Auto Service World
Feature   July 1, 2002   by Bob Blans

Across Canada Report: No Summertime Blues Here!

June was a busy month for many people in the aftermarket and for many, a month of mixing business and pleasure. Almost all of the AIA Divisions in Western and Central Canada had golf tournaments scheduled; add to that the Canadian Grand Prix racing event in Montreal, and I’m sure we have a good number of people who followed World Cup Soccer action.

On other fronts, I was interested to read a reply from AIA to the Automobile Protection Agency’s investigation on auto repairs, using a mystery car in three Canadian cities, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, which was aired on the CTV current affairs show W-Five in May. The repair facilities did not fare well. Out of 39 shops confronted with a car problem, 13 failed the APA test. Of course space does not permit me to go into the details but suffice it to say in a letter to W-Five and the APA, AIA president Ray Datt defended the Canadian automotive repair industry and called the APA report misleading, one-sided and unfair. I suggest you log on to the AIA web site and read the letter.

AIA has released more details about the Automotive Forum to be held at the International Plaza Hotel in Toronto on November 21. This year’s theme is ” Canada’s Role in the North American Marketplace.” Dr. Michael Graham has been confirmed as the keynote speaker to give his report on the economy. Kathleen Schmatz, executive vice-president of AAIA (AIA’s U.S. counterpart), will speak on branding. And here is a new twist: a panel of car dealers will discuss industry trends from their point of view as well as how they see the “Dealer of the Future.” It sounds interesting.

The 2003 Convention Committee has had its first meeting. Charlie Taylor, Grote Industries, is the chairman. Committee members include Wayne Johnson, Carquest Canada; Marty Kingston, NAPA; Clint McLean, Provincial Auto Parts Ltd.; Mike Quinn, Uni-Select Inc.; Ozzie Babineau, the AIA Atlantic field rep, and AIA vice-president Beverly Cook. The convention will be held May 28-31, 2003 in Charlottetown, P.E.I.


In Atlantic Canada, Ozzie Babineau reports that the New Brunswick Government has passed legislation regarding waste oil collection effective June 1, 2002. It mandates that oil retailers must accept used oil at their store locations or that they designate an oil collection location within 10 km. The division is planning an information session on the subject for members in that province. Babineau also notes that Browne’s Automotive Supplies has opened its third store in Torbay, Nfld. The manager is Neil Browne. He also reminds us that the Atlantic Division Golf Tournament will be held on September 6 with a BBQ evening on Sept. 5 at the Royal Oaks Golf Club in Moncton. The golf pro is Russ Howard of Canadian Curling fame.

And going west, Peter Gilchrist from the B.C. Interior reports that Mickey Baba of Mickey’s Supplies Ltd. of Williams Lake B.C. has sold his Williams Lake and Prince George stores to Norm Devine and Doug Rud, who have renamed the two locations D.N.R. Coatings Ltd., still specializing in paint, paint supplies and equipment. He also notes that Sasco Auto and Industrial Parts in Lilloet, B.C. has joined AIA. Sandra McNary is the owner/manager.

Doug Dawson in Northern Alberta reports the Bumper to Bumper corporate store on 170 St. has been purchased by the Active Automotive Supply Group. The group has stores in Brooks and Edmonton, Alta. The new store will be called BTB Automotive Supply and will be managed by Mark Nicolas.

Scott McKenzie, chairman of the Southwestern Ontario Division, reminds us that the division golf tournament will be held September 19 at the Pine Knot Golf and Country Club in Dorchester, Ont. If you need more information contact Reg Root at 1-800-263-6200 ext. 513. The division is also planning a garage management course this fall.

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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