Auto Service World
Feature   July 1, 2001   by Bob Blans


Now that the AIA Convention in Penticton, B.C., and the subsequent Strategic Planning meeting are over, the real work starts for AIA staff, board members, divisions and the numerous volunteers who serve on AIA committees and councils.

From the reports I’ve received, the business program at the convention was exceptional, and while attendance was somewhat disappointing the convention was a great success.

Over the next few months AIA will focus on writing a business plan with three separate components. Each of the components will address how AIA will educate, promote and represent its members. The plan will clearly identify the activities, programs, and steps that the association will undertake in the next couple of years. The plan will be presented at the September meeting of the AIA board of directors and it is expected to be ready for implementation in January 2002.

The association has launched a new magazine called “AIA Express” which was mailed to members and distributed at the convention. It was well received and distribution of the magazine will be increased to include Members of Parliament to keep them informed about association and aftermarket activities.

AIA’s website is gaining in popularity and, according to AIA manager of public relations Lise Newton, plans are underway to merge the member and non-member sites to provide more information to the public as well as members. A password will still be required for member-only information.

AIA will also be launching a government relations program and broad education initiatives at the grass roots level through the divisions.

AIA is to continue working with the Department of Finance to formulate draft legislation on the tool tax issue. It is expected that it will result in legislation that will provide tax relief for students enrolled in apprenticeship programs and eliminate some of the obstacles that face young people coming into the industry.


Peter Gilchrist in the B.C. Interior reports that Lordco has opened new stores in Revelstoke and Kamloops, B.C. A new store building has been constructed in Oliver, B.C.

Paul Fahey, past chairman of the Atlantic Division, informs us that the 34th Annual Golf Tournament is booked for September 6-7. Thursday night’s events will be kicked off with an hour of magic featuring Kevin Robart, followed by a BBQ steak supper. On Friday, September 7, before the golf tournament commences, participants can start the morning with a hearty breakfast. Friday night is always the highlight of the event with entertainment. As always, dinner will feature lobster and roast beef.

The Quebec Division deserves congratulations on winning the Division of the Year Award. Division chairman Michel Bourgeois gets double applause since he also received the Ambassador of the Year Award for signing up the most members.

Congratulations to Doug Cumming, Acklands-Grainger Inc., on receiving the prestigious AIA Distinguished Service Award. I’ve known Doug for many years and I can’t think of a worthier recipient. He is a true gentleman, a scholar, and an excellent businessman.

And, finally, my heartfelt congratulations to Charlie Main on being chosen the 2001 Jobber News Jobber of the Year. I did a profile on his company, Sussex Auto Supply Ltd. in Sussex N.B., back in the ’80s and I remember it as an excellent operation with several branches. I understand Charlie has more or less retired now but he has certainly made a great contribution to the industry, his family and the community.

Note: If you have any information to contribute to this column please call Bob Blans at (905) 844-8616, Fax (905) 844-8731, E-Mail to or write to Across Canada Report c/o Jobber News Magazine, 1450 Don Mills Rd., Don Mills, ON M3B 2X7. In addition to AIA Division activities we are interested in hearing from you about the opening of a new business, change of ownership, expansions etc.

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