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REPORTING · 7th November 2011
Terrace Daily
By following the link below or accessing the site through the City of Terrace website, one can visit and explore the new Terrace Economic Development Authority (TEDA) website.

The site was designed by a firm not from Terrace and is reported to have cost $40,000.

We quickly checked it out and found the map function, unfunctional, and numerous businesses from Terrace unlisted in what is claimed to be a "Comprehensive" and "All Inclusive" list.

Was it worth it? Is it going to be improved?

On an original post, Click Here the community participated in questioning this expenditure and the awarding of the contract.

Comment by SA on 16th November 2011
I'll admit I could have made an exact replica of this site from my livingroom, so I am wondering what the $40,000 actually went towards? Forgive me if this question has already been answered (I haven't really read all the comments and only skimmed through the article), but, perhaps much of that cost was going towards the marketing rather than the actual website itself? That would make a lot of sense as marketing can involve many things and with what is available nowadays it would be expensive to have a Vancouver-based company doing some extreme ninja-style, behind-the-scenes marketing that isn't going to be shown or mentioned on the site's homepage. Not sure what else to say or think about this...40 big ones eh? hmmm, maybe I should charging more for my website services lol
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 12th November 2011
In 2006, Dave Menzies was the executive director of TEDA. It was Mr. Menzies who made TEDA a respected organization. It was the administrative and political interference in this organization that has led to this uncomfortable position it finds itself in today.

The City of Terrace found great success with Minerals North when Menzies brought that show to Terrace. The event was lauded as the most successful Minerals North gathering ever. Dave Menzies was truly a hero for industrial development and attention being brought to Terrace.

Then the City compromised him by mis representing him when they worked to get rid of Jennifer Lewis as the executive director of the Terrace Tourism Society (TTS). The City Manager stated boldly to the Terrace Councillors on the second sitting in May 2006, that TEDA had a difficult time trying to work with the Terrace Tourism Society. I went and spoke to Dave Menzies about this and he told me this was flat out untrue, that he had a great working relationship with the TTS. The City Manager repeated this untruth almost exactly one year later to the Board room of the Regional District Kitimat Stikine.

Dave left his job as the Executive Director of TEDA shortly after this episode of the City blatantly misrepresenting him. He will not state firmly this was the sole reason he left but one must consider this as part of his integrity. With being able to do such great things and being so competent to have someone put words in his mouth must have been very uncomfortable.

The City administration then became intimately involved with the independence of this and all City organizations. Sam Harling was chosen to be the next ED and after he was unceremoniously dumped the City passed a new motion in Council to have TEDA and the next ED report directly to the City Manager, who at the time was Ron Poole. Then Evan van Dyk was appointed to take this role having been taught by a Northern Development Trust Initiative apprenticeship program. Evan is beginning to understand his role and see the full perspective of what this new career involves. He is young but he has energy and vitality. He simply is lacking a solid leadership team with a complete and comprehensive plan and direction.

TEDA is a good organization, has very good intentions but is completely hamper and had previously been gutted of independence to do the job it was designed to do. Today, since Ron Poole abandoned Terrace shortly after he encouraged TEDA to report directly to him, the entire City is left with a vacuum of leadership. Even bad leadership was better than no leadership.

The first thing I will do regarding TEDA when I become Mayor of Terrace is convene a meeting of the paid staff of TEDA and determine exactly what their plans and directions are. I will determine exactly what they have set out to accomplish in one, five, ten and twenty years and how they intend to reach these goals. I will then meet with all those who have volunteered and were selected by the City to be one the board of TEDA. I will determine why they volunteered and what they feel about the directions and goals our staff has set for TEDA to meet.

I will then ensure all of your councillors have all the truthful information. The seven of us will then determine if TEDA is able to be successful in returning a cost benefit to Terrace and if so what needs to be done to ensure that happens. If it is found TEDA cannot in the long term provide a cost benefit, I suspect your council will attempt to find a better way to use these monies.

I will say this about the website. TEDA, through whatever process, decided to hire an outside company to design and build this website at exactly the same time as they were initiating their Buy Local campaign. There is something wrong, I do not yet know what, but there is something wrong with their connect. After you elect me as Mayor, I will discover what that is and then we will all know.

