News

CAA and Park’N Fly Partner to Help Make Air Travel More Rewarding

OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Automobile Association and Park’N Fly have expanded their partnership to make air travel easier and more affordable, with new benefits designed exclusively for CAA Members.

Travel can be a frustrating affair especially with all the hidden fees which in itself can cause unneeded stress let alone faced with the prospect of how to get to the airport in the most economical and efficient manner. Park’N Fly, Canada’s leading airport parking company, provides travellers with the most cost effective parking options complete with valet and/or self-park services, complimentary shuttles, and luggage assistance.

“As Canada’s top travel organization, CAA knows that travel can cause stress for some and that’s why we prides ourselves in aligning our brand with reputable organizations that offer superior value to our members. We are happy to grow our partnership with Park’N Fly to help our Members get to the most rewarding benefits when travelling,” says Jeff Walker, Chief Strategy Officer, CAA National.

As part of the new program, CAA’s Members can now earn 3% in CAA Dollars® in addition to the CAA Discount™ of 20%* off all stays at participating Park’N Fly locations every day. CAA Members can use their CAA Dollars for a variety of products and services available at their local CAA travel store.

“Over the last 15 years, CAA’s Rewards program has grown to be one of Canada’s largest loyalty programs with more than 164,000 locations for saving worldwide,” says Walker. “As one of Canada’s most trusted brands, our Members have high expectations of us, and therefore we are always looking to grow our CAA Rewards program.”

Members can take advantage of these great benefits immediately in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. The offer is not available in the Montreal Park’N Fly location. *For more information visit parknfly.ca to learn more about additional seasonal offers and benefits.

CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing 6 million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.

For further information, please contact:

Kristine D’Arbelles
Manager, Public Affairs
CAA National
613-247-0117 ext. 2006
613-796-9404
kdarbelles@national.caa.ca

CAA Provides Assistance to Tow Truck Families

OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Automobile Association has made a donation to a fund that supports families of tow truck drivers killed on the job, in recognition of the dangers associated with this profession.

Late last year, Jason Schaffer of Accel Towing and Transport in Brandon, Manitoba, was killed while hooking up a vehicle on the side of the Trans-Canada Highway when it moved forward, rolling over him while he was under the vehicle.

"As Canada's largest provider of roadside assistance, CAA understands the risks faced every day by tow truck operators," said Mike Mager, President of CAA Manitoba. "That is why we are pleased to do our part to help the families of those who have lost a loved one."

CAA donates $2,250 annually to the Survivor Fund of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum. The Survivor Fund was established to benefit families, such as the Schaffers, who lose a loved one while aiding the motoring public.

In the case of the Schaffers, CAA also matched the Survivor Fund’s donation to the family dollar for dollar.

"Not many Canadians realize how dangerous it is to be a tow truck operator," Mager said. “Imagine doing your job while having vehicles zip by you only a few feet away at 100 km/h - this is a daily reality for tow truck operators."

Industry estimates suggest that as many as 100 or more tow truck operators are killed annually while on the job in North America.

CAA Clubs continue to work with provincial authorities to promote the need for “Slow Down Move Over” legislation to protect all roadside assistant workers.

More information on the fund can be found at: www.thesurvivorfund.com

CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing more than 6 million Members with exceptional roadside assistance, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.

For further information, or to book an interview, please contact:

Kristine D’Arbelles
Manager of Public Affairs
Office: 613-247-0117 ext. 2006

Mobile: 613-796-9404

kdarbelles@national.caa.ca

Nominations for First-Ever Electric Vehicle Dealership Awards Program Now Open

Ottawa, Ontario – June 19, 2014.  The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) and Plug’n Drive are pleased to announce nominations are now open for the first-ever annual Canadian Electric Vehicle Dealership Awards Program.

Dealerships in Canada selling electric vehicles (EVs) are encouraged to self-nominate for the new awards: Leading Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) Dealership Award, Leading Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) Dealership Award, and the EV Dealership Inspiration Award.

