Two sounds are very familiar to me, bringing me back to my childhood: the gurgle and sputter of the 10-horse Briggs and Stratton pushing our 22 foot Clinker through the Saanich Inlet and the wizz-click of our Scotty downriggers.
Scott Plastics, better known as “Scotty”, was started in Victoria in 1952 by Blayney and Amelda Scott. Today they continue to be a successful homegrown business on the Saanich Peninsula who make a tremendous contribution to our local economy.
They are leaders in engineering, design, mold making and the plastic molding industries. Over the years they have developed their own proprietary line of Scotty fishing and outdoor, paddle sports and fire products. They also provide custom molding and tool making services to over 100 companies across North America. Scotty is an example of how business on the peninsula is connected to the global marketplace.
A downrigger is just a downrigger, but for many of us who have fished the west coast, a Scotty downrigger is the reliable ol’mate to the Peetz reel and Rhys Davies frozen anchovies. The brilliant blue hand crank is an artifact of fishing folklore in British Columbia. Many strong orders were barked while cranking the cannonball from the depths. “You got a nice one,” Dad would assess, his tone tensing into a terse directive. “ADAM, KEEP THE ROD TIP UP AND THE LINE TIGHT. Let it go if it wants to go!”
Scott Plastics keeps it local and in house.
Loyalty is part of the brand. Project Manager, Chris Root, has been with the company for nineteen years and has worked in every area of the business. Born and raised on the peninsula, and a graduate of Parkland Secondary school, Chris toured me around the 90,000 sq/ft. facilities, walking through every aspect of the production process from design to shipping.
Once a mold for a product has been designed, mold fabrication starts in the machine shop. When the molds are completed they are put to work on the molding floor. Bolted into one of 17 injection molding machines that run 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. From there, hundreds of molded parts are assembled into one of Scott’s iconic products like the world famous Scotty downrigger.
It’s not just the product design, mold fabrication and manufacturing that is done locally. Every aspect of the business is taken care of in-house including sales, graphic design, advertising, product guides, labels and packaging. All are developed by a skilled front of house team.
Shortly after announcing that I was nominated as the BC Green candidate in Saanich North and the Islands for the 2013 general election, I had a meeting at Scott Plastics with former Vice-President of Operations Robin Richardson and John Juricic. Six years later, and nearing two years since my election as the MLA in 2017, many of the issues that Robin and John advocated for in that initial meeting remain as challenging today as they were back then. Scott Plastics employs 80 people on the Peninsula. Their employees live across Greater Victoria making housing and transportation the biggest hardship. From the businesses perspective access to skilled labour and the Employers Health Tax are top issues of concern.
I continue to tour the incredible local business community to learn more about their work. It’s a way that I can honour the commitments that I made in that very first meeting with Robin and John to be a strong advocate for the innovators, employers, investors and change-makers on the Saanich Peninsula.