching a deal this year.

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada says the treaty could increase two-way trade by up to $8.8 billion by 2035 and result in a Canadian GDP gain of up to $5.9 billion. Canada’s mineral, agriculture, chemicals and wood product sectors could all see sizable export boosts.

“There is a lot of complementarity between what Canada has and India needs,” said Victor Thomas, CEO of the Canada-India Business Council. “IT services, for example — a huge growth in very specific talent that, again, complements our economy that India can provide.

Of the 32,115 international tech workers who migrated to Canada between April 2022 and March 2023, nearly half — 15,097 — came from India, a July report from the Technology Councils of North America and Canada’s Tech Network found.

“This relationship is extremely important,” Thomas said. “But businesses like predictability and stability.”

The frayed relations mean “uncertainty prevails,” sowing doubt among some Indian

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Youth develop business, entrepreneurship ideas at First Nations University of Canada annual camp

Business entrepreneurship ideas and teachings will be flowing all week at the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) during its annual youth entrepreneurship camp.

Jason Bird is a business and administration lecturer at FNUniv and the co-ordinator of the program.

He says the camp has students between 15 and 19 years of age learning the concepts and ideas of entrepreneurship and business as a potential career choice and area of study.

“We want to give this idea to students that you can do business in a kinder, friendly, gentler way. You can do business in an Indigenous way,” Bird says. “You don’t have to be cutthroat.”

Bird says students from across Canada will learn how to work on their career while also keeping their traditional and personal values in mind for their ideas and businesses. Over the next week, the camp will go over things like planning, marketing, finance and accounting.

“We’re just trying to give the youth exposure. This is an avenue for them and a lot of students will go for social work, health, nursing,” he says.

“They’ll go for areas where [they’re] directly helping people, and that’s where Indigenous people are at our heart. That’s where we generally fall in.”

Aiden Akan-Kinistino is from Ocapowace First Nation and is starting his business administration degree at the FNUniv in the fall. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC)

Aiden Akan-Kinistino, 18, is from Ochapowace First Nation and is living in Regina. This is his second year in the camp as he prepares for his studies at FNUniv in business administration in the fall.

“A lot of the stuff we’re doing is going to be going toward what I want to do in business,” Akan-Kinistino says.

As for his business idea, he says over the last few years he has been developing an idea about a fashion design company.

WATCH| Indigenous teenagers from across Canada learning aspects of becoming entrepreneurs at summer camp: 

Indigenous teenagers from across Canada learning aspects of becoming entrepreneurs at summer camp

Sometimes, summer camp can be more than a fun experience for kids — it can shape their future. That’s the case for a Regina teenager who’s attending the Indigenous Youth Entrepreneurship camp for a second year.

His idea is based around clothing, like shirts, pants, hats and sweaters, that feature and showcase the work of Indigenous designers.

“I definitely would make things that aren’t just screen-printed logos,” Akan-Kinisitino

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Protestors across Canada demonstrate against RBC’s fossil-fuel funding

Demonstrators gathered in 40 locations across Canada on Saturday to voice their opposition to the Royal Bank of Canada’s funding of fossil fuel projects.

The protests, part of a nation-wide effort dubbed Fossil Fools Day, unfolded in cities including Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Halifax and Vancouver.

One protestor said the demonstrations were intended to raise awareness of the bank’s looming Annual General Meeting, scheduled to take place in Saskatoon on April 5.

Eve Saint, a Wet’suwet’en land defender and daughter of hereditary Chief Woos who spoke at the Toronto protest, said a Wet’suwet’en delegation is heading to the AGM intent on getting answers from RBC president and CEO Dave McKay.

“We are going down a very scary path,” Saint said in an interview following her remarks at Saturday’s protest, citing extreme weather events such as flooding and fires as examples of the effects of the climate crisis.

“The time is now,” she said.

The bank, for its part, has long stressed the importance of an orderly transition to net-zero financed emissions, previously announcing it hoped to reach that goal in 2050 and setting a smaller, interim target for 2030.

RBC spokesperson Jeff Lanthier said the company is focusing its attention on where it will have the biggest impact, which is helping clients reduce their emissions and supporting initiatives that bring green solutions to market.

“We are committed to achieving net-zero in our lending by 2050 and have established interim emissions reduction targets that will help us drive action and measure progress,” he said in an email. “These targets are informed by science and reflect a measured and deliberate approach to climate action.”

But critics say the bank’s targets fall far short of what’s needed, accusing the company of “greenwashing” last fall when it announced its goals for this decade.

While RBC’s financing of fossil fuel projects overall has been the subject of much criticism, one of the core issues for Saint and others is the bank’s funding of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline.

The 670-kilometre project, which is currently under construction and runs through Wet’suwet’en traditional territory in British Columbia, has been the focus of ongoing demonstrations and arrests. Hereditary chiefs oppose the pipeline, while the elected council of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation and others nearby have agreed to support it.

Saint said she wants to see RBC divest from CGL and other such projects, as well as sit down with

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How Chinatowns in Western Canada are evolving amid business closures

Every Thursday to Sunday evening, the wait staff at the Ugly Duckling Dining & Provisions restaurant carefully set knives and forks on chopstick rests at each table.

The Ugly Duckling, which opened less than two months ago in Victoria’s historic Chinatown, is not a Chinese restaurant.

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But the fine dining eatery goes out of its way to add touches of Chinese culture to its dining experience.

Proprietor and chef Corbin Mathany incorporates Chinese ingredients and techniques in almost every dish.

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The tasting menu includes dumplings, Chinese buns and steamed custards. The bill arrives pinned to a postcard of Victoria’s Chinatown in 1898, depicting children celebrating Lunar New Year.

Developer Robert Fung, whose company, The Salient Group, is renovating two city blocks in Chinatown, insisted on the inclusion of the homages for businesses looking to locate there.

“Honestly, at first it felt like a little bit of a restriction,” Mathany said. “It felt a tiny bit onerous. But it has helped refine our message and guide us in a direction that, I think, makes us a lot more interesting than what we would have been.”

The Ugly Duckling is now an important resident of Canada’s oldest Chinatown, and part of a phenomenon as Chinatowns in Western Canada evolve and the owners of traditional eateries age out of business or move away.

Click to play video: 'Beloved Chinatown restaurant closing due to labour shortage'

Beloved Chinatown restaurant closing due to labour shortage

Jordan Eng, president of the Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Association, said that in the past five years, the neighbourhood has lost at least 20 per cent of its 100 heritage businesses, loosely defined as stores or eateries that have operated for more than 25 years.

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Earlier this month, Kent’s Kitchen _ a neighbourhood stalwart for more than 40 years _ announced it will shutter its Vancouver Chinatown location in April.

In February, the Daisy Garden Kitchen, another four-decade mainstay, announced it was tapping out.

But new restaurants haven’t stopped opening, Eng said.

One example, fusion gastropub The Darkside, officially opened in January and features a mix of West Coast and Asian cuisine in a casual bar atmosphere.

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Vancouver’s Chinatown to receive nearly $2-million in federal infrastructure funding

Others, like tapas wine bar

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