By Gideon Scanlon
Toronto, Ontario--August 8, 2019-- This month, newspapers from around the world may have filled many column inches with reports speculating about the dangers lurking in Manitoba's deep woods--human and otherwise. While the central Canadian province's wilderness is certainly a wild place filled with danger, for those who stick to its roads, things are actually quite safe.
True, the province's suicidal deer are a serious concern, but Manitoba has more I-CAR Gold certified facilities than the rest of Canada combined.
Don't get me wrong, here -- I'm not suggesting that only I-CAR Gold Certified facilities are the only repair facilities able to make safe repairs. What I do believe, however, is that the businesses that have successfully pursued I-CAR's highest facility-wide honour do demonstrate a serious commitment to making safe repairs.
According to statistics found on I-CAR.ca, 230 of Canada's 447 Gold Class and Gold Class-Aluminum recognized facilities are located in the central Canadian province.
For comparison, there are just 39 such facilities in Ontario, 42 in Quebec, 46 in B.C. and 42 in Alberta--all provinces with more vehicles on the road than Manitoba.
Factoring in population, there more than twelve times as many Gold Class and Gold Class-Aluminum repair facilities per Manitoba than per Canadian--and 61 times as many as per Ontarian.
The reason for this proliferation of I-CAR Gold Certified facilities in Manitoba? Manitoba Public Insurance--which holds a virtual monopoly over the auto insurance business within the province--and is expanding beyond it.
According to MPI, "To qualify for Manitoba Public Insurance accreditation, repair shops must meet or exceed industry standards in training, tooling and equipment. This includes participation in the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) Gold Class Professionals program."
So why has MPI been so enthusiastic about I-CAR? Well, according to the Crown corporation, the organization sets the "standard for auto body repair," and that it "ensures passenger safety and cost-efficiency [of repairs]."