Since this is my second last Wheels column as President of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA), I wanted to reflect on some of the topics that I've written about - particularly topics that generated strong reader responses.
One of my early columns discussed my lifelong struggle with dyslexia. This topic struck a nerve with readers, many of whom recounted their own struggles with this disability and commended me for writing openly about a such a personal and sensitive issue.
One reader wrote that he had overcome his dyslexia to achieve a leadership position in his field, while another said he planned to use my column as a teaching tool in his role as an educator.
In June, I wrote about Canada's new anti-spam legislation (CASL), which became law on July 1, 2014. The law is intended to reduce the amount of unwanted electronic messages and penalize companies and individuals who send those messages. Not surprisingly, the law has not reduced the amount of spam that I receive.
In July, I wrote about traffic gridlock in the GTA and suggested ideas to address this issue, such as introducing variable speed limits, more roundabouts and increased road/highway speeds.
One reader suggested that using the 400 series of highways should require additional testing and a graduated driver's licence. License plates could be colour-coded to alert police to drivers that don't belong on those highways.
In November, I wrote about the financial costs of a DUI charge and conviction. We often hear about the physical injuries and death associated with drinking and driving, but we rarely hear about the staggering financial costs of this criminal offence.
Many readers were shocked to learn that a DUI conviction often translates into tens of thousands in fines, legal costs, increased insurance rates and loss of income. If my column prevented even one person from drinking and driving, it worked.
I wrote several columns about careers of men and women who work inside a dealership, which prompted readers to express their appreciation for shining a spotlight on careers that aren't widely publicized. I also had many dealers and colleagues thank me for showing respect for their profession.
One of my columns discussed the Ontario Drive Clean program, which aims to reduce exhaust emissions into the atmosphere. I argued that Drive Clean is a cash grab for the government, a view that's supported by an Auditor General's Report that said that the program's surplus revenue ($11 million in 2012) could be deemed an illegal tax.
The Drive Clean column elicited letters of support from motors who have experienced complications trying to have emission tests performed on their vehicles. One reader said that Drive Clean "is a charade...and that should be terminated."
In January, I wrote a column about an issue I've experienced in hiring a temporary foreign worker, Thomas, and how the government had refused to extend his temporary work status. The Canadian government rolls out the red carpet for skilled foreign workers and make it nearly impossible for these workers to stay working in Canada.
That column generated dozens of responses. Some blamed me for the problem and argued that Thomas should be sent back to his country of origin. Most sympathized with our plight and laid the blame government officials.
One of the joys in writing this column has been the opportunity to connect with Wheels readers. Every week, people write me letters and approach me to say how much they enjoy reading the column.
This type of feedback means the world to me and is very humbling. For all those who have taken to time to respond to my views and opinions - thank you.
On behalf of myself and the TADA, I'd like to wish you a safe and Happy Easter.