Gateway Gazette

Auto Dealer Associations Launch Drive to Help Victims of Wildfires

May 5, 2016. Edmonton, AB. — Dealer associations from across Alberta in collaboration with the Canadian Automobile Dealers’ Association (CADA) are raising funds to help dealership employees who have incurred losses because of the wildfires in Fort McMurray. “All of our members’ employees have been unable to work and earn income because they are dealing with the effects of the wildfires, the evacuation of their homes and the closure of dealerships.” says Garrett Scott, Chairman of the Motor Dealers’ Association of Alberta (MDA). “Our goal is to help relieve some of their financial pressures and to galvanize the efforts of MDA members who were expressing a desire to do something.”

MDA is coordinating the fundraising campaign, and 100% of the funds raised will be used to assist member dealership employee wildfire victims. The MDA kick started the effort with a donation, and in a show of industry solidarity, the dealer associations from Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge also contributed to the fund. In addition, the Canadian Automobile Dealers’ Association committed funds to the cause. To date, the dealers associations have donated $80,000 in support of their members’ affected employees.

The Canadian Automobile Dealers’ Association has contributed $35,000 to the cause. “As much as this disaster’s effects have been devastating, it is heartening to receive the support of dealers across Canada,” says Harry Mertin, Chairman of CADA. “Distance and competition are no barriers to their compassion and generosity,” Mertin says of his fellow dealers, “We hope that other industries will follow suit and pitch in to help their brethren recover.”

The MDA is issuing a request to its members to donate to the cause and hopes to be issuing assistance to victims of wildfires as soon as possible. “Dealers recognize that employees are the lifeblood of our business, the oil of our economic engine, if you will—this is one way we can collectively demonstrate our appreciation for our staff’s contributions to our industry,” says Ducharme. The MDA will soon be sending an information package to its members who will make their employees aware of the relief program.

The MDA strives to serve the collective interest of its members and promote positive relationships with government, industry, suppliers, consumers and media, by offering needed and effective programs and services. Members include over 90% of Alberta’s franchised new vehicle and heavy truck dealerships.

The Canadian Automobile Dealers’ Association is the voice of the new car and truck dealers in Canada, with headquarters in Markham, Ontario and a government relations office in Ottawa. Its wide-ranging mandate includes helping dealers to improve their overall operations and to implement initiatives that strengthen the relationship between new car and truck dealers and the members of the communities they serve.

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