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News, Events, Canada
September 2004


Click on the month below for News / Events in 2006
Click on the month below for News / Events in 2005
Click on the month below for News / Events in 2004

In order of most recent

September 2004
Awards and acknowledgement planned for industry training donors

October 7 dinner meeting to also feature BAJA 1000 Hummer Race winners

September 5, 2004

Chandelier Place at the Fruitland Road exit for QEW is the location on Thursday October 7 for a major insurance and collision repair industry special event.

Special guest Mike Colle, MPP, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance, will update the dinner attendees. MPP Colle is the Ontario government's lead on auto insurance issues like towing and vehicle storage charge abuse. After his speech an insurance industry panel will be answering questions and providing comment on their issues of importance. Panelists include Mark Yakabuski, Vice-President, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Ted Doyle, Vice-President Property Claims for ING Insurance Company of Canada and Wendy Hillier, Vice--President Claims, Aviva Canada.

A special feature of the evening will be the Team Trinity Race Hummers, the three-time winning vehicles of the BAJA 1000 desert race, the toughest race event in the world. The Team Trinity Hummer Racing secondary school student pit crew will be in attendance with the vehicles and trailer.


A major potion of this special evening event is devoted to those companies and individuals who have generously assisted the industry through their donations of equipment, funds, products and services. Join schools, school
boards and colleges for a celebration to honour those who have helped in improving training and ensuring that young people can start a good career in collision repair with a great future. Some of those being honoured include major paint coatings companies, Don Treschak, Don Teevens, Toyota Canada, and Steve Challoner. Join Gail Smyth, Executive Director of Skills Canada-Ontario when she congratulates the winners of the recent national
Skills Canada technological autobody competition- Ontario's Mark Millson and Hartley Ellis.

For more information and your tickets for this special event, contact 1-866-309-4272 or Order tickets online at

(see headlines)



Collision Repair at the Crossroads

"A Hummer of an evening"
An exciting dinner event with current and future insurance and industry importance

Thursday October 7, 2004
Chandelier Place (Barton and Fruitland Road, QEW Exit, Stoney Creek)

Join Mike Colle, MPP, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance and Ontario's lead on auto insurance & towing and storage issues and the challenges government is working with. How will these changes impact shops?

Our insurance industry panel guests include:

Mark Yakabuski, Vice-President Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada
Ted Doyle, Vice-President, Property Claims, ING Insurance Company of Canada
Wendy Hillier, Vice-President of Claims, Aviva Canada

Maryanna Lewyckyj, Assistant Money Editor and Consumer Affairs Writer, Toronto Sun will identify the problems that anger consumers.
Alex Szabo, President of CISCO ( Collision Industry Standards Council of Ontario) will bring the latest updates on Ontario's Collision Repair Standards Act.

An industry celebration to praise those generous supporters of school and college training

From spraybooths to paint, from cars to engineering, this evening gives us all a unique and needed chance to publicly and enthusiastically praise those companies and individuals for their help in enhancing, and sometimes saving, autobody programs in local schools and colleges.

Join Gail Smyth, Executive Director of Skills Canada/Ontario as community colleges and school boards join together in a unique celebration honouring the winners of the Skills Canada National Autobody competition, Skills Canada sponsoring companies, and coatings firms for their paint donations. A special award to Toyota Canada for a spraybooth donation to keep the autobody program vibrant in Halton region. Join Niagara, Mohawk and other Colleges as they thank suppliers and individuals who made better autobody apprenticeship training possible Help us honour shop owners who have donated vehicles and resources to help young people in our industry and in our schools.

P.S. Come early to this 6:30 p.m. event and talk to the local secondary school students that are now the pit crew for Team Trinity Hummer Racing, the 400 hp., three-time winners of the Baja 1000 desert run, the world's toughest off-road race. See the Hummers, equipment and trailer.

