Auto Service World
Feature   October 1, 2008   by Auto Service World

Right To Repair Election-Centred Campaign Exceeds Expectations

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada says that its pre-election “Right to Repair” awareness campaign has exceeded its expectations in terms of industry participation and communication with politicians running for federal office in the October election.

“One of the objectives of the toolkit campaign is to get the members to be more aware of the Right to Repair issue, and utilize the election campaign to deliver the message that this is an issue that concerns our industry,” says association president Marc Brazeau.

Currently, in Canada many automakers restrict access to tools and repair information to their respective dealer networks. In the U. S. a voluntary agreement is in place that permits the independent repair sector access to tools and equipment required to repair current model cars. In Europe a legislated Motor Vehicle Block Exemption provides similar access.

Brazeau says that the number of comments posted, downloads of the “Election ’08 Tool Kit” — which included information outlining the steps that individuals could take to communicate directly with candidates from all political parties prior to the federal election on October 14th — and participation by industry members to get the word out, all exceeded their expectations.

“All election campaigns become local, and our industry is a local industry. We are in every town and every city, and when you look at the impact that Right to Repair will have, it will have an impact on every one of those communities.

“Shops and industry people have been downloading the kit and the poster. I have been in contact with our major retailer and franchise members and I can tell you that a number of industry leaders have personally taken the message to their employees, franchisees, and stakeholders to encourage them to get involved.”

He says too that support was gained from the Canadian Automobile Association and the Retail Council of Canada for the initiative.

“Our objective was to take advantage of the fact that there were a lot of people talking about a lot of issues and to make our issue part of the campaign discussions. I think we have succeeded.”

Brazeau says too that based on the success of the program, many of the elements of the campaign toolkit will continue to be made available as an industry resource.

“We are really setting the stage to have meaningful meetings with the people who will serve in Parliament and we won’t be starting from ground zero. We are going to take a lot of the same tools and use them going forward when Parliament resumes.”

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