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AIA Canada launches Right to Repair website

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada, with support from its members, has taken the initiative to launch a Right to Repair website. AIA Canada hopes that the website, while educating consumers and government about the problem, will rally the aftermarket industry into action.

The website encourages visitors to take action by submitting a letter to their MP (new technology has automated this process to make it easy for visitors to basically click and send).

The site also has an online petition people can sign as well as a feedback area where technicians and consumers can register the access problems they have had in trying to repair vehicles. AIA encourages all visitors to sign up for our new Right to Repair e-Updates to keep current on all Right to Repair initiatives.

“Over 30,000 independent repair facilities in Canada could potentially close, and will certainly lose business and profitability if this issue is not solved. This will have a ripple affect throughout the industry. The auto parts stores and the wholesalers will also be affected,” explained Ray Datt, President of AIA Canada. “This new website is a first step in raising awareness of the problem in the public arena. We hope it reaches everyone in the aftermarket and encourages them to get actively involved in solving the problem.”

The association is urging industry members to visit the new website here and to send a letter to their member of parliament.


Feds announce funding for eco-friendly vehicles

The federal government has announced two new programs to help Canadians choose more eco-friendly vehicles. As part of its ecoTransport Strategy, the federal government will commit up to $36 million in funding for new programs aimed at raising awareness, increasing availability of more environmentally friendly cars and trucks, and encouraging Canadians to make informed choices when purchasing a vehicle.

With up to $15 million in funding, the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program will involve purchasing and testing a range of advanced technologies - including hydrogen, advanced electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles - and showcasing them at public events across Canada.

Honda FCX Concept and Honda’s hydrogen refueling station in California.

“Road vehicles are a major contributor to domestic air pollution and the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada,” said Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

“The goal of the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program is to test the effectiveness and safety of advanced environmental technologies for vehicles, share our results with Canadians and help them make informed decisions about the cars they buy.” Minister Cannon, on behalf of Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, also announced $21 million for ecoENERGY for Personal Vehicles. This program will provide fuel consumption information and decision-making tools such as vehicle labels, guides and interactive websites, to encourage consumers to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles that are currently available in the market.

Together, these programs will help the auto industry to achieve the 5.3-megatonne reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions from light duty vehicles in Canada. The industry has agreed to pursue this target between now and 2010, following which new fuel consumption regulations will come into effect for the 2011 model year.


Attention C-Store operators!

Don’t miss the 2nd Annual Votre dépanneur Conférence & Expo, Laval (Montréal), Québec, April 3 & 4, 2007 at the Sheraton Laval, and the 5th Annual C-Store Canada Conference & Expo, Calgary, Alberta, May 23rd & 24th, 2007, Calgary RoundUp Centre.

These shows brings together retailers and manufacturers for a two-day event offering top-notch seminars, networking events and a tradeshow floor. Visit here for detailed information on the Calgary show, and here for the Votre dépanneur show in Laval (Montréal) to view detailed information and to register to attend. For more detailed information please call Brenda Jane Johnstone at (204) 489-4215.


Affinia Wins ‘Supplier of Excellence’ award from NAPA!

Affinia Group Inc., a supplier of on - and off-highway replacement parts, has received NAPA Canada’s 2006 Supplier of Excellence Award, recognizing the company for most outstanding vendor support and service as well as marking the company’s second major award from channel partner NAPA for 2006.

Affinia’s NAPA Filters was presented with the 2006 Canadian Supplier of Excellence Award in Montreal on Feb. 12, and they received the 2006 US Spirit of NAPA Award in December.

“It is a remarkable accomplishment to win these major supplier awards in both the USA and Canada in the same year,” said Terry McCormack, President and CEO of Affinia Group Inc. “In 2006, NAPA Filters, made for NAPA by Wix Filtration, celebrated its 40th year of service to NAPA, and we look forward to continuing the level of service and customer devotion our people have consistently displayed to NAPA from the very beginning.

Presented by Terry LeBlanc, executive vice president of NAPA Canada, the 2006 Supplier Excellence Award was accepted on behalf of Affinia by Gordon Curren, senior vice president CRM for Affinia’s NAPA Group. The Supplier of Excellence Award selection process encompasses a number of criteria, including cataloging, product quality, fill rates, line leadership, sales support, marketing support, and responsiveness to channel partner’s needs.

Affinia’s other business unit, the Under Vehicle Group, also serves as a long-standing supplier of NAPA, supplying brake and chassis parts. Between the two business units, Affinia has won the Supplier of Excellence award three times since its inception in 2000. “Receiving the Supplier of Excellence Award for the third time in six years is a testament to Affinia’s dedication to customer service,” Curren said. “Winning this award takes everyone working for a common cause, a team effort in the truest sense.”


Federal apprenticeship
incentive grants announced

The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, (photo left) recently announced that applications for the $1000 Apprenticeship Incentive Grant are now being accepted. The grant is available to registered apprentices who have completed their first or second year in a Red Seal trade program, on or after January 1, 2007.

It is estimated that, annually, up to 100,000 apprentices in Canada will be eligible to receive this taxable cash grant to cover the costs of tuition, travel and tools.

“Canada’s new government is delivering on its commitment to help make apprenticeships more affordable and more accessible to Canadians,” said Minister Solberg. “We are working with our partners to get skilled tradespeople into the Canadian work force, when and where they are needed. In helping individuals do better, we are helping the whole economy prosper.”

The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant is one of the measures introduced by the government to assist apprentices, tradespeople and employers in the skilled trades sector. Effective May 2006, the government introduced a Tradesperson’s Tools Deduction to help eligible tradespeople across the country save on the cost of work-related tools.

It also introduced an Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit to provide employers with up to $2,000 per apprentice for each of the first two years of their contract. Application forms will be available at Service Canada Centres and on the Internet. Service Canada will also be responsible for processing applications.

For more information on the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant, online here, call 1-866-742-3644 (TTY 1-866-909-9757), or visit your local Service Canada office.