At a press conference last month at Queen’s Park, Guelph MPP Liz Sandals, alongside ABS Friction CEO Rick Jamieson, outlined Bill 181, an amendment to the Highway and Traffic Act that, if passed, would drastically change how aftermarket pads are manufactured, distributed, and sold in the province of Ontario. The act is essentially a twofold proposal calling for minimum provincial standards for aftermarket replacement brake pads and that any aftermarket brake pad sold in Ontario must be asbestos-free. Bill 181 has already advanced to its second reading and will be debated by the Ontario legislature at Queen’s Park.
“The brake pads manufactured in Ontario are safe, but not all brake pads currently sold in Ontario are necessarily safe,” said Sandals. “My Private Member’s Bill seeks to ensure that Ontario drivers have safe and reliable brake pads.”
While there are voluntary standards set in place by the Automotive Manufacturers Equipment Compliance Agency (AMECA), and many brake pads are Brake Effectiveness Evaluation Procedure (BEEP) certified, many consumers and tradespeople are shocked to discover that there are currently no brake standards set by the federal or provincial government. Currently, the only standards in place apply to the original equipment manufacturers of new vehicles. If passed, the act would require cars equipped with aftermarket brake pads to meet specified safety standards.
While no Ontario manufacturers are using asbestos in the manufacture of brake pads, it can still be found in some brakes shipped from other Canadian provinces, the U. S., and overseas. This remains especially hazardous for service technicians and workers who regularly clean the dust from worn brake pads inside the wheel wells. Over time, this can lead to asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer if the workers are not properly protected.
“This is a good first step and I want to thank MPP Sandals for taking the initiative and showing leadership on this important public safety issue,” said Rick Jamieson, CEO of ABS Friction Corp. “Our industry is proud of our commitment to high standards that ensure the safety of Ontario drivers and our employees. This commitment is why we developed our own industry standard. We look forward to working with the government after this bill passes to develop strong regulations that match our industry’s standards, and provide real protection to Ontario drivers, to the production workers who manufacture, and mechanics who install aftermarket brake pads.”
Currently the automotive aftermarket industry in Canada is valued at $16 billion and employs over 225,000 people across Canada. Feel free to offer your support for the legislation by sending an email to your local MPP. For more information regarding AMECA standards, go to www.ameca.org.
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