Tickets $40.00 (incl. GST) for HARA members. Non-members $50.00 (incl. GST)

Call 1-866-309-4272 or e-mail more information or to order by charge card

(see headlines)


Labour Day crash rate highest among summer long weekends

BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation offers advice to avoid becoming a traffic statistic

BURNABY, B.C., Sept. 1 /CNW/ - The Labour Day weekend marks the end of summer for most B.C. vacationers. It also tends to be the end of the road for too many B.C. drivers. The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation says avoiding a collision this long weekend may be as simple as staying alert and sober, and ensuring everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained.

According to ICBC statistics, the Labour Day weekend recorded the highest number of casualties in 2002 (the most recent data available) among the summer long weekends. A total of 366 casualties (362 injuries and four fatalities) were reported in B.C., compared to a total of 324 for Canada Day, 304 for B.C. Day and 264 for Victoria Day long weekends. Labour Day also had the highest average number of traffic casualties between 2000 and 2002.

Traffic safety is a key concern among BCAA members. In a 2004 survey, over one-third of members cited safety concerns as the most important issues facing them as motorists - issues such as bad or careless driving, speeding and impaired driving. According to Allan Lamb, Executive Director of the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation, these are all issues that drivers have within their power to do something about.

"It's no surprise that traffic safety is an issue all year round, but on long weekends especially, speeding, drinking and careless driving is more prevalent among motorists than any other time of the year," adds Lamb. "People try to incorporate the Friday into a holiday instead of relaxing and starting off fresh the next day. And, the summer also tends to present more opportunities to drink, such as at parties, barbeques and while camping."

BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation says there are specifically four areas where drivers can have the most impact on traffic collisions, especially during this busy holiday weekend:

1. Driving distractions. According to AAA (American Automobile Association), about 25 per cent of all traffic crashes are directly attributed to distractions. Conversing with other passengers, eating and drinking, manipulating audio controls and general leaning and
reaching for items inside the car are the most common driver distractions. When at all possible, avoid these types of actions and focus on driving.

2. Driver fatigue. Motorists in a hurry to get to their destination often push on and drive through dinner and much-needed rest stops. Eyes closing or losing focus, continuous yawning and drifting between lanes are all danger signs of drowsy driving. Stay alert by getting enough sleep before a trip and take a break every two hours or every 160 km.

3. Impaired driving. The greatest number of impaired driving crashes occurs between May and August, not Christmas and New Year's. If you're going to drink, don't drive. And be alert for drivers who have been drinking, especially if you are driving late at night.

4. Occupant restraints. When travelling with families on vacation or to and from school, it's important to ensure everyone is buckled up in an age-appropriate restraint. By law, children up to 40 lb must be in a child seat, but research shows that it's just a important for
children in the 40- to 80-pound category to be in a child or booster seat. Children not restrained in an age-appropriate seat can submarine under the seat belt or catapult out of the seat belt. For more information or advice on how to properly secure your child, call
BCAA's Child Passenger toll-free line at 1-877-247-5551


(see headlines)


CARSTAR 7th Annual Conference Enjoys Record Attendance

Close to 300 delegates in attendance helped make the 7th annual CARSTAR Industry Conference held this year in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the largest to date. The conference brought together CARSTAR franchisees and their families, corporate employees, insurance partners, vendor partners and others from across the country for three days in late August.

The conference included educational sessions, a Business Partners Expo and the annual awards presentation to franchisees that have demonstrated distinguished service and outstanding leadership.

The awards also saw a special presentation by CARSTAR's executive vice president Larry Jefferies and Rick Tuuri, director of business development and field operations for I-CAR, who performed a rocking rendition of "Cycle Time Blues."

"This was such an exciting conference for us, especially with CARSTAR Automotive Canada approaching its 10th year anniversary this December," said Sam Mercanti, President and CEO of CARSTAR Automotive Canada. "Our mission remains the same: to build a network of high quality stores across Canada operating with ethics, standards and consistency. CARSTAR promises customer satisfaction, cost containment and improved turnaround time, and has delivered on these promises time and time again."

