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The 2022 Ontario Election and the automotive aftermarket: what you need to know

Ontario’s general election is set for June 2nd. It is the first election in the province since 2018 and will see Premier Doug Ford seek a second term. During this election, Ford will be facing off against NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca, and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner. 
 
Between now and then, there is a good chance that local riding candidates will be knocking on your door looking for your support on election day. This upcoming election in Ontario is an opportunity for our industry to ensure the candidates understand the importance of the automotive aftermarket to the provincial economy and are aware of the issues facing our industry. 
 
As a result, we have developed the below guide containing all the information you need, as well as some talking points to share the automotive aftermarket’s message with candidates during the campaign leading up to June 2nd. 

Where do I vote?

We encourage you all to participate in the upcoming election. Voter cards will be mailed out by Elections Ontario containing all the information you will need, including advanced polling locations should you be unable to attend the polls on June 2nd. If you do not receive a voter card, you can enter your postal code HERE and find your polling location online.

How can I engage with my local candidate?

There are several steps you can take:
  • Request a meeting (call or email): Find your local candidate by visiting the Elections Ontario website (candidates will be updated as the campaign progresses) and typing in your postal code. Remember to include your postal code(s) for both home and business, if different.
  • Attend events that your local candidates will be holding or attending.
  • Contact their local campaign offices to learn more or stay informed through your local newspaper or their social media accounts.
  • Be prepared for candidates to come knocking at your door. Please refer to our industry’s key talking points provided here below. 

What happens if I meet a local candidate?

If you meet a local candidate, we encourage you to ask them for their position on issues that are important to the automotive aftermarket. We have included some messaging below that can help guide your elevator pitch. 
It is important that we do not monopolize their time and you should keep your conversation brief. This election, we are focused on securing additional funding to support job training and upskilling in the industry and introducing legislation to enshrine right to repair principles in Ontario.

What are the main automotive aftermarket issues?

There are two main issues that AIA Canada is focused on this election. Below are some talking points that you can use, should you meet a candidate in your riding.

Upskilling Programs

  • The automotive industry is going through a technological revolution. A bumper is no longer a piece of metal that can be hammered out. It is now filled with sensors that need to be carefully calibrated prior to getting back on the road. As a result, Ontario’s automotive tradespeople need to be properly trained and upskilled to service more complex vehicles. 
  • Our industry is struggling to employ new technicians to service vehicles; a survey of automotive professionals by J.D. Power found that the greatest challenge impacting their ability to complete service work today is the lack of skilled worker. Feel free to insert any anecdotes about job shortages you are facing or know of.
  • If elected, will you support training for the automotive aftermarket and fund programs to help train and upskill automotive technicians?

Right to Repair and Data Ownership 

  • Nearly all new vehicles are connected to the internet, transmitting information to automakers about the vehicle and its overall performance. 
  • Connected vehicles communicate only with the automakers’ backend servers, meaning automakers control access to vehicle data. To ensure that consumers can continue to service their vehicle at the auto repair shop of their choice, independent shops need secure and direct access to wireless vehicle data. 
  • Research shows that more than 90% of Canadians agree that consumers should have the ability to get their vehicles serviced at any auto repair shop they want. More than 80% agree that automakers should be required by law to share data with independent auto shops. Feel free to insert any anecdotes about right to repair issues you are facing or know of.
  • If elected, would you support a right to repair legislation that maintains owners’ access to their vehicle data and to be able to choose where they service their vehicle?

What happens if a candidate doesn’t come to my door?

You may not meet all your local candidates during the campaign period. To help you better understand their positions on our industry’s issues, AIA Canada has sent a survey to all political parties. The survey results will be shared with our Ontario members in advance of June 2nd.

Who do I contact if I have any questions?

If you have any questions, the AIA Canada government relations team is here to help! Please do not hesitate to contact Alana Baker, Senior Director of Government Relations at alana.baker@aiacanada.com with any questions you may have.