Vote Merv for Mayor
Comment by TT on 9th November 2011
This is the website that TEDA paid tens of thousands to an out of town company for? Shame on TEDA for spending its' money outside of Terrace, in the first place, and Karma sucks apparently :) just like the site. Any of the designers I know of from Terrace who applied could have done a better job, heck, my six year old could have done better.

What an unprofessional, shoddy impression TEDA is now giving to the world. We should all be embarassed that this hypocritical organization is representing our community to possible investors, professionals, industry, etc.

Shut TEDA down already, what a waste of time and money.
content needs review as well...
Comment by tom on 8th November 2011
I wont say anything pertaining to the layout, there has been enough to make the point; however, feel free to view Dawson Creek's (same population) E.D site. Also, I would have liked to have seen more on the other sectors, and ones we should capitalize on. Our lack of economic diversification is evident and the non resource based sectors were not represented. As it stands now, our primary economic generator sector, is "speculation" while it drives real estate prices to a degree, it does not furnish local families with incomes. When the speculation sector generates more wealth, even at 90% out of region, then other sectors, then our economy is fragile and needs innovative, creative, and new models of thinking and development.
a step back
Comment by Thomas More on 8th November 2011
The old TEDA site was so much more vibrant and did a better job of representing the community of Terrace and its accosted business's. What was the justification for creating a new website?
local mine ?
Comment by anon on 8th November 2011
I bet tcm would be as surprised as I was.
it starts with a lie
Comment by anon on 8th November 2011
Unbelievable as most lies are. The site starts off ripping off a picture of an open pit mine that the terrace region does not have . Why not rip off a picture of the international space station .It at least passes over us once in awhile and when it does it's only a third the distance from us as the huckleberry mine .
Just had to look
Comment by Joe Taxpayer on 8th November 2011
I have to agree, this website is not the best. My 4 year old could deliver a better product than that. Didn't anyone look at the site before it went live.

First, the background picture should be of the northwest, not an open pit mine in South America (so it seems). It would also help to have a clear picture.

Secondly, the boxes should contain all of the print as it is difficult to read. Any potential invester or person looking to gain contacts would simply close the link and think it was a bogus website.

Third, the paragraphs have a black background which kinda standout as being a cheap 30 second powerpoint presentation.

Whoever had the authorization to spend $40,000 on this website should be reprimanded. Since this website was not developed locally - why not have it developed in China - you would have gotten your moneys worth for pennys on the dollar. With all of the negative comments (mine included) they should shut down the website and rebuild it quickly.

I hope those people at TEDA really condsider these comments. If we feel this way, what about future investors.
And further to "Confusing" on the "refused interview"
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 8th November 2011
Although this has nothing to do with the new TEDA website, it adds to an issue raised here - for clarification.

Here was the last exchange prior to the paper stating I refused their request for an interview. Their exact printed words were ;

Declined interview
A FIFTH candidate for the office of Mayor, Merv Ritchie, decided he did not wish to be interviewed.

It is this type of reporting that has so many calling this paper the sub-standard. They failed to adequately and properly reflect the subject.

After a series of six exchanges, on Wednesday October 19 they concluded with this exchange.

From the Standard Reporter

Hi Merv,

I can only repeat what I've said before.

I'm sorry you are declining our interview request.

And again, if you do change your mind, please feel free to contact me.

And I replied

I am not declining your interview request.

I am asking for the questions to be sent to me.

I wish to be as accommodating as possible and I do not want to miss the opportunity to assist you in your role.

I am only asking for the questions to be written.

I am not declining your interview request, I simply request it to be in writing.

Thank you so much for your reconsideration.


And then my followup just after 3 pm Wednesday;


I hope you will get back to me with your questions.

Just so you are cognizent of my situation, it is now 3 pm and I have already put in a 12 hour day. Currently I am putting in an average of 20 hrs/day during this election period. I am able to answer your questions between sales phone calls, my own interviews, and media events. But only when I have the time to consider them.

This is why I am making the request for you to send them to me.

As you noticed when I spoke with your earlier it was during a sales call to another candidate.

When the election is over things will get much easier, but at this time I am not just a candidate looking for a vote, I have a very important role to fill as the media and for promoting all the other candidates as well. And this is not just in Terrace.

With regards,


The next time I heard from them was October 25, so it might be considered somewhat misleading to state I declined an interview eh? Though others may see it differently.

Oh Really!
Comment by barryeng on 8th November 2011

Oh really? This is the grand statement seems to be in front of a picture that was not taken anywhere near Terrace. The name of the organization says Terrace , not the Northwest, yet all the developement being promoted is for areas around Terrace and not in the city itself. It is almost as if the City of Terrace exists in a black hole that nothing can penetrate.

All the warm fuzzies that we have been hearing for 10 years now about how economic prosperity is just around the corner have not made the slightest dent in the wall of complacency and self serving that seems to permeate all of our local business community. Merv has said it before, and I agree with him . . . very, very tight local control of almost everything, IN TERRACE, has all but stopped any developement from outside the local business community. We have even seen it in our hot springs and ski hill. Everyone wants to see them developed, but God forbid that we lose any local control in the process.

Until and unless Terrace loses the mindset that says we, and only we control what happens in Terrace, we will have a very tough time attracting even the so-called professionals that everyone seem to be promoting. This new website just continues the mindset that promotes the status quo, but nothing new for Terrace.
I agree with Chris
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 8th November 2011
Plain and simply the website is actually difficult and uncomfortable to read.

The pixelated pictures, the blocks, it all appears choppy. Web presence is vital in this day and age, and the ability to hit an x to close the window is very easy.

I don't think the website is really showing the beauty and uniqueness of our city, but more than that it is simply really difficult to spend any length of time on.

I understand the goal was a combined product and maybe that was the problem. Sometimes it is more value to piece meal things. So of the $40,000 (is that the actual cost?) How much was committed to the website and how much was committed to the marketing? I think that's an important question.
some clarification
Comment by alexander pietralla on 7th November 2011
Great to see the new website draws so much attention. Let's clear some of the confusion. and are 2 separate projects.

The InvestNorthwest BC website was launched in early October and created by a cooperative approach from most of the local Economic Development Offices with the support of Northern Development Initiative Trust. You can see all participating Authorities, Societies and participating municipalities on the website. Everything else can be read in the press release posted by Carol.

TEDA's new website, which just launched, is the one which is linked via Merv's article herein.
When the TEDA Board, and all Board Members are Volunteers btw. to clarify some other confusion, and the new EDO Evan van Dyke started talking about a new web presence we very quickly started going into details on what it should include, what it should look like and most importantly who we wanted to address.
We are currently, and I hope most can attest to this, on the verge of big change in Northwest BC. We are finally at the doorstep of diversifying the economy from Forestry alone, to some Forestry, Mining, Gas and Transportation. When one looks at the map of this region one very quickly sees activity clusters ( Mining along the new NTL up North, Gas and maybe Oil in Kitimat, Overseas Transportion Cluster in Prince Rupert ). So the question is - where is Terrace in all this ? Look at the map again - Terrace is at the very center of all the activities around us and Terrace will be the regions main HUB. A Hub for professionals from various business backgrounds - Medical, IT, Arts, Engineering,Media, Government etc. With the billions of Investments coming this way this region will have enough Economies of Scale to give the local industrial service industry a better future and parallel attract additional Tier1 and Tier 2 service industries to Terrace, as they need to be centrally located to serve all major operations.
With all this in mind, did we go out and requested proposals to not only build a website, but primarily include a message and a whole marketing campaign around it. We had 3 proposals from webdesign companies that were able to do both - webdesign and development and a marketing concept along with it. We had several presentations by these companies, were able to clarify questions and had in-depth discussions on the overall scope. At last the Board had consensus to go with smashLab for its outstanding reputation, the answers they gave, and the overall image they left behind. We did this as thorough as possible, knowing that we are spending tax money ( 20% btw. from a grant ).

Someone in this thread mentioned that the Industrial Service Directory is outdated. That is correct. TEDA does one yearly update of this Directory and we are working on next years Directory as we speak. More than one a year would not make economic sense.

I will talk to the developers of the website to assure the link to works properly. Thanks for pointing this out. I appreciate constructive response.

I think the new site stands out and draws attention, it will be talked about - some will not like it, some will, some will think its crazy, some will say it is very cool and new. Some will say this is very forward thinking and progressive and very gutsy - if this is the message it gives, than it is mission accomplished. Time will tell... and Google Analytics ;)

I hope I could cater to clear the assumptions...
Comment by Brad on 7th November 2011
I'm a little confused why someone running for mayor wouldn't get their bio or platform published for free in our only local print newspaper.

