A Year in Review
With 2013 now in the books, I'd like to recap some of the highlights from a Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) perspective.
One of the encouraging stories from last year is that Canadians purchased a record 1.74 million new vehicles. This was good news for manufacturers and dealers and a testament to the health of the Canadian economy.
A continuation of low interest rates, combined with healthy job growth and strong incentives from automakers, could signal another banner year for car sales in 2014.
In 2013, TADA continued to serve the interests of 1,100 member dealers across Ontario.
Our Association has long advocated for eliminating the Ontario Drive Clean program. The Ontario Legislature revealed Drive Clean is now generating a $19 million and growing profit – even though it was intended to operate as revenue neutral.
Combined pressure from the TADA and Opposition parties at Queen’s Park forced the government to announce a fee reduction of $5 (which starts on April 1, 2014). Admittedly, it's not much, but it's a step in the right direction.
The TADA continued to voice opposition to the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT). The OCOT is an unnecessary bureaucracy set up by the Ontario government, which taxes apprentices and licensed tradespeople.
Our Association will continue to hold the OCOT accountable for the estimated $33.6 million that the program is expected to generate by 2015.
The TADA has also registered its opposition to proposed new taxes and fees on drivers to pay for public transit expansion..
A report by the Conference Board of Canada concluded that motorists "cover between 70 and 90 per cent of the costs of the road network through feeds and gas taxes." The government should support expand both public transit and roads – and allow more choice for our transportation needs.
The family car is not responsible for the lack of transit expansion in Greater Toronto and Hamilton. The Ontario Government should focus on better fiscal management, and stop wasting billions of dollars in order to fund transit expansion.
In 2013, the TADA continued to advocate for driver safety through its Distracted Driving Campaign. Our Association urges motorists to apply their full attention to operating a vehicle at all times (visit ada.ca/TADADistractedDriver).
In October, The TAD Foundation, the charitable arm of the TADA, presented a $1 million cheque to the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto. This gift, combined with the government funding, helped launch the Concussion Research Centre to provide research and response for appropriate treatments for boys and girls who have suffered a concussion.
Looking ahead, The Canadian International AutoShow, presented by AutoTRADER.ca, runs from February 14th - 23rd at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Hundreds of exciting new vehicles, concepts and accessories will be featured throughout the 10-day event. For more information, visit autoshow.ca.
On behalf of the TADA, wishing everyone a Happy New Year.