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4 entries from October 2020

Attend this year’s virtual Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Sportif Conference for free

So many conferences and large events are going virtual this year – and in a number of cases are free to stream. I’ve attended sessions at Comic-con, the Hillside music festival and the Just for Laughs Festival – all online this year. It was obviously a very different experience, but I still managed to view some great content as well as make some connections. I did, however, have to provide my own refreshments.

This year, the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Sportif Conference (Nov 4 - Nov 6, 2020) – Canada's largest conference for coaches, researchers, sport executives, and administrators – is going virtual as well. And it’s open to everyone to attend for free!

2020 Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif Conference

Courage by Design is the theme this year; keynote speakers and breakout sessions will focus on how intentional acts of courage, inclusivity, and resilience can shape positive change in Canada’s sport community. Presenters and facilitators include Benoit Huot, Paralympic athlete, and Kimberly B. Davis, Senior Executive Vice President at the National Hockey League. You can see the full program at the #SLS20 virtual event space [2].

For more information and to register for the event, click here. Registration closes on October 28.

What do you think? Will you take advantage of this year’s virtual event? Let us know if you plan to attend in the comments.

~Rose R.

Recognizing our Retail and Wholesale Associates of the Year

Our associates provide great service, products and expertise to their customers as well as support and leadership to their teams, and we want to make sure this excellence is recognized. As a way to celebrate their accomplishments with all associates across the country, we recently held our annual red carpet event, the Associate of the Year Awards. Of course, this year our event was virtual, but no less important.


We have over 800 Retail associates at 1700+ sites across the country. This year, 55 Associates were nominated and we had eight winners across our different regions. They are:

Daljit Minhas
Calgary, Alberta

“Petro-Canada associates are leaders in our industry. To be recognized among them is a great honour and motivation for me.”

Petro-Canada Associate of the Year
Daljit (second from the left) stands with his team in Calgary, Alberta.

Kevin Gutoski
Dugald, Manitoba

“This award means a lot to myself, my family, and my "never forgotten, can never live without them" team of employees at Deacon's Corner.”

Petro-Canada Associate of the Year
Kevin (second from the left) stands with his team at his site, Deacon's Corners, in Dugald, MB.

Dave Morrison
Kamloops, British Columbia

“Being an Associate of the Year nominee is an honor for which myself and my entire team are very proud. Although it is very cliché, in my case it is very true, it should be ‘Team of the Year!’”

Petro-Canada Associate of the Year
Dave (far right), stands with his team at one of his stores in Kamloops, BC.

Justin Chetty
Stettler, Alberta

“This nomination is a true honour. I see the level of safety and service that my peers show across the country, and to be considered as one of the top associates is a blessing.”

Petro-Canada Associate of the Year
Justin (centre) with his team at their site in Stettler, AB.

Raj Thanarajah
Toronto, Ontario

“This nomination means a lot to me and my entire team. I feel like all our hard work has paid off and all our efforts have been recognized. I believe that this nomination is something that we are very proud of.”

Petro-Canada Associate of the Year
Raj (in white) stands with his team at one of his sites in Toronto, ON.

Larry Greenwood
Huntsville, Ontario

“We appreciate the honour of this nomination and our staff are very encouraged and motivated by this recognition!”

Petro-Canada Associate of the Year
Larry's team at one of his sites in Huntsville, ON.

Radek Szybowski
Ottawa, Ontario

“This nomination is extremely humbling. We have so many excellent Associates in our network and to be counted among the best in class is a great honour. This nomination also highlights the hard work of my team of managers and GSAs, I am very proud of them.”

Petro-Canada Associate of the Year
Radek (centre) stands with his team at one of his sites in Ottawa, ON

Eric O’Farrell
Sainte-Claire, Quebec

“This nomination is a reward for my team and I, and for all the efforts we put in every day to ensure impeccable customer service. For us, service is priceless, it is the cornerstone of our business, and the best way to stand out in a field as competitive as ours. We are very proud to have been associated with Petro-Canada for so many years!”

Petro-Canada Associate of the Year
Eric (centre) stands with his team at their site in Sainte-Claire, QC.



