When Al Chorney joined the Simpcw Resource Group (SRG) as CEO, one of his first activities was to spend some time on the road exploring Simpcw territory, which runs from Jasper to Kamloops.
“It gave me a real appreciation for the area,” said Chorney. “My first impression of Clearwater was of the breathtaking beauty of the rivers and mountains. It’s an amazing location and as an avid fisherman I was drawn to it.”
Chorney recommends anyone travelling through spend some time exploring the North Thompson by getting off the highway and finding an alternative way to reach a destination.
“The topography changes every 20-50 kilometres,” he said. “If you like the outdoors, this area is a gem and it’s often overlooked.”
Simpcw territory is also where 40 per cent of the routing for the TransMountain pipeline expansion is located. Chorney said Simpcw Resources Group is in charge of pipeline maintenance throughout the region and has grown to be one of the largest employers in the North Thompson Valley. The unemployment rate on the Chu Chua reserve is now at 1.5 per cent and SRG continues to hire from across the region.
“As the region continues to grow, it will attract people from everywhere. There’s an opportunity for Clearwater to be at the centre of providing solutions in the region,” said Chorney. “One of the most obvious issues the region will face with growth is waste disposal.”
In response to this need SRG is exploring the possibility of building an incineration facility to accommodate the needs of the entire area.
“It would be such a win for the entire region. Sustainability is an important value to everything we do at SRG,” said Chorney. “Waste management isn’t the prettiest thing, but it’s an important thing to do right.”
Chorney has experienced a really positive attitude amongst community members throughout the valley when it comes to business development.
“There’s an element of camaraderie and wanting to work together collectively to leverage strengths and the advantages of working together.”