05.31.17 / Community

B2B event brings contractors and local and Aboriginal businesses together

Relationship-building is the first step in forming a construction team.

More than 100 local and Aboriginal business representatives from 24 natural gas line-related industries joined us on May 8 for our business-to-business (B2B) networking event.

Attendees were invited to learn more about the Vancouver to Coquitlam natural gas line upgrade project, network with representatives from the project’s six shortlisted construction contractors and introduce their products and services to the contractors.

The designated construction contractor will be expected to source the products and services they need from among local and Aboriginal businesses. This networking event helps contractors connect with such businesses so they can begin to build those relationships.

“We recognize the kind of impact a project this size can have,” says Melanie Kilpatrick, senior project manager for the Vancouver to Coquitlam Upgrade. “That’s why we want to make sure some of the project’s economic benefits stay within the community.”

Ray Natraoro, director of business development for Stalkaya Environmental, is one of 19 Aboriginal business representatives who attended the event. Ray appreciates FortisBC’s emphasis on hiring local and Aboriginal businesses and saw the networking event as an opportunity to highlight what Stalkaya Environmental could bring to the table, as well as the large skilled workforce that’s available within the local Aboriginal community.

“A big part of our company’s mandate involves helping First Nations people throughout B.C. to develop and diversify their skills and provide them with employment opportunities,” says Ray. “We identify skills that will be needed on projects occurring on First Nations land, train workers to fill those needs and employ the skilled workers on our projects.” 

Ray says, “We were honoured to attend the B2B event for the Vancouver to Coquitlam project to begin building what we hope will be a long-lasting relationship with FortisBC.”

We’ve already started preparations for this project by doing some vegetation removal in Burnaby. Construction will continue on the Vancouver to Coquitlam Upgrade throughout 2018. If you’re interested in working on this project, please complete the contractors and vendors form.

networking event
Samantha Singbeil, FortisBC Aboriginal Relations Manager, chats with (L to R) Wayne Saunders and Bruce Smith of Sukwi7 Contracting Ltd. at the B2B networking event for the Vancouver to Coquitlam Upgrade project.


We recognize the kind of impact a project this size can have. That’s why we want to make sure some of the project’s economic benefits stay within the community.

Melanie Kilpatrick Senior Project Manager, Vancouver to Coquitlam Upgrade

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