We have 54 Wholesale associates at over 100 sites across the country. This year, 12 Associates were nominated and we had four winners across our different regions. They are:

Ali Abbas & Wijdan Karim
Mississauga, Ontario

Curt & Michelle Klassen
Vancouver, British Columbia

Doug Ames & Dave Pruden
Northwest Fuels Limited
Terrace, British Columbia

Graham and Jim Eisenhauer
West Nova Fuels
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Congratulations to all of this year’s Associates of the Year nominees and winners! Thank you for your dedication and commitment to your customers and your teams.

~Braden H.

National Teen Driver Safety Week - #SpeedIsNoGame

I remember when I received my first speeding ticket. I was driving back to university with a friend after a visit home for Thanksgiving. I only had a learner’s permit at the time and was required to have a fully licensed driver in the front passenger seat. I did, but he was napping. The officer who pulled me over gave us both a piece of his mind – and rightly so – me for speeding and the friend for not paying attention to my driving.

The biggest thing I remember about getting the ticket was how surprised I was that I was actually speeding. Everything about driving felt new – so I didn’t know how fast 80 km or 100 km “feels”. As I’m sure anyone with 20+ years driving experience can attest, you know when you’re speeding. But as a new driver, I just didn’t have the miles under my belt.

Teen girl getting the keys to the car

So many things about driving come with experience. That’s why we need to pay extra attention to new drivers and make sure they have the support they need. Parachute, a national Canadian charity dedicated to injury prevention, holds an annual campaign to build awareness of teen driver safety issues.

National Teen Driver Safety Week Banner

The theme for their 2020 campaign, October 18 to 24, is #SpeedIsNoGame. Road crashes are the second-leading cause of death among young people in Canada. Young people are killed in crashes at a higher rate than any other age group under 80 years old.

If you have a teen in your life, be sure and talk with them about speeding and other causes of distracted driving like phones, drinking and cannabis use. The RCMP has compiled a great list of tips to share with your teen to help reduce distracted driving (though they’re good tips for all of us to remember!), including:

  • Plan your route ahead of time.
  • Put your cellphone away.
  • Notify your passengers.
  • Avoid eating and drinking while driving.
  • Keep music or radio at a reasonable volume.
  • Keep personal grooming for the home.

They also have made a number of other resources available for starting productive conversations with teens about distracted driving, including lesson plans for grade 11 and 12 students.

MADD Canada shares ideas and strategies about how to have the tough conversations with your teen about driving, alcohol and drugs:

Let teens know that their safety comes first, especially when you tackle the more difficult issues around drinking and marijuana. Let them know they can depend on you to help them if they feel concerned about their own or a friend’s safety.

Set an example by being responsible about your own use of alcohol and other drugs. If you choose to drink, refer to Canada’s Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and discuss how you use the guidelines to manage your own drinking.

Recognize that experimentation and mistakes happen. By understanding that a teen’s brain – especially the areas in charge of impulse control – is still developing, you’ll be able to better understand why your teen may place themselves in risky situations. Help your teen to reflect on a mistake to make it into a learning opportunity, but be sure to wait until you’re both calm and ready to discuss a problem rationally

Learn about all 10 of MADD Canada’s strategies in their Parent Action Pack for helping teens make good decisions about drugs, alcohol and driving.

How do you talk to your kids about distracted or impaired driving? Share your stories in the comments.

~Kate T.

To Our Readers... Happy Thanksgiving

Last year, at this time, I had a nine kg turkey on order, a two-page shopping list for my Thanksgiving grocery store expedition and was digging the extra chairs out of the basement to prepare for my in-law and family annual invasion. This year looks a bit different, as I imagine it does for many of you. The turkey is much smaller and I'll probably only get one bag of Brussels sprouts instead of the usual three. And no trip to the dusty basement necessary.

Happy Thanksgiving

But... I also have a virtual call booked with a friend who is a nurse at a local cancer hospital – he’s reducing his Thanksgiving dinner size and keeping his bubble small to keep his patients safe. And a friend who makes masks has already sent me one decorated with pumpkins that I can wear on my scaled-down shopping trip.

So it's different. But I'm no less thankful.

From all of us at PumpTalk, we wish you and yours a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. And to the essential workers who continue to work on the front lines - thank you!

~Kate T.