Tansi everyone,

Well the first month of 2017 has been very exciting – with significant new developments and initiatives on my plate, I wanted to provide you with an update on some of my progress thus far.

Since leaving Blackhawks Esso in a management capacity, I have been very fortunate to provide valuable input and insight into the redevelopment of Blackhawks Esso to meet the needs of our people and surrounding communities now and into the future.

Here’s our goal:


And we’re almost there.

Since working on the site re-development, I have:

  1. Worked with our partners at Urban Systems to adjust the proposed layout of the re-developed site. The new layout ensures that our new build will be just as accessible as the current site, ensures maximum marketability of the new store which in-turn, increases traffic and produces higher revenues, and incorporates driving lanes for the new drive-thru.
  2. Worked with our partners at Parkland Fuels to enter into an agreement for an “On the Run” franchise. We are currently awaiting the Disclosure Document which details the costs and requirements of the franchise.
  3. esso-on-the-run-12 Submitted the application to Tim Hortons to enter into a franchise agreement as part of the re-developed site (which would include an in-store, full-menu Tim Hortons kiosk (pictured) and a drive-thru)
  4. Met with the Town of Duck Lake and begun the negotiating process for a Municipal Services Agreement (MSA) for water, sewer, and fire and protective services for the site. I was very encouraged from our meeting on Wednesday, January 25th where their Council indicated their enthusiastic support for the project and their willingness to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to begin the drafting process for the Municipal Services Agreement.

Now what?

  • Upon receiving the Disclosure Document from Parkland Fuels, we will review the submission and provide the document to our legal counsel for further scrutiny.
  • otr_thIf there is nothing unexpected in the Disclosure Document, we will proceed with formalizing the Franchise Agreement and pay the franchise fee of $30,000.00 to Parkland Fuels.
  • We also must work with Tim Hortons in the approval of our application for a franchise. This process may take a bit of extra time as Tim Hortons has undergone a major corporate restructuring as a result of their purchase by Burger King. Little Black Bear First Nation has had success in opening a Tim Hortons franchise. I hope to contact them to gain their insight on how to work with Tim Hortons in expediting and approving our application. If approved, the Franchise Fee process would work similar to the process for the On the Run franchise.
  • We will also need to finalize the Municipal Services Agreement with the Town of Duck Lake. In order for our operation to be successful, we need access to a quality, reliable water supply and sewer service. We also need to have ready-access to fire and protective services. The MSA with the Town of Duck Lake – if approved – will provide those services.
  • Once we’re successful in pulling all the pieces of the puzzle together, we will work toward finalizing the financing options for the project which includes securing a loan of approximately $3.5 million for the entire site re-development which includes: a new build for the On the Run Convenience Store (with Tim Hortons kiosk and drive thru) and all applicable interior infrastructure and security systems, 4 new pumps (to accommodate 8 vehicles at a time) and a specifically dedicated diesel pump for heavy equipment, a canopy (as pictured), and all required infrastructure which includes water, sewer, electrical, internet, etc).
  • Complete the tender process and awarding of contracts (with an emphasis on local hiring for skilled workers)
  • Build the site.

While this list is not exhaustive, it does paint an accurate picture of how we envision this process proceeding in the next few months.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the hard and diligent work of the following:

  • Blackhawks Gas Board of Directors – who have supported and assisted in guiding this process and have navigated significant challenges over the past year.
  • Our Chief Financial Officer, Juliano Tupone and Councillor Jeremy Seeseequsis who have provided sound advice and are working carefully to secure the financing options for this endeavor
  • The management and staff at Blackhawks Esso who have tackled significant challenges head-on and have adapted to tremendous changes over the last year. Their hard work and dedication ensures that our business is successful.

If you have any questions or concerns about this report or project, please do not hesitate to contact me at your earliest possible convenience.


Councillor Kevin Seesequasis
Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation
306-467-4523 ext 237

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