Auto Service World
News   May 29, 2019   by Allan Janssen

CASIS chairman, collision industry advocate John Norris passes away

Visitation will be Thursday, June 6, 2019 at Cresmount Funeral Home, 322 Fennell Avenue East, Hamilton, Ont. from 2 to 5 p.m. 

In 2017, John Norris (second from left) was awarded the Ontario College of Trades Chairman’s Award of Excellence for his outstanding contribution to skilled trades and apprenticeship in Ontario. He is seen here with then-CEO of the now-defunct College of Trades David Tsubouchi (far left), Kate Poultney, and Pat Blackwood.

John Norris, chairman of the Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard (CASIS) and an active board member of the National Automotive Trade Association (NATA), passed away suddenly on May 28, 2019.

He was 66 years old.

He will be remembered at a visitation on Thursday, June 6, 2019 at Cresmount Funeral Home, 322 Fennell Avenue East, Hamilton, Ont. from 2 to 5 p.m.  A private family funeral and cremation will follow.

Memorial contributions to Diabetes Canada and Hamilton Conservation Foundation would be appreciated by the family.  Online condolences to the Norris family may be made HERE.

A long-time advocate for the auto collision industry in Canada, he was extremely active in ongoing efforts to ensure that aftermarket technicians are not locked out of vehicle service information.

Norris had been attending the Automotive Technology Summit at the annual national Skills Canada competition, held this week in Halifax. He suffered a heart attack while on the plane coming home to Hamilton, Ont. Diagnosed with heart arrhythmias years ago, he’d been fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).

He is survived by his wife Annette and his children, Jeff, Teresa, and Richard. Funeral details have not yet been finalized.

Norris was especially well-known in Ontario where he was the executive director of Collision Industry Information Assistance (CIIA), and the Hamilton District Autobody Repair Association (HARA).

The non-profit organizations he founded provided member collision shops with tools to navigate regulations, bureaucracy, and industry challenges. He frequently commented on issues facing the automotive industry, particularly as it concerned apprenticeship and skilled labour.

He was also involved with the now defunct Ontario College of Trades (OCOT).

In 2017, he was awarded the Ontario College of Trades Chairman’s Award of Excellence for his outstanding contribution to skilled trades and apprenticeship in Ontario. The college awarded him for his commitment to organizing journeyman preparation courses and free pre-apprenticeship orientations throughout the province.

With regard to CASIS, he was a staunch defender of the voluntary agreement between automakers and the independent aftermarket, believing the standard meets technician present needs and could be adapted to meet future needs.

NATA secretary Rene Young described Norris as someone who worked hard for the automotive aftermarket.

“He was always professional in his dealings with people, and did everything he could to make sure the industry operated under the highest standards,” Young said.



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7 Comments » for CASIS chairman, collision industry advocate John Norris passes away
  1. My deepest condolences go out to John’s Family and all that worked with John in his mighty effort to make the collision industry better in so many ways. I never met John directly, but feel like I did because of the many great stories that have been published right here in the US, even though he was from Canada. John will be remembered forever for the good that he did as well as the good man he was. Again, my condolences go out to all John’s friends and Family.

  2. Rob Lang says:

    My sincere condolences to John’s family. I had the pleasure and privilege to have worked closely with John right from the inception and early workings that has brought us CASIS. He was a great advocate of the Automotive trades and the apprenticeship and certification programs and worked hard to ensure the industry could survive and have a future. Nobody could ever question his passion for what he did. We are in a much better place as an industry from what John brought into the mix. We will continue to strive to ensure the CASIS agreement remains relevant and serves industry as it was intended to do.

  3. Kevin Suttorp says:

    I spoke with John on the phone last week on 3 or 4 occasions. I believe he was deeply concerned about the vehicle security program and the direction that it was heading. John worked very hard with multiple manufactures and did his very best to ensure these manufactures would come on board with the voluntary agreement Canada had in place. He explained how Honda planned on coming aboard the program and how Toyota had an issue with the current program.(despite the fact Toyota Canada was on board previously) It was always a pleasure dealing with The professionalism John displayed on Multiple occasions. I feel Deeply saddened by the news of Johns passing as I truly believe he worked so hard at his VSP role. He always came back with an answer to any questions that were raised and if he didn’t have an answer he worked diligently to get an answer. During a phone call last week he mentioned to me it was “always delightful talking with me” But in reality it was always a pleasure talking with John… I think that phone call was probably an hour long and during that time my second line must have beeped 10 times…. I never put him on hold once … and now I can truly say Iam happy to have given him my 100% attention just like the same respect he gave this industry 100%. I had asked him during this conversation, why he had put forth so much work for these programs and I quote him “ Because I truly care … it’s my passion!” Although I never met John personally I seen a individual that put forth a Giant amount of work for the betterment of thousands of technicians, he will be truly missed. Condolences to his family… as his footprints will never be filled with a better more devoted person!

  4. Avatar photo Allan Janssen says:

    I will also miss John. He lived close by and we would often meet at the local coffee shop to talk about the automotive industry. He always had a unique perspective on things, and more plans than a dozen people could complete! He was generous with his time and his knowledge. He was also patient. He was a good man, and he is gone too suddenly, and far too soon.

  5. Bob Ward says:

    John will be sadly missed by those of us who had the pleasure of working with him. His work and passion for the skilled trades will be remembered. My condolences to the family and close friends.

  6. Chris Borson says:

    John was so passionate about the trades. We collaborated on ideas and he was always insightful and a gentleman. May he Rest In Peace.

  7. John Scissons says:

    Sincerest condolences to John’s family, friends, and those close to him. There are a lot of us who are truly going to miss him. The passion, purpose, vision and drive that John pursued and advocated for the industry, apprenticeship programs, and the business climate for all those involved, was second to none. Although separated lately by miles and time, thoughts of the conversations, meetings and years spent with John at NATA, CCIF, SAAR, and eventually CASIS and CIIA never quit reminding me of this passionate, caring individual. The industry and the trades are much better these days, thanks to John’s commitment, service and efforts.

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