Government Relations Update: Newfoundland & Labrador Government Official Meetings on April 12, 2016

On April 12th, AIA Atlantic Division members, Doug Reevey (Incoming AIA Chair), Lynn Cormier (Atlantic Division Chair), Neil Browne (Browne's Auto Supplies Limited) and Philip Murphy (Colonial Auto Parts Limited) and AIA’s Director of Government Relations, Jason Kerr held a number of provincial government meetings on various issues concerning the local membership and the industry at-large.

The group first met with the Minister of Finance, Hon. Cathy Bennet (also responsible for Status of Women). The purpose of the meeting was to cover vehicle inspections, funding to support recruitment in the sector, general discussion about the health of the sector and economy and, AIA’s Advancing Women in Automotive Knowledge Exchange (AWAKE) program. Minister Bennett noted that vehicle inspections are on the radar of the caucus and provided the group with contacts to further discussions on AIA's warranty statement. She also recommended connecting with the Women in Development Research Council to further the work of AIA's AWAKE project.

The second meeting of the day was with Minister Eddie Joyce, Leigh Puddester, Deputy Minister and Julian McCarthy, Assistant Deputy Minister from Service NL.  Amongst the topics discussed were vehicle safety inspections, workplace safety and consumer protection. The AIA group learned that the department has a very active workplace inspections program and the highest rate of inspection per employer over other provinces in Canada. An in-depth discussion was also had about the importance of vehicle inspections to road safety.

[caption id="attachment_8927" align="aligncenter" width="451"]Newfoundland & Labrador Government Official Meetings From left to right: Doug Reevey, Philip Murphy, Jason Kerr, Minister Eddie Joyce, Neil Browne and Lynn Cormier.[/caption]

The third meeting of the day was with the Registrar of Motor Vehicle, a division of Service NL. In attendance from the Registrar's office was Alan Doody, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Geoff Ewing, Manager, Traffic Safety Programs, and Robert Murray, (Acting) Manager, Transportation Regulation Enforcement. The purpose of the meeting was to cover general road safety trends, vehicle inspections, and Be Car Care Aware (BCCA).

The AIA team then met with Advanced Skills and Education's Dennis Hogan, Assistant Deputy Minister, Workforce Development and Immigration and Candice Ennis-Williams, Director, Workforce Development Secretariat. The meeting covered SME tools and resources, apprenticeships and related funding and economic development. AIA learned about the number of programs and resources the province makes available to businesses for disseminating recruitment materials and the department agreed to develop for AIA a provincial employment resources kit similar to ones developed by other provinces. AIA will share this document when it is available.

The last meeting of the day was with the Liberal Government Caucus which had thirteen (13) Liberal Caucus members in attendance. Among the attending MHAs were the Minister of Transportation and Works, the Minister of Health and Community Services, the Minister of Environment, the Government Caucus Chair and the Party Whip.

The focus for this session was on vehicle safety and the need to reinstate mandatory vehicle inspections. There was a sense from the group of Liberal caucus members that a formal review of whether the province should reinstate the mandatory vehicle inspection program should be undertaken. AIA will be communicating the results of this caucus meeting to Minister Eddie Joyce of Service NL in the coming days.

For more information on this or any other government relations activity, please contact:

Jason Kerr
Director, Government Relations
T: (613) 728-5821 / (800) 808-2920 x.234