A letter to Justin Trudeau

by Carpages.ca


Justin Trudeau

Many of you no doubt saw a news clip of federal Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau, on Tuesday comparing Canadians’ mistrust of politicians with what he apparently thinks is another untrustworthy group, “used car salesmen”. Though he acknowledged that politicians ranked below car salespeople in trustworthiness, the fact that he saw fit to single out our industry in his comments was yet another demeaning swipe at the used vehicle business by a public figure.

Below is a letter written to Justin Trudeau by Warren Barnard, Executive Director of the Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario.

Dear Mr. Trudeau,

I watched your press scrum on the CTV National News on September 17 and wanted to thank you for pointing out that used car salespeople indeed rank ahead of politicians for honesty and trustworthiness in the eyes of Canadians.

To use your words, “I think we are now ranked below used car salesmen.”

Mr. Trudeau, you are right.

I don’t doubt your intent in making this comparison was to deride the tens of thousands of hard working men and women … yes Mr. Trudeau, thousands of women are involved in the sale of used vehicles …. in the retail automotive industry in Canada. There are almost 25,000 registered salespeople in Ontario alone.

These are the women and men represented, through their employers, by the Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario. Over 4,700 registered Ontario motor vehicle dealers are part of our organization.

I’m sharing this letter with each of them.

You may not be aware of our organization and the role it plays in promoting ethics and professionalism in our industry. Feel free to visit www.ucda.ca to learn more.

You likely are also not aware that Ontario implemented sweeping changes to modernize regulation of the automotive sales industry in 2010. Our members supported this initiative and I’m proud to say that Ontario ranks among the strongest jurisdictions in North America when it comes to ethics, professionalism and protection for consumers buying or leasing new and used vehicles.

Next time you choose to compare politicians with “used car salesmen”, you now have some background with which to do so.

I might also suggest using the far more appropriate term “salespeople” in the future, so as to be inclusive of everyone in our business.

Yes, Mr. Trudeau, politicians do rank behind used car salespeople. Our members and their employees have known that for a long time. Yours truly,

Warren N. Barnard
Executive Director

cc The 4700 Member Businesses of the Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario

Update #1: Justin Trudeau apologizes on Twitter:

For more information about the hashtag, #sorryforcomparingyoutoEzra, check out this article on the Huffington Post.

Update #2: Justin Trudeau apologizes in writing:

In response to the letter sent to Justin Trudeau by the UCDA, Trudeau sent the following formal response today:

Dear Mr. Barnard,

Thank you for your letter regarding a comment I made during a press conference earlier this week.

I am truly sorry for my poor choice of words. I in no way meant to offend hard-working Canadians
in the used automotive sales industry.

Our automotive sector has and continues to be an important, economic engine in this country; I
have the utmost respect for it and those that make their livelihood from it.

Yours sincerely,

Justin P.J. Trudeau
Member of Parliament for Papineau


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Martin November 2, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Well, well, well……. comparing the weaknesses of one occupation to another (having very little knowledge of it). Trudeau … you have very little focus. In fact, you lack political focus. By the way, what is your own personal focus?

Until then grab a paddle…


Lisa September 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I don’t agree with those who say this is being blown out of proportion. Stereotypes exist because of ignorant people who keep on enforcing them. We should learn to be more respectful to everyone. Single out one profession to make fun of is just as bad as singling out a ethnic or religious group. Justin Trudeau is a public figure who one day may represent Canada so he needs to set a good example for our kids. I still remember how his father taught him to be respectful of Joe Clark. That’s real class!


John September 23, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Give me a break.

When John Lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ, It wasn’t his belief. He was just remarking how people at the time were treating the Beatles as Deities.

Whether Justin believes car salespeople are scumbags or not is also not the point. The fact that car salespeople have the reputation of being scumbags in todays society, well, he’s right on the money with his comparison in fact.


Craige September 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I’m with you on this, John. I think this got blown way out of proportion. Trudeau was referencing a common cultural stereotype, and it should have been seen for the rhetoric that it was. It amazes me that people took what was actually a positive message, and completely turned it end-over-end. The message that should have been taken was that Trudeau believes in a truthful and transparent government.

I have nothing but appreciation for the hard working people in the used car industry today, but come on…. We all live with stereotypes every day, and in most cases they’re a case of “you reap what you sow”. It’s not to say that all used car salespeople are or have been untrustworthy, but there is an overpowering historical demographic that have been, and society took note.

We all need to learn to lighten up with things like this; laugh it off and keep pushing forward. I’m not sure what else I can say about it.


Ron September 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Trudeau, paddle off in your canoe into the sunset and let us get on with our lives.


Ron September 20, 2013 at 5:36 pm

How dare you compare us to the scumbags that we have as politicians. We have ethics.


Jennifer September 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Is Justin Trudeau out of touch with hard working Canadians? Vote here: http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/poll/index.html


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