The Canadian auto industry is rallying to help victims of the devastating B.C. floods.
The New Car Dealers Association of B.C. (NCDABC), which represents nearly 400 dealers in the province, and the Recreation Vehicles Dealers Association of B.C., aim to raise $1 million in relief through a partnership with the Wheaton Family and the First Canadian Financial Group. The former two organizations will match all donations from the latter two, up to $500,000.
The Wheaton Automotive Group, which operates 17 dealerships across Western Canada, was founded in 1955 by Don Wheaton Sr., who began with part ownership in a GM dealership in Porcupine Plain, Sask., and grew from there.
“These are the moments I feel particularly honoured to work with these amazing community contributors and champions, B.C.’s franchised new car dealers,” said Blair Qualey, the head of the NCDABC. “I hear contributions are also coming from dealers across Canada, too.”
Donations are being made through the Canadian Red Cross.
The Canadian Red Cross has launched the British Columbia Floods and Extreme Weather Appeal to support those impacted by the recent severe rainfall across B.C.'s southern coast and interior regions, which resulted in multiple flooding events, landslides, power outages, and other incidents. At least four people died in the flooding.
Toyota also is lending a helping hand. The automaker said it will donate $115,000 to Canadian Red Cross to support relief efforts in the affected communities.
Toyota Canada Inc., Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Toyota Financial Services , and Canadian Auto Parts Toyota Inc. (CAPTIN) are making the combined donation.
“We feel it’s important to support the ongoing efforts of organizations like Canadian Red Cross as they work to provide shelter, essential resources and other support for the people who’ve been affected by the recent floods,” Toyota Canada CEO Larry Hutchinson said in a statement. “The thoughts of the Toyota family are with the residents of B.C. — including our customers, dealers, employees and communities — as they come together to overcome this disaster.”
Canadian Auto Parts Toyota Inc., based in Delta B.C., 30 kilometres south of Vancouver. The city has been affected by the flooding.
Canadian Auto Parts Toyota Inc. produces 25-wheel models, past and current, and has an annual manufacturing capacity of 800,000 per year.
“The recent flooding in Southern B.C. has had a terrible impact on many of our team members, suppliers and neighbours,” CAPTIN President Wes Woods said in a statement. “As proud members of the Delta community for the past 38 years, we are making this contribution to rapidly support the relief effort.”
Meanwhile, GM Canada is supporting the relief efforts through the United Way. The automaker declined to say how much it’s contributing but called it "a significant amount" of money.
GM Canada said the money will assist the community at large and “our employees and dealers, impacted by the devastating floods.”
Environment and Climate Change Canada is warning that more rainfall is expected in B.C. this week and it will likely affect areas that are still recovering from last week's floods.
Meteorologist Armel Castellan says a "parade of storms" is expected over the winter in B.C.
While the province won't likely see the same amounts of rainfall as it did last week, he says there is a strong indication that active storms will start Thursday.
With files from The Canadian Press.