Hey Brad, didn't you read the interview? I spent an hour with their reporter and got a few lines. I respect them for at least saying something. But they didn't focus on my platform, which I spelled out in detail.

I have a quarter page ad I paid for but they won't honour it. Guess I am too much of a threat. Maybe you think I should pay more money and not get an ad printed? Corruption comes in all shapes and sizes.


** So there's more to the story behind last weeks paper where it said you didn't provide a bio (don't remember the exact wording)?
It just doesn't seem to be your style to remain silent if you were treated unfairly.

They said I refused to do an interview. I had asked them to provide me with the questions. I was (and am) very busy and told them I would respond to them. This exchange went back and forth. It was they who did the refusing, not I. They flatly refused to send me their questions stating it would be unfair to the other candidates.

Last week after I was done with a two week long move, I had a few hours before I had to go to Kitimat for their forum and sat down with their reporter for an hour. Their statement in the paper wasn't worth the dignity of a response. The paper has little credibility. (imho)
Thanks for pointing that out Chris
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 7th November 2011
This just adds to the humour really. True, they need to work out the bugs and I am sure now that we have brought this to their attention it'll happen soon.

But, just like 2006 and 07 when the Chamber was ragging on the TTS, (who had a great website by the way, it is what attracted me here!), the chamber had neglected theirs to such a terrible state that went I went to it, it directed me to porn sites. It took many months for them to get their act together. I suspect this new Teda problem will be corrected shortly.

Thanks Carol -b-b-b but
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 7th November 2011
Okay, are you saying the $40,000 was for the InvestNorthwestBC site and this new TEDA site was funded how?

There is some awfully confusing info here.

No other organization that I know of demands the media pay them to be a member to allow them to get news releases. Most organizations beg for publicity.

What dark age is the Chamber living in? This is just too laughable.

Damn I hope I get elected as Mayor to stop this insanity!
Comment by Chris on 7th November 2011
Well the investnortwestbc looks much nicer than the TEDA site but amazingly if you go to the "Community Profies" section and click on "Terrace", you get an error message from the new TEDA site that says the page does not exist!! Wow is all I can say. If it did cost $40,000.00 I would think it should have been someone's job to make sure the links work! All the other community profiles worked just fine. What image is that sending to potential investors about our city?
More on Invest Northwest BC
Comment by Carol Fielding on 7th November 2011
Hi Merv....I got the release via an email from the Northern Development Trust as the Chamber is on the enews list. I did send it out to the Chamber members via email blast on Ocotber 4th.

There is has been lots of negative chatter on your site about the $40K website and felt it was time to shed a little light on the actual website that being you can see it is a collaboration of many organizations who shared the costs and will provide ongoing information about all the projects in NW BC.

Hope this helps~
Carol - What are you talking about?
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 7th November 2011
I enjoyed reading this news release, but the Terrace Daily never got it. How was it released? To a select audience only?

This website link to the TEDA site is not the same one as what this news release you posted directs to.

I notice the news release also does not have a date. When was this release, released? Could you please post it on our site with a date or send the original to our news release email address, news at

Thanks, it is a great release!

waste of money
Comment by Eric on 7th November 2011
I've seen elementary school kids do better looking sites than that!! Looks like TEDA paid for a Cadillac & got a Yugo instead.
40, 000 was a nice paycheck
Comment by Unreal on 7th November 2011
Well I am sure the one cashing the $40,000 paycheck is happy but this site is horrible; the resolution is the pitts and the site is just horrible. IF this was made by a profession site building company I would be embarrased. Very low end. very.. and this is what we want to use to promote Terrace. ugh.
New Website Link
Comment by Carol Fielding on 7th November 2011
I thought I had better clarify the new website link as it seems there is some confusion.

Here is the news release:

Northwest BC Communities Invite New Investment with the Launch of 'Invest Northwest BC'

NORTHWEST BRITISH COLUMBIA - The communities of northwest British Columbia are combining their efforts to spur development and attract new investment with the launch of 'Invest Northwest BC' - 'Invest Northwest BC' provides detailed information on over $15 billion dollars of major projects and investment opportunities planned in the region.

Northwest British Columbia has a wealth of under-developed forest, mineral, and coastal resources with numerous large-scale projects underway and planned within the coming decade. Every northwest community, recognizing the potential to revitalize the regional economy through attracting new investment, has partnered with Northern Development Initiative Trust to develop the comprehensive 'Invest Northwest BC' online resource for investors to access the latest, up-to-date information on dozens of major projects, as well as enabling investors to connect directly with private developers and community leaders.

