Monthly Updates

Beginning with the March 2018 editions, the ARA now provides members with monthly updates on the key activities of the Association and its eight Divisions. ARA President & CEO, Ken McCormack, will deliver updates regarding the ARA in general in both video and text formats. The Industry Relations Advisors (Darren Cox, Ken Hendricks, David Ribeiro and Paul McGeachie) will provide video updates for their respective ARA Divisions. Past editions will be archived. Please note that these monthly updates are not intended to be inclusive of everything the ARA does to add value to membership, but rather to highlight some newsworthy activities.


Division updates follow, below.

President’s Update – Key ARA Activities

This is the first in a series of monthly updates regarding key activities of the ARA. We are offering the material in both video and written formats to provide our members with a choice of format for receiving updates.

Watch the video version of this month’s update

  1. ICBC
    There are a number of ongoing issues involving ICBC:

    • Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) released its review of ICBC.
      Some of the PwC report’s conclusions threaten significant impacts on small businesses with regard to liability, jobs, skilled workers, and even the communities they serve. For example, the report suggests that ICBC enter into agreements with large industry business chains and use its position of dominance in the market to force even lower rates paid to suppliers. This is completely contrary to our advocacy position. ICBC is a monopoly and the government is the sole shareholder. Small businesses are the cornerstone of the BC economy. For too long, ICBC has suppressed rates and now the suggestion is to squeeze the industry further. This could potentially put many small companies out of business. We, as an industry, cannot accept this. You, as ARA members and business owners have a role to play. We encourage you to make appointments with your local MLA and relay your concerns. Let us know when you have set up those meetings and our Division Advisors will assist you with some key messages that you can deliver in those meetings.
    • We have also been approached by members asking the ARA to facilitate an effort to encourage members to cease doing ICBC related work. To be clear, under competition law, our association can not engage in such an activity. Individual shops must make such decisions independently if they feel it is necessary for their business. We can certainly understand though why independent shops would choose such a drastic action.
    • We held a press conference earlier this month in advance of the release of the PwC review of ICBC. We stressed again that ARA-member collision-repair facilities were not overbilling ICBC, despite claims by the union representing ICBC employees and contrary to concerns expressed by government. We also made it clear that we had provided government with suggestions on ways for ICBC to reduce costs while still ensuring the sustainability of and viability of our members who depend on ICBC related business. TV, radio and print media throughout the province, picked up the coverage.We were pleased to see that the PwC report vindicated our collision repair members by making it clear that BC body shops were NOT overbilling ICBC.
    • In the fall of 2016, MNP published its Third Party Review Report, which recommended the continuation of liaison committees. The ARA worked with ICBC and other signatories to finalize the draft Terms of Reference for the formation of new ICBC Liaison committees. We are close to completing this work and look forward to these committees getting to work for Collision (Express Repair and MD Tech), Glass, Towing, Recycling and Rental.
  2. Competition Bureau
    • We continue to challenge ICBC’s position regarding its interpretation of an opinion it requested from the Competition Bureau. ICBC refuses to disclose the full content of that opinion. The ARA requested financial contributions from our membership to fund filing an application to the Federal Competition Bureau to render an opinion regarding our relationship with ICBC concerning how we give input to the corporation when it sets rates. Response from our members was both swift and positive. We achieved our funding target of $100,000 (in fact we reached $112,000) and have consulted with a lawyer that specializes in competition law. That lawyer is currently drafting our submission to the Bureau and we expect to make that submission in March. Unfortunately, there is no written timeframe through which the Bureau commits to respond, so it may take some time to go through this process.
  3. BC Auto Careers
    • Last year, the ARA successfully applied for and received funding from government to conduct a Labour Market Partnership project. The project goal is to develop and implement new career assessment tools and industry videos highlighting some of the many careers available in the automotive sector. We completed this work last month and are awaiting final approval from government to add the tools and videos to the website. We expect to “go live” with these great resources in March.
    • At the same time, we have been working with the BC Automotive Sector Alliance (BCASA) and the New Car Dealers Association (NCDA) to attract labour to our industry. BCASA has been and will continue to be very active in reaching young people through the school system as well as participating in career and trade shows throughout the province. Shows we will be attending include the Lordco Show and the Vancouver Auto Show. With a 42% expected turnover of our labour force in the coming years, the work of BCASA is hugely important to our ARA
  4. Divisions
    To improve communication with our members, ARA Division Advisors (Dave Ribeiro, Darren Cox, Paul McGeachie and Ken Hendricks) will add their own video and written content to our website and social media. Their updates will provide more detail regarding division specific activities, but by way of summary, here are some key points:

    • Our division advisors have been successful in getting our membership to embrace the applicable industry certification programs
    • We continue to work with the ITA, educators, and our industry, to facilitate getting glass industry employees into the apprenticeship system
    • We have introduced the ADESA Auction partnership program for our licensed motor dealers
    • We have initiated a series of surveys of our mechanical repair members
    • We continue to work with WorkSafeBC on a guide for safe work practices
    • We are advocating for government to permit blue lights on tow trucks

Again, it is my intention to send out a brief summary like this each month. I do hope that you find the communication of value. There is more detail and links to media coverage on our website. Thank you for your time.

– Ken McCormack


Auto Glass Division


Auto Rental Division


BC Auto Recyclers Division


Collision Repair Division


Licensed Motor Dealers Division


Mechanical Repair Division


Motorcycle & PowerSport Dealers Division


Towing & Recovery Division


Monthly Update Archives

This feature will be activated when the April 2018 editions have been posted.