CAM Mover's Edge, March, 2013

Canadian Government’s Moving Contract

On Friday afternoon, February 22, 2013, the Interdepartmental Committee (IDC) invited CAM to make a presentation. Our appointment is scheduled for Thursday, March 7, in Ottawa. There will be representatives of the IDC, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and Treasury Board in attendance. Ted LeLacheur, CAM’s Chairman, and John Levi, CAM’s President, will represent you, CAM’s members, at the meeting. Representatives from the bidders will meet with government from March 7–12.

We intend to keep our presentation positive and provide the government with specific, useful suggestions for improving their proposed contract. There are specific things that an industry association can address with government that individual companies cannot.

WE NEED YOUR INPUT! Please reply to this e-mail IN POINT FORM by Wednesday, February 27. This will allow us some time to prepare CAM’s presentation. Please send your input to admin@mover.net.

Below is what we wrote in our February 2 newsletter. It is provided as background information.

The Interdepartmental Committee (IDC) met with members of the Canadian moving industry in Ottawa on Tuesday, January 29, 2013. In attendance were representatives from Atlas Van Lines, SIRVA Canada and United Van Lines, the IDC, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and movers from across Canada. Ted LeLacheur and John Levi represented the Canadian Association of Movers.

The meeting was hosted by PWGSC who advised that:

  • Their objective is to learn from the moving industry.
  • They wish to reward positive performance.
  • They would like to reduce the administrative load to the Government of Canada.
  • The current costs are not sustainable.

In response, members of the moving industry indicated the RFP in the Letter of Interest was flawed and told members of the committee that:

  • All members or the moving industry are willing to work with government to produce a workable contract.
  • The IDC had received advice that did not relate to the reality of the situation.
    • The advice was based on a few corporate Canada moves that were not necessarily done in the peak season and did not relate in size or number to the 10,000+ moves in the government contract.
    • The pricing structure would not work as it mixed too many different kinds of moves. Their pricing model blended remote transfers and land-based transfers. It led to some anomalies in the cost structure and was not acceptable to the industry.
  • There are people in the industry who can provide them with advice based on years of experience in moving.
  • The operational side of the document that the government presented was not acceptable to the industry.
  • If the government is willing to be flexible on scheduling their moves, the industry could provide the moves at more economical prices.
  • At no point was the quality of life for soldiers or policemen ever mentioned by the government.

On Friday, February 1, 2013, CAM wrote to the host of the meeting reiterating the above and indicating that movers have made significant investments in people, buildings, equipment and vehicles to service this contract and the model used puts them at significant business risk.

We also advised that the moving industry has offered the services of several highly-experienced moving-industry professionals to assist in developing an RFP that would fairly represent the interests of both the Government of Canada and members of the moving industry.

Right now we are waiting for a reply from the government.

CAM’s Annual Conference

As you know, CAM’s 2013 Annual Conference will be held in Vancouver on October 4–6, 2013. The host hotel is the River Rock Casino Hotel & Convention Centre. Check them out at www.riverrock.com. The hotel is located 5 minutes from the airport on the rapid transit line to downtown. Two classes of rooms are available – a standard room at $139 per night and a suite at $159 per night.

You can now make reservations for your stay by contacting the hotel at 604-247-8900 or toll-free at 1-866-748-3718. Advise the operator that you will be attending the Canadian Association of Movers’ conference. Please note that because of the International Association of Movers’ conference, which follows, and the desirability of Vancouver as a vacation spot, the special rates are available for five days before and five days after our conference.

Clifford Hoyt — Obituary

Cliff Hoyt passed away on February 5, 2013. Cliff spent his life in the moving industry – he was the owner of Hoyt’s Moving & Storage, a long-time member of United Van Lines, a founding member of the Canadian Association of Movers, and father of several leaders in Canada’s moving and storage industry. Cliff was a proud family man and was able to spend many of his last days with them. He is survived by his wife, sons and daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He will be missed by his many friends in the industry.

GST/HST Changes for BC and PEI

As you are no doubt aware, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island have changed their tax structure, effective April 1, 2013.

  • British Columbia’s HST will no longer be in effect, and will be replaced by GST of 5% and provincial tax of 7%.
  • Prince Edward Island’s new HST of 14% will combine PEI’s provincial sales tax of 9% with GST of 5%.

We extracted the following information from CAM’s April 26, 2010, newsletter. The principles still apply.

For moves, GST or HST is applicable based on the rate in the province of delivery. Over the transition date (April 1, 2013), the new rates are applicable on moves that load on April 1 or later.

For storage, GST or HST is based on the rate for the province where the goods are stored. During this transition, storage should be invoiced separately from the invoice for the move. This differs from the normal procedure for SIT as it’s usually charged as part of the bill of lading.

GST and HST rates for all provinces are as follows.

Province Tax Rate
BC GST 5% (effective April 1, 2013)
AB, SK & MB GST  5%
ON HST 13%
QC GST 5%
NB HST 13%
NS HST 15%
PE HST  14% (effective April 1, 2013)
NL HST 13%
YU, NW & NU GST 5%

CAM’s Enhanced Membership Requirements

On January 10, 2013, CAM’s board of directors decided that prospective members need to be more closely vetted before their application is accepted. In addition to the existing documentation required for certification as a Certified Canadian Mover, mover–applicants are now asked to also provide:

  • Pictures of their facility and equipment – warehouse, store, vehicles, etc.
  • Reference letters from two bodies – e.g., a bank, the BBB, Chamber of Commerce, business suppliers.

A mover must have been in business for at least two years and have a favourable BBB record or reference letter from the BBB. Once they become a member, CAM will monitor their performance. There are ramifications for poor business practices and CAM may terminate a membership for ongoing complaints or service problems.

CAM Ad on Kijiji

On January 15, 2013, CAM placed a 30-day ad on Kijiji, in the Greater Vancouver Area as a test site, about the benefits of checking with CAM for a reputable mover and the possible pitfalls of using a non-member. In the one month that the ad ran, there were 221 hits on it by visitors. CAM plans to run the ad in several other large city centres for a three-month period.

Press Releases

CAM’s marketing committee is continuing the press release program that was instituted a couple of years ago. We have recently issued the following press releases:

  • January 14, 2013 – deducting moving expenses at tax time
  • February 20, 2013 – consumers should protect themselves to avoid scams by rogue movers.

The purpose of CAM’s press-release program is to provide consumers with information about the benefits and services of hiring a professional mover. Our press releases can be viewed on the Consumers web page on our website.

Job Opportunities

Several opportunities have been posted to the job postings area in the employment section. This is where you can look for employees or employment.

IF YOU HAVE NEWS THAT CANADA’S MOVING INDUSTRY SHOULD KNOW ABOUT, please let CAM know and we will include it in upcoming issues of this newsletter.