MRO Magazine

Equipment firm’s gift of land to B.C. schools aimed at fostering business and educational partnerships

Vancouver, BC -- Nov. 20, 2001 -- Finning International Inc. plans to give an 80% interest in an 18.6-acre parcel o...


November 20, 2001
By MRO Magazine

Vancouver, BC — Nov. 20, 2001 — Finning International Inc. plans to give an 80% interest in an 18.6-acre parcel of land along Vancouver’s Great Northern Way to four British Columbia post-secondary institutions. This property represents a portion of Finning’s original 28-acre site.

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (Emily Carr Institute), Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) are sharing equally in the gift of property that encompasses approximately six city blocks on Great Northern Way between Main Street and Clark Drive. The gift’s value is approximately $33.8 million.

“We have explored alternative options for developing this property, and believe that partnering with these four leading BC institutions is a way to foster business and educational partnerships and to give something back to a community that has been very supportive of our company,” said Doug Whitehead, president and CEO of Finning.

With this gift, and the previous sale of 5.6 acres to QLT Inc., Finning still retains ownership of nine acres, which it intends to market in the near future. Finning will be vacating the Great Northern Way property over the next few months. Finning will retain its international head office in Vancouver as well as significant operations (over 1,000 employees in more than 20 locations) throughout the province.


While the four institutions do not have detailed plans for the property as yet, they are exploring options for training and education programs, and development strategies to fund them.

“The land is located in what will be a technology centre for the province,” said BCIT president Tony Knowles. “Together we will develop a vibrant academic centre addressing the educational and research needs of the technology industry. This gift is the catalyst for a unique partnership of our four institutions, as we co-operate to create a one-stop, broadly based education and research consortium,” he said.

Finning International Inc. sells, rents, finances and provides customer support services for Caterpillar equipment and engines, and complementary equipment, in Western Canada, the U.K. and Chile.

By Bill Roebuck, Editor