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Category: Hicks on Biz columns from The Edmonton Sun

Hicks on Biz columns from The Edmonton Sun

Hicks on Biz: Suncor’s $4.4 billion 'hostile' takeover bid for Canadian Oil Sands is a good thing BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 09, 2015

Suncor’s $4.4 billion “hostile” takeover bid for Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. isn’t about the Canadian Oil Sands. It’s about a far more intriguing subject – control of Syncrude. Along with CNRL and Shell, Suncor and Syncrude are the Big Four of Alberta’s oil sands production companies. Syncrude is actually owned by a consortium of oil companies. Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil (Imperial Oil is owned by ExxonMobil) is a 25% shareholder. Suncor owns 12%. Syncrude’s single biggest shareholder, at 37%, is Canadian Oil Sands Ltd.  The Syncrude shares are Canadian Oil Sands Ltd’s only asset. It’s an investment company, 100% invested in its Syncrude ownership position. Let’s go back in time:  When oil sands production finally became profitable – in the mid ‘90s – the Syncrude ownership group left its management team, led by Eric Newell and then Jim Carter, alone. Newell and Carter were ahead of their time in recognizing the n ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Edmonton's easier to get around now than it's ever been BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2015

Good news! Edmonton’s transportation system is in really, really good shape … besides the potholes.  Complain though we will, our new and upgraded roads and bridges, our airport, public transit and private ride-sharing (Uber, not taxis) has never been better.  Automobiles (Roads):  The Henday Ring Road is the biggest single improvement, on time, on budget, three-quarters done with completion of the northeast leg next year. The end is in sight for the massive road re-construction on Hwy 216 (the Henday between Edmonton and Sherwood Park) from the Hwy 16/Hwy 216 interchange south to the Whitemud Drive. The widening and upgrading of the Whitemud’s Quesnell Bridge (across the North Saskatchewan River) has done the trick. Barring accidents, traffic now flows smoothly across that bridge at all hours of the day.  Likewise the Calgary Trail/23rd Avenue interchange has cleaned up a former mess.   The Queen Elizabeth II/41st Ave. SW interchange, weeks away from ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Where's the economic conservatism, Alberta and beyond? BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, 2015

FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, 2015 11:32 AM MDT | UPDATED: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, 2015 12:25 PM MDT A coffee shop displays signs for Visa, MasterCard and Discover. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files) Article Change text size for the story Print this story Report an error Related Stories Alberta Minister of Finance says deficit to hit $5.9 billion, or more, in first quarter fiscal update Gunter: Alberta NDP needs to rein in spending Gunter: There's no one home under Alberta's Dome Alberta could be facing largest deficit in three decades Wildrose leader Brian Jean says Notley NDP could be decimated in next election if they “govern to the left” I think I am economically crazy. All my adult life, I have abhorred borrowing. My wife and I paid off the house mortgage as quickly as possible. We buy used cars, paying cash. Our kids, with our help, graduated from post-secondary schools debt-free. T ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Don’t re-invent the wheel BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 2015

FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 2015 11:36 AM MDT Dr. Andrew Leach (left), panel chair and Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks, speak about the creation of an advisory panel to study the province's climate change policy at the media room at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday June 25, 2015. Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun Article Change text size for the story Print this story Report an error Related Stories Hicks on Biz: You can’t blame Edmonton City Council for everything Hicks on Biz: CEOs simply paid too much Hicks on Biz: Alberta recession will strike early 2016 Hicks' Weekly Dish: Gini's offers fine dining experience Links Follow us on Twitter! Like us on Facebook! It's always more exciting and more newsworthy for an incoming government to re-invent the wheel, or, even better, contend the wheel didn't even exist.   The New Democrats have come to power ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: You can’t blame Edmonton City Council for everything BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 21, 2015

FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 21, 2015 12:01 PM MDT | UPDATED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 21, 2015 03:15 PM MDT Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson takes part in an Executive Committee Meeting at City Hall, in Edmonton Alta. on Tuesday Aug. 18, 2015. David Bloom/Edmonton Sun Article Change text size for the story Print this story Report an error Related Stories Hicks on Biz: The smart-diaper the Canadian seniors’ health sector ignored Hicks on Biz: CEOs simply paid too much Hicks on Biz: Alberta recession will strike early 2016 Hicks on Biz: Don’t re-invent the wheel Links Follow us on Twitter! Like us on Facebook! It's not to be brought up lightly - city hall can't be blamed for everything - but Edmonton City Council must be questioning the competence of its city manager and his top transportation department management.   One delay might be annoying but tolerable. Two delays, even more annoyi ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: CEOs simply paid too much BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2015

FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2015 09:32 AM MDT | UPDATED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2015 10:04 AM MDT www.clker.com Article Change text size for the story Print this story Report an error Related Stories Realtors Association of Edmonton appoints new president and CEO CEO Bob Nicholson and rest of Oilers administration out in force to watch orientation camp OEG CEO Nicholson says team has to find best person to coach Oilers Eskimos president and CEO Len Rhodes gets contract extension to 2019 20 Questions with Ronald McDonald House Charities CEO Martin Dugas Hicks on Biz: Don’t re-invent the wheel Hicks on Biz: You can’t blame Edmonton City Council for everything It’s a topic Canadians are immensely uncomfortable talking about. And it’s a topic that can be argued equally well from either side. On the one hand, I am aghast at the amount of money upper-end lawyers, accountan ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Alberta recession will strike early 2016 BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 07, 2015

FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 07, 2015 10:18 AM MDT | UPDATED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 07, 2015 01:21 PM MDT Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks during a press conference in Edmonton on Thursday, August 6, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dean Bennett Article Change text size for the story Print this story Report an error Related Stories Wildrose Leader Brian Jean touring Alberta, focusing on economy Gunter: Lower-paid workers won't benefit from minimum wage hike Alberta NDP prove they are oblivious to economic reality Hicks on Biz: Edmonton's economy not too hot, not too cool Hicks on Biz: Don’t re-invent the wheel Hicks on Biz: You can’t blame Edmonton City Council for everything In June, this column reported on Metropolitan’s Edmonton’s “Goldilocks” economy, which, despite the calamitous drop in oil prices, continues to chug along. A Goldilocks economy is not too hot, not to ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: This spill is a disaster BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: SATURDAY, JULY 25, 2015

FIRST POSTED: SATURDAY, JULY 25, 2015 09:55 AM MDT | UPDATED: SATURDAY, JULY 25, 2015 10:00 AM MDT Crews work to clean an oil spill near Nexen's Long Lake facility by Fort McMurray. The spill was discovered by a contractor after the safety system designed to detect ruptures failed. Garrett Barry/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network Article Change text size for the story Print this story Report an error More Coverage Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) suspends 95 Nexen Energy pipelines at its Long Lake oilsands operations Related Stories Hicks Weekly Dish: Taste of Edmonton simply 'awful' Gunter: Thomas Mulcair is no friend of the west Hicks' Weekly Dish: Padmanadi a vegetarian's delight Energy minister hails Nexen announcement Hicks on Biz: Edmonton business quickly moving out of North America Paradis tight-lipped on Nexen deal Nexen pipeline failure spells big trouble Hicks' Weekly Di ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: The Macdonald Hotel mirrors Edmonton's economic history by GRAHAM HICKS, first posted Edmonton Sun, Friday, July 10, 2015

Last week’s 100th Anniversary Gala of the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald with 136 invited guests was an elegant, but subdued affair. Which was appropriate. The 198-room heritage hotel, the most prominent and enduring historic building in Edmonton has been a mirror of the turbulent economic history of this region since it opened for business on July 5, 1915. The original owner and builder was the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, which pushed the second trans-Canada railroad across the railway bridge now north of the Beverly Bridge into downtown Edmonton in 1909. The optimism! The excitement! The land boom! Most of Edmonton’s still-standing heritage buildings were built between 1911 and 1914. The city’s population near tripled, from 25,000 in 1911 to a peak of 72,500 in early 1914. No sooner had Grand Trunk run the rails into the city, when it announced the finest hotel in the west would be built in the heart of the booming city, with a magnificent view of the North Saskatchewan. The rail ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Reason VS passion in business BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, JULY 03, 2015

In the business world, reason always trumps passion. Doesn’t matter how much you love your new business idea or invention, so many factors must be carefully  assessed before any financial plunge:  The market, the competition, availability of capital and investor interest,  strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. But isn’t the final key to a successful startup also about passion? How can the entrepreneur work 24/7, against seemingly insurmountable odds, with no paycheque for months on end … without passion? How could successful entrepreneur Bob Holm have created the Strawman All-Natural Bison Farm and Mother’s Market (Edmonton’s first two-day-a-week indoor farmer’s market) without passion? Holm may look like a pint-sized biker, but he’s a bright, self-educated, experienced businessman. Having foreseen the global crash of 2008, he converted his considerable St. Albert real estate holdings into cash during the halcyon business day ... Read the rest of entry »