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Nova Scotia Automotive
Sector Council appoints
new Executive Director

Ms. Corrie Robley (photo above) has been appointed Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Automotive Human Resource Sector Council. Ms. Robley has been closely involved with the Automotive Sector Council since 2000, and most recently served as its Project Manager.

Ms. Corrie Robley (photo above) has been appointed Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Automotive Human Resource Sector Council. Ms. Robley has been closely involved with the Automotive Sector Council since 2000, and most recently served as its Project Manager.

She succeeds Graham Conrad who has served as Executive Director of the Council since 1999. Mr. Conrad has welcomed her appointment, noting that Corrie’s experience and enthusiasm will bring fresh new ideas and energy to the rapidly growing importance of the Automotive Sector Council in Nova Scotia.

As the new head of the Council, Ms.Robley has identified some of the initiatives that lie ahead. In partnership with industry employers, government and stakeholders, the Council will deliver five priority initiatives that will help address the shortage of skilled workers, and develop a healthy and sustainable service and repair workforce.

1. Immigration Recruitment Strategy. Together, employers and the Council will research the process of recruiting international skilled workers through Nova Scotia’s Provincial Nominee Program, while continuing our efforts of working with those immigrants already in Nova Scotia and assist them in obtaining training and employment.

2. Automotive Glass Technician Certification Needs Assessment. Following suit of compulsory certification for the auto body technician, the Council will consult with automotive glass businesses to gauge the level of interest of applying to the Provincial Apprenticeship Board to designate the Automotive Glass technician as a voluntary or compulsory certified trade;

3. Education / Industry Partnership Development. The Council will establish a provincial Industry Education Committee to help establish a formal connection between Industry employers and the secondary school network, School Boards and Nova Scotia Community College. Industry must take a greater role in working with the Education system with the growing Department of Education secondary school programs that will potentially benefit employers, combined with the need for Industry to start investing in the only two High School automotive programs (Auburn & Memorial), as well as the need for raising entry level standards.

4. Essential Skills Research Study. In an effort to enhance the knowledge of the workforce, the Council will identify the essential skills training requirements of employees through a provincial study and pilot a Workplace Education Program with interested employers in each sector of the service and repair industry;

5. Human Resource Training Needs Research Study for Automotive Owners and Managers. To enhance Industry human resource skills and knowledge, the Council will conduct a provincial study to determine specific training needs and prepare a report for Industry, Government and interested parties.

As in the past, the Council will schedule communication luncheon meetings around the province, and continue to build relationships within each industry sector. For more information on each of these and many more initiatives, please refer to the February ‘07 issue of the “Automotive People Newsletter” or visit them online here.


Ontario tightens seatbelt law

As of December, everyone riding in a vehicle in Ontario needs to buckle up. While buckling up was already mandatory for motorists in the province, the old law didn’t cover situations where there are more passengers than seatbelts. The new law, which closes that loophole, came into effect December 1,2006. The law was amended after four people were killed Oct. 16 when a minivan with a driver and nine passengers - but with only seven seatbelts - was hit by a tractor-trailer northwest of Toronto. Drivers are still responsible for making sure people under 16 wear a seatbelt, but passengers 16 and older, who aren’t buckled, can now be hit with a fine. About one-third of all vehicle fatalities in Ontario involve unbelted occupants.


Winter Drivers urged to dress their car properly

The Rubber Association of Canada’s winter tire list can help

The difference between a running shoe and winter boot is quite obvious to the naked eye. When you look at four tires on a vehicle, they’re round, they’re black and they all look alike. What is the difference between a regular “all-season” tire and a specific “winter tire”? Only when you get quite close will you notice a different tread pattern, softer more supple rubber compound and most important of all a mountain snowflake symbol on the sidewall of the tire.

The Rubber Association of Canada hosts a winter tire list on its website to help consumers identify a tire marked with the mountain snowflake symbol. These tires meet specific winter traction performance requirements and have been designed specifically for use in severe winter conditions.

