B.C. Government listens to the ARA — "NO" to procurement and "YES" to supporting small automotive business - Automotive Retailers Association

B.C. Government listens to the ARA — “NO” to procurement and “YES” to supporting small automotive business

The Automotive Retailers Association (ARA) is very pleased to bring our members news that they have been waiting to hear. As you are all aware, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia advised the ARA that it was investigating procurement options in the automotive glass industry.

A grass roots movement was organized by the ARA, which saw many members across the province reach out to their local MLA to remind them of the value of small business in their communities, and the devastating impact procurement would have on jobs, families, and local and provincial economies.

ARA advocacy work and member participation in the association Ambassador Program is paying off.  On Wednesday night in the provincial legislature, the Minister responsible for ICBC, Todd Stone, was asked if ICBC was going to move forward with single or limited source procurement. The following is his answer.

I can state unequivocally that ICBC is not considering any sole-source procurement model, and they are not considering any limited procurement model either. I have made very clear to ICBC that we expect the corporation to continue to utilize suppliers — whether they be in the glass repair business, whether they be in collision — from communities right across this province. These are small businesses that employ men and women in communities, particularly in rural, small communities, that are very important to those communities. We expect ICBC to continue to utilize these suppliers across British Columbia”

First, the ARA would like to thank Minister Stone and the Liberal government for their attention to this important matter, and for their recognition of small business in British Columbia. We would also like to acknowledge the Liberal MLAs who took an active role — getting involved in meetings, and making an effort to understand our industry’s concern.

Finally, we need to acknowledge the members of the ARA. It was your actions that got our message through. This grass roots movement, through our Ambassador Program, is a great example of how the ARA and our members can work together to represent our industry with very positive results.

It is now time to build on this momentum and continue to work together to ensure our industry remains strong and viable in the future. There is still much work to be done with respect to rates paid to industry, standards of performance, and relationships, to name a few. We encourage you to stay involved and engaged, and to encourage other industry businesses to support the Association that represents your industry and Drives Industry Excellence.