that time again. Yes, we've been gazing into our crystal
ball to determine the future of AutoClubs.Ca. As most of
our viewers know, we've been funding the majority of the
costs out of our own pocket, with support from our
sponsors and donors. The reality is that even with our
sponsors and donors, the bulk of the financial costs we
bear alone. Labor is entirely ours, with assistance
from Don Yewish, who most of you will agree does a
You see, we're up against a couple of different issues
here. The biggest one being the work involved in keeping
the site alive. With the two of us both dealing with
health issues, it's becoming more and more difficult.
The second part is the financial aspect of it. We simply
aren't prepared to carry the burden of cost on our own
What does this mean to our
visitors? Well, probably the end of AutoClubs.Ca. We
will continue to keep the site alive until after the end
of this cruising season. From there, we will be looking
at our options over winter. Until the final decision on
what is going to happen is made, we are entertaining all
possible options. Including the sale of the site to
someone who can invest the time and finances to carry
on. Of course, the amount we see in sponsorship and
donations through this season is going to have a direct
impact on how long the site stays up, etc.
So for now, it's business as usual, and we'll try our
best to continue to keep the community informed and
VIU Inspections Return
As most of our local enthusiasts are aware, the Winnipeg
Police Services VIU will be out on 2 Sunday nights doing
scheduled roadside inspections. That's right, folks.
Sunday night. One has already taken place.
As has been accurately pointed out, this is not the
"prime time" to catch unsafe vehicles. Those vehicles
are going to be found Monday through Friday at rush
hour. Not to mention that according to MPI's own
statistics. .1% of all motor vehicle accidents in
Manitoba have equipment failure as a contributing
factor. You read that right, it's "point 1 percent".
This is clearly nothing other than an opportunity to
collect revenue. With proof that the public isn't in
danger from these "unsafe" vehicles being on the road,
why the investment in resources and wages?
First, we need to point out that it appears that MPI is
actually covering the overtime cost that WPS incurs for
these inspections. That's right, folks. Your increasing
insurance rates go to provide not better policies, but
your chance to get inspected at the side of the road
Interestingly enough, this is an insurance company that
is reported to be hiring the police. Yes, this is a government owned
insurance company, but it's still an insurance company.
We're unaware of any other company that can hire the
police to do their bidding.
Are we against vehicle inspections? No. What we oppose
is the way that these inspections are being done. Not
only are there 2 scheduled VIU inspections, we've
received word that WPS will be again conducting
inspections roadside from patrol cars, as they have in
past years. As we saw last year, those individual
roadside inspections resulted in a mess of confusion
about interpretations of the HTA and, in a number of
cases, incorrect citations.
And here we prepare for this once again. Why? It's
simple. The car community in Manitoba is not prepared to
take the only route that will truly preserve and promote
our hobby. That's political
we journeyed down to St. Paul, MN, to check out Back To
The 50's Weekend hosted by the Minnesota Street Rod
Association. And once again, we were not to be
disappointed. With over 11,000 vehicles registered,
there was something there for everyone.
three days to take in this phenomenal event, we're sure
we didn't see everything there. All three days sport the
car show, with Saturday playing host to an auction (we
didn't make that) and Sunday the swap meet (that we did
check out). Other events such as live bands, etc also
take place over the three days.
we took a little more time to talk to participants than
we ever have before. We wanted to determine how
Minnesota enthusiasts were able to license and insure
vehicles that were very obviously not street legal in
Our finding echoed exactly what we had expected, based
on what we saw transpiring in Manitoba. What allows them
to have some of the vehicles they do is the result of
knowing how to go about fighting for their interests.
They have done it through political channels. Here in
Manitoba, we have followed bad advice and avoided
The reality is that
politicians make the laws. The police enforce them. The
mayor here may have input in city by-laws, but cannot
have effective sway in what we as hobbyists need. Nor
can MPI. While MPI does put some regulations and
enforcements in place they do not as of yet make the
What we need is a chance to our laws. That can ONLY
happen once we, as a group, smarten up and recognize
that we have been spinning our wheels and going nowhere
for well over a decade now.
While it's true that we have
M.A.A.C. (Manitoba Association of Auto Clubs), the
reality is that for more than a decade, they have been
completely ineffective in incrementing any changes to
benefit the hobby.
supported MAAC since it's inception, and our
photographer's car club is part of MAAC. But the reality
is that MAAC simply seems to be stuck in a rut, with no
positive changes made for the hobby in this province.
not just saying that. Despite being promised a list of
changes that have come about through the work of MAAC,
by MAAC's own chairman, we've seen no such list
delivered to our hands. Doing our own digging about, it
appears that the biggest change since the establishment
of MAAC is the allowance of shaved door handles. And
it's our understanding that that came about as a result
of emergency response services more than MAAC. The 60/40
law that many believe had been scrapped still exists,
last documents we reviewed.
not being able or willing to provide a list of changes
benefiting the hobby in the last decade, and not being
able to uncover anything else, we can only reach the
conclusion that nothing beneficial has come about.
intended to bash MAAC in the least. MAAC does a
phenomenal job in publishing a list of club shows and
providing affordable event insurance for it's members.
But in conjunction with these things, we need either to
have MAAC pursue political representation of our
interests, or another organization that will. While
maintaining communication with MPI, WPS, and the mayor's
office is all great PR for our hobby, the time has come
to get serious about addressing some of the real
concerns we face.
It's not an
impossible dream to believe that we in Manitoba could
enjoy the same privileges that our counterparts in
Saskatchewan, Minnesota, and many other locations,
If we wait
any longer to start protecting our interests, we may
simply wake up one day to the fact that we've lost too
much ground to regain.
As you view
the thousands of images from St. Paul, take the time to
notice things like open wheels, and no bumpers. With the
right representation, we could enjoy that here.