Better make sure the real things are on!

If you dress your vehicle with “all season” tires just keep in mind that like a running shoe which may provide safe performance in most weather conditions, they are not designed for snow and ice. At lower temperatures “all season” tires begin to lose elasticity, resulting in reduced traction. Winter tires retain their elasticity so that they grip at much lower temperatures.

Visit and click the mountain snowflake symbol for a listing of tire manufacturers’ products with the peaked mountain snowflake symbol. Founded in 1920, The Rubber Association of Canada is the national trade association for Canadian rubber manufacturers and distributors of rubber goods. Visit the association online here.


Recent study finds public not
aware about tire maintenance

A recent study by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) on proper tire maintenance found that while three-fourths of those surveyed were aware that they should check their tire pressure regularly, only half do so. Most respondents reported that there was “no need” to check their tires more often or said they did not have the right equipment, know-how or time.

The survey, conducted in September 2006, revealed that the majority of respondents were uninformed about tire safety. Results indicated that tire safety is more important to the general public than fuel economy, long-lasting tires, and environmental protection; yet only 60 percent of people surveyed were aware that proper tire maintenance increases safety.

“There is a real need to educate drivers about tire maintenance in order to increase vehicle safety and tire performance as well as extend the life of the tires and save money on gas,” explains Mitch Delmage, CIWMB Program Manager for the Tire Sustainability Campaign.

Three-fourths of those surveyed were aware that they should check their tire pressure regularly, but only half do so.

In an effort to educate the public, the CIWMB is conducting a two-year campaign on proper tire maintenance in an effort to help motorists be safe, save money and extend the life of tires as well as promote the purchase of tire-derived products and other recycled materials.

In partnership with the Rubber Manufacturers Association, the CIWMB offers the following tire safety tips for motorists:

Measure tire pressure monthly using a good quality tire gauge. A visual inspection is not sufficient to detect under or over-inflated tire problems.

Have tires aligned regularly and check owner’s manual for specific recommendations. A pulling or vibration sensation means that alignment should be checked sooner.

Rotate tires regularly, usually every 8,000 to 12,000 kilometres.

Monitor tread wear and replace tires when tire tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch. Proper tire tread prevents skidding and hydroplaning.

Tires should be balanced periodically or when drivers feel a vibration.

Conduct a visual check for embedded stones, glass and other foreign objects that could work their way into the tire and cause a leak.

The California Integrated Waste Management Board is the state’s leading authority on recycling and waste reduction. It promotes reducing waste whenever possible, managing all materials to their highest and best use and protecting public health and safety and the environment. Learn more about tire safety and maintenance by visiting us online here.


Alberta driver wins 'Truck Hero' Award

Shawn Berube of St. Paul, Alberta, has been named recipient of the 2006 Bridgestone Firestone Canadian Truck Hero Award for saving a fellow trucker from his burning rig.

Berube was given his award, including a trophy and a $3,000 cheque, at the annual meeting of the Ontario Trucking Association. The award, which is in its 50th year, recognizes heroic acts performed by truckers demonstrating courage, quick thinking and integrity in the face of emergency.

On March 31, 2006, Berube was using a phone booth in Michipicoten, Ontario, 225 km north of Sault Ste. Marie. “I smelled smoke, and at first I thought it was coming from the fireplace at the nearby restaurant,” he says. “But then I could see the smoke coming from the window of a transport truck parked in the lot between two buildings.”

The driver, 72-year-old Bernard Bublish of Saskatoon, had bunked for the night in the truck. Berube pulled him from the cab; Bublish was disoriented from smoke inhalation and covered in soot. Moments later, the truck was engulfed in flames. Bublish was flown to a hospital, where he was treated and later released.

The award winner is selected from nominations submitted by Canadian trucking companies, which are required to include a police statement corroborating the nominated driver’s actions. For more information, visit Truck Hero online here.