“We recognize that dealerships are key to the sale of EVs,” said Jim Burpee, President and CEO of the Canadian Electricity Association. “We believe there is enormous benefit in having an awards program that identifies and rewards dealerships that have found ways to help consumers choose EVs."

Electric cars are not just the cars of the future, they exist right now. With cost savings and sustainability becoming more important by the day for businesses, governments and individuals electric cars rise up to the challenge.

“We know selling electric vehicles can be challenging,” says Cara Clairman, President and CEO of Plug’n Drive. “By celebrating the hard work and success of dealerships, we hope the recognition that comes with these Awards encourages more dealerships to promote electric cars to consumers.”

“We are proud to be a sponsor of the Canadian Electric Vehicle Dealership Awards,” says, Ian Jack, Managing Director of Communications and Government Relations at the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). “Supporting progress in automotive innovation is part of our DNA at CAA. We believe this program will encourage dealerships to do more to provide consumers with good information about EVs.”

The winners will be announced on October 29, 2014 in Vancouver at the EV 2014 VÉ Electric Vehicles Conference and Trade Show, Canada’s biggest electric vehicle event held annually by Electric Mobility Canada, the hosting sponsor of the Awards program.

Nominations will close on August 15, 2014. For more information, including how to apply, visit www.electricvehicleawards.ca.

About the Canadian Electrical Association
The Canadian Electricity Association is the national voice of the electricity industry in Canada. Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) members generate, transmit and distribute electrical energy to industrial, commercial, residential and institutional customers across Canada every day. CEA is committed to promoting awareness and dialogue about electricity grid modernization. The electricity sector views the use of electricity as a transportation fuel as an opportunity to help Canada meet societal, environmental and economic sustainability goals.
 
Visit www.electricity.ca.
 
About Plug'n Drive
Plug'n Drive is a non-profit organization committed to accelerating the adoption of electric cars to maximize their environmental and economic benefits.  To help drivers make the switch, Plug'n Drive is focused on three key programs: Education, Home Charging Infrastructure, and Public Charging Infrastructure.

Visit www.plugndrive.ca.  
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For additional information:

Samara Wiseman
Senior Advisor, Public Affairs
Tel.: 613 688 2954
Cell: 613 697 1339
Email: wiseman@electricity.ca

Brian Millar
Communications Advisor
Plug’n Drive
Tel.: 647 717 6941
Cell: 647 780 6806
Email: brian@plugndrive.ca

Sharing the Road is Safer for Everyone

This summer more than 200,000 Canadians will dust off their bikes and will be commuting to work, according to government statistics. With more cyclists riding to work, CAA wants to remind commuters to share the road.

“Whether you’re biking, driving, running, or walking, everyone has a role to play to make our roads safer,” says Jeff Walker, vice-president of public affairs, CAA National.

To keep our roads safe CAA has put together safety tips for sharing the road:

  • Be prepared for weather changes. Weather conditions can change quickly and affect your ability to see other road users. Be as prepared as possible by performing seasonal maintenance and carrying proper equipment for your bicycle or vehicle. Be sure to give others plenty of room on wet roads, slow down and ensure your vision isn’t compromised.
  • Limit your distractions. Avoid anything that might take your mind off the task of managing your vehicle – be it a car or bike. All Canadian provinces ban the use of hand-held communication devices behind the wheel. Cyclists should also have both hands on their handlebars and pay attention to the road ahead.   
  • Always signal your intentions. Drivers should always use their turn signal and cyclists should use hand signals to let other road users know where they are going. Plan turns and lane changes well in advance.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Keeping your eyes on the road, performing regular shoulder checks, and checking blind spots will help you avoid a collision and keep you safer on the road.
  • Perform seasonal maintenance. Drivers should top up their vehicle’s fluids and replace windshield wipers as needed. Cyclists check your brakes, horn or bell, tires, and helmet before you hit the road.
  • Follow the law. Remember whether you are on a bike or in a car, by law you are considered a vehicle on the road and must follow the law.