Thanks to CollisionWeek

(see headlines)



ROLLING MEADOWS, IL -August 30, 2004 - Effective September 1, 2004 I-CAR has restructured the pre-paid class payment coupon discount in Canada for the benefit of Gold Class Professional businesses. Training for I-CAR Gold Class Professional businesses in Canada is even more affordable now!

The new Canadian price structure is as follows:

  Gold Class Non-Gold Class At The Door
I-CAR Coupon $80CDN $100CDN $125CDN

"I-CAR is committed to continue to add value to the Gold Class Professionals program in Canada. Offering this further discount shows that commitment," stated I-CAR Canadian Manager Tracey Blouin.

"I am pleased that we are able to reduce prices for Gold Class Professionals in Canada," added Rick Tuuri, I-CAR Director of Business development and North American Operations. "I-CAR is a not-for-profit organization that is committed to offering the best value possible in collision training. As such, we constantly reevaluate our pricing structure and are very happy that we are able to make this change."

For additional information, please contact I-CAR Canadian Manager Tracey Blouin at 416.299.4227 or 800.422.7456.

I-CAR, founded in 1979, is an international not-for-profit training organization dedicated to improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of auto collision repair for the ultimate benefit of consumers. For more information, visit the I-CAR web site at

(see headlines)



September 1, 2004

This is further to our warning to you dated August 17, 2004. We wish to reiterate that the contact and communications you may have received from CIAG are not authorized by HARA. Despite the implication, CIAG is not working with your local trade assocation (HARA)

Some of our members have received unsolicited invoices and / or telephone calls falsely advising that “HARA is not your trade association”. We believe this to be an unprofessional business practice that should be terminated immediately. If you have been subject to such business practices, please let the HARA office know at 1-866-309-4272 or

On your behalf, HARA continues to provide innovative and cutting edge programs, training and other benefits to our members.

Do not be misled by unsolicited invoices that you receive by mail, e-mail or facsimile transmission.

(see headlines)


August 17, 2004

You may have received an unsolicited invoice from a Toronto company called Collision Industry Action Group (CIAG) in the mail with a two page unsigned attached letter that a number of shops believe is authorized or implies working with your local trade association.

We are not working with this company.

The letter and invoice promises membership in this Toronto company, if the shop pays them $375.00. The letter says that this group provides support to local trade associations, and promises that through payment of this unsolicited invoice, you are enabling your local association to represent your interests.

HARA has no affiliation with this company and we have not asked them to collect funds on our behalf.

HARA continues to provide programs, training and benefits to our members and invoices shops directly for membership dues renewal. Our new membership package is now available for members by calling 1-866-309-4272 or online benefit information at:

If you receive this unsolicited invoice in the mail or a collections telephone call, which may advise you that we do not exist, please let the HARA office know at 1-866-309-4272 or

(see headlines)





The HARA office has new phone numbers. We apologize for any recent inconvenience. We are eager to hear from you and help you with any problems or needs.

Our new contact information is below:

Hamilton District Autobody Repair Association (HARA)
mailing: P.O. Box 47594, Centre Mall,
Hamilton, Ontario
L8H 7S7

Office: 350 Dosco Drive, 2nd Floor
Stoney Creek, Ontario
L8E 2N5

Phone (905) 664-7888
Fax (905) 664-3340
Toll free 1-866-309-4272 (HARA)


Best wishes,

John Norris

(see headlines)




Hamilton District Autobody Repair Association

"To represent the best interests of the industry, providing opportunities for growth for environmentally sound, profitable businesses having competent and trained professionals serving the public."

WE HAVE MOVED AGAIN (as of July 15th, 2003)

HARA's new office is:

350 Dosco Drive
Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada L8E 2N5
(above Pipeline Automotive Warehouse)
NEW PHONE as of Jan/ 04: (905) 664-7888
NEW FAX as of Jan/ 04: (905) 664-3340
The following remain the same:
Mailing address:
P.O. Box 47594, Centre Mall, Hamilton,On L8H 7S7
Toll free: 1-866-309-HARA (4272)