BC Hydro's Northwest Transmission Line, an approximately 344 km, 287 kV transmission line originating in Terrace, BC and running north along Highway 37 will provide clean power to billions of dollars in new industrial developments, enable new renewable energy generation projects, and allow rural communities to access the electricity grid. The Northwest Transmission Line leverages unprecedented private sector investment in the region and is regarded as a catalyst for the economic renewal of northwest British Columbia.

"The Invest in Northwest BC web portal is a vital tool to promote the region. It is the only online resource that can put into perspective the development that is happening in northwest British Columbia - it shows how we truly are on the verge of an economic boom," stated Mayor David Pernarowski, City of Terrace. "What particularly excites me is the collaborative approach the northwest communities have taken in partnership with Northern Development Initiative Trust. Now more than ever it is important that we all to work together to put northwest British Columbia on the international map."

Visit for the latest information on major projects ranging from Ridley Terminals' recently announced expansion, Pinnacle Pellet's planned wood pellet terminal, RioTinto's $2.5 billion expansion, to dozens of mining and power projects planned around BC Hydro's new Northwest Transmission Line.

In addition to the Northwest Transmission Line, Kitimat LNG is currently developing a $4.5 billion new liquefied natural gas terminal in Kitimat that will connect Apache Canada and EOG Resources' gas fields in British Columbia and Alberta with new international markets. RioTinto Alcan is undertaking a $2.5 billion expansion of its aluminum smelting operations in Kitimat, BC that will be complete by 2013. In Prince Rupert, there is unparalleled new investment planned and underway in transportation and logistics infrastructure to enable British Columbia to increase its international export capacity. These investments include $2.5 billion in investment in the Port of Prince Rupert's Gateway 20-20 projects that will see the addition of a new bulk terminal for potash exports, and export/import logistics park, an automobile import terminal, and more. The Port of Prince Rupert is also working with Pinnacle Renewable Group to develop a recently announced wood pellet export facility on the north coast that will provide significant export capacity for British Columbia's wood pellet industry and connected forestry sectors.

"Kitimat is excited to have partnered with every community in northwest BC and the private companies that are planning major developments in our region. It is partnerships like this that are integral to moving northwest British Columbia forward to an era of long-term economic prosperity," stated Kitimat Mayor Joanne Monaghan.

In addition to these multi-billion dollar projects, every community in northwest BC has major projects planned and unique investment opportunities ranging from the Hudson Bay Mountain Resort's development in Smithers, the expansion of port infrastructure in Stewart, the investment in an expanded airport in Masset on Haida Gwaii, and billions of potential new investment in gold, copper, silver, and coal mines planned throughout the region.

For the latest information on any of these projects, and for direct contact information with every company and community leader in northwest British Columbia, visit

For information on business incentives to locate and invest in central and northern British Columbia, visit Northern Development Initiative Trust at:
Needs improvement!
Comment by Stuart H. on 7th November 2011
I also had a quick look at the site.

Sorry guys but I could have made the same thing for $2,000. This site will not do well on the search engines. The keywords are not there. The menu links are too big and the site is dark, depressing and difficult to navigate. I think smashlab dropped the ball on this one.

I hope it will be fixed in the future and local businesses will be able to add their website link for no charge.
That is it?
Comment by Mr. Peters on 7th November 2011
I went for a little look and could not believe that that is worth 40K. Who was the idiot who signed off on this? I have seen school computer projects that looked more professional than this. I sure hope that they can get a refund.
Not a good first impression
Comment by Chris on 7th November 2011
I wasn't one of the ones originally uspet about the $40,000.00 price tag as I know a very professionally desgined and well functioning website can be expensive, however, after an initial glance at this new site I really hope they didn't spend that much on it.

My #1 issue is the terrible low res photo backgrounds that look like a bunch of dots and are actually hard on the eyes after just a few minutes! Then you have lines of white text with black backgrounds over these bad quality photos... this reminds me of the old PC's from years ago that had a black screen and white text.

I wasn't able to get through the whole site as my eyes couldn't take more than 10 min with those terrible backgrounds, but I don't think this is a good first impression. The City of Terrace website is much nicer with great quality images from our area depicted.

Just my opinion.