For more information and helpful hints to share the road visit CAA’s bike safety portal.

2014 AJAC EcoRun a success despite soggy finale

VANCOUVER, BC – The third annual Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) EcoRun successfully completed its three-day run Thursday, rolling into Vancouver’s Jack Poole Plaza from Whistler for a consumer show in front of the 2010 Winter Olympics cauldron. Unfortunately, the sunny weather that had followed the 18-vehicle fleet north to Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton the previous two days, ended abruptly with a downpour just as the wrap-up ceremonies in the downtown plaza were about to begin.

Before the rain arrived, however, the 18 AJAC journalists/drivers were able to enjoy a stopover at the new Sea-to-Sky Gondola attraction in Squamish, where they were given a media preview, climbing 885 metres above the Howard Sound fjord for a spectacular view. The attraction, expected to attract 200,000 visitors annually, officially opens May 16.

While EcoRun is not a race, it did include an internal competition among the journalists to determine who was the most fuel-efficient driver. The coveted EcoRun Green Jersey Award was won by veteran AJAC journalist Jim Kenzie, who led the field through all three days of driving. Kenzie edged out colleagues Ted Laturnus and Charles Renny.
 
The AJAC EcoRun is intended to showcase the latest advances in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions being offered to consumers, as well as demonstrating ways Canadians can reduce their vehicle fuel costs by modifying their driving habits. Twelve of Canada’s leading automotive manufacturers contributed to this year’s fleet, which included pure EVs, plug-in and conventional hybrids and high-efficiency gas- and diesel-fuelled internal combustion powertrains. The entries were 2014 and 2015 model-year compacts and subcompacts, family sedans and crossovers, even a premium sports sedan and a pickup truck and they were being driven by 18 AJAC journalists from across Canada who had undertaken special training in eco-driving techniques. Through their numerous media outlets across the country, they will be sharing their experiences as they report on EcoRun and the more fuel-efficient ways to drive vehicles and help Canadians reduce the pain at the pumps.

Each vehicle participating in EcoRun was fitted with a special monitoring device developed by Cross Chasm, which recorded fuel consumption, as well as the driving techniques of the driver. The results reflect fuel consumption in real-world driving conditions and that data will be posted on the AJAC website (www.ajac.ca) so consumers can compare those results and make informed decisions when deciding on their next vehicle purchase, whether it’s a small car, a typical family sedan, or even a light duty truck.

The AJAC EcoRun can only exist with the support of its partners, including Natural Resources Canada, which has been a key part of EcoRun since the event’s inception, and the CAA National office, which has also supported the event since Day One. The New Car Dealers Association of BC also provided significant support, along with the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish. The AJAC EcoRun committee also wishes to acknowledge the support provided by BC Hydro, Cross Chasm, Stantec, Pemberton Lodge and Sun Country Highway.

Here’s the list of vehicles that participated in this year’s AJAC EcoRun:

2014 MINI Cooper
2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
2014 Ford CMAX Energi
2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
2015 Cadillac ELR
2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel    
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid
2014 Hyundai Elantra
Kia Optima Hybrid
2014 Mazda3 2.0L
2015 Mazda6 i-ELOOP
2014 Mercedes-Benz GL 350 4MATIC BlueTEC
2014 Mercedes-Benz E 250 4MATIC BlueTEC Sedan
2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
2014 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV + Tech
2014 Nissan Leaf SL
2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
2015 Volvo XC60 Drive-E

Media updates on EcoRun, plus photos and video, are available on the AJAC website (www.ajac.ca) under the EcoRun tab. For more information, contact Susan Elliott (susan.elliott@elliott-com.com); EcoRun chairman Clare Dear at cdear@sympatico.ca; or Siobhan Duffield at AJAC (siobhan@ajac.ca).