John Thomson  

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

What do you think will be next with the price of gasoline for the future?  It has been a number of weeks that we have been holding at the same $1.29 per litre. Yet in the marketplace oil is going in the other direction. At the moment big oil is making a lot of profit on their pump prices.

I must admit I was one of those columnists that thought we would be operating in the $1.50 per litre category for most of the summer but maybe people just were not buying the products at the corner like they had been and just maybe the drivers didn’t travel as much. I certainly know my driving was on the downward curve this past year.

I’ll be happy if it stays in this range for the rest of the year.


I write a great deal about retail in this country because it is a fast changing story for all the players in the market. Those that are already here from other countries and those that still have to come. None of them are a challenge for Costco. They just keep rolling along and have announced eleven new warehouse operations in Canada in their plans for the near future. From my  incoming emails, apparently we have a number of spots like West Kelowna and Penticton who are writing asking the the big company to check them out.  They have the population and land to build such a store.

You have to realize that the Costco Kelowna store is one of their big producers in Canada doing over $2 million a week in trade. I do know that some real estate members of the big team have looked around at both Summerland and Penticton and that has been confirmed by a very reliable source.

Baby Boomers are becoming more and more important to the expansion of retail in Canada. Retailers need to get much better at understanding the needs of this very important segment of the population.

Just think of the number of members there are that get the privilege to shop at Costco in Canada. Whether it’s the white card or the black card, the money flow into Costco from Canadians is considerable.  Even if they don’t shop there a lot they still get the privilege of being a member. In the meantime, Costco takes all that membership money to the bank and invests it immediately.


What do we want more of today? That beautiful word "chocolate". First of all there are problems with this year’s crop in Africa and the price of the raw product is going to rise. Also the public wants dark chocolate since it has become a health fad. That means more cocoa has to be used in manufacturing. I don’t think chocolate of all shapes and sizes have ever been unwelcome at our house.

Most of the gift chocolates have probably been made in the summer when it slows down just a little bit with the warm weather. Once made, packaged and stored, the price will go up accordingly.


Three advertising agencies went after the new Nordstrom’s account and DBD Canada was the winner. That’s a good member to have on your team. The first store in Canada is scheduled to open in Calgary in the fall of next year. In Vancouver the old Sears building downtown is being remodeled now, with future stores in Toronto and Ottawa.


With the Jim Pattison group taking charge of the reins once and for all, Sun-Rype now becomes a division of the Jimmy empire. What do I mean? This is big business and Sun-Rype products are featured in the over 100 grocery stores already in the company. It is a good marriage.


Kingfisher Heliskiing is set to open a world of first descents and pristine Monashee Mountain terrain as British Columbia’s newest heli-skiing operation takes flight this coming winter.

Guests of Kingfisher Heliskiing in its inaugural season will get the opportunity to explore, ski or snowboard and name their own run…leaving a mark on the Kingfisher map forever!

“It’s like opening a candy store,” says owner and lead guide Tim Shenkariuk. “There is so much amazing terrain in this tenure and most of it has never seen skied before.”

Featuring an awe-inspiring 120,000 acres of majestic alpine and tree-skiing in the Central Monashee Range of British Columbia, the Kingfisher Heliskiing experience offers two packages: a Rustic Powder from the Gold Panner Lodge and a Kingfisher Private from Sparkling Hill Resort.

“We’ll utilize two home bases for Kingfisher Heliskiing,” states Shenkariuk. “For those in search of a more rustic “ski culture” the Rustic Powder package is a can’t miss.” And “for those looking for luxury we’ll offer up the world-class Sparkling Hill Resort.”


The Bank of Canada has downgraded its growth expectations for the economy. The bank's senior deputy governor says third quarter growth will likely come in at between 2.0 per cent and 2.5 per cent, not the 3.8 per cent pace in the central bank's previous forecast.


Canucks Sports & Entertainment (CS&E) is proud to announce its new partnership with the BC Securities Commission (BCSC). The Canucks will partner with the BCSC to provide a variety of investor education, financial literacy and business seminars to Canucks staff, affiliates and business partners. The partnership will also include joint projects involving fans and B.C. high school students.

“I know from personal experience the importance of preventative fraud protection,” said Canucks President and General Manager, Mike. Gillis. “The B.C. Securities Commission provides the invaluable service of educating all British Columbians about protecting their financial assets and preventing many types of fraud as they invest their hard earned money.”

Research conducted by the BCSC shows that many investors lack the knowledge and understanding they need to make sound investment decisions. For those who fall victim to investment fraud, the impact is devastating.

Investors can educate themselves by visiting InvestRight.org, where they will find many tools and resources to help them avoid investment fraud, assess their risk tolerance, or research an investment. The BCSC also educates British Columbians of all ages on the importance of financial life skills, from high school students to retirees.

“The goal of our financial education program is to help British Columbians make informed investment decisions and protect themselves from investment fraud,” said Brenda Leong, Chair of the BCSC. “Partnering with the Canucks is a great new way for us to reach investors of all ages, and we’re thrilled to be assisting the Canucks organization by educating their staff and business partners.”

The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province.

Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, John Thomson.  While we are sure that every care has been taken in the compilation of this information and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur.

Castanet will not be held responsible for any claims, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.

More John Thomson articles

About the Author

John Thomson is the Okanagan's pre-eminent business columnist writing his column, Rumours and Things, for over 24 years. Plugged in to the valley's who's who, John keeps his readers coming back for more with his straight talk and optimistic perspective on where we are headed next.

When John is not writing his column, he runs a sixteen year old think tank called the Executive Roundtable and holds his popular "Thomson Presents" quarterly business speaker seminars.

Have a comment, question, or tip for John? 

E-mail John at
[email protected]
or send him a fax at 250-764-8255.


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories