98 entries categorized "Great Links"

Shift into Winter Driving

Now that I’ve recovered from the sugar-coma of Halloween, I realized that it’s November and it’s time to put the snowbrush and ice scraper back in the car. Winter brings a lot of delightful moments, but driving through a snowstorm isn’t one of them, at least for me – I’m more of an après ski, cozy-up-by-the-fire kind of gal.

Red Car Driving Through Snow Storm

So for those readers who are like me, I thought it would be good to put on our snow pants and do a quick refresher of some salient winter-driving tips. Luckily, the Government of Ontario has put together an excellent collection of resources, tips, videos and other information about winter highway upkeep and road closures. Now while the road closures don’t apply to everyone (but check your own province’s Transportation Ministry site!), the tips, resources and videos are applicable across the country.

One of their best is the detailed 24-page handbook “Winter Driving: Be Prepared, Be Safe!” – definitely worth a download. But they summarized the most important advice that I’ve included below.

  • Make sure your vehicle is winter ready. Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle.
  • Check weather and travel conditions before heading out by visiting the ministry’s Traveller Information Service website at: www.ontario.ca/511.
  • Plan extra time to get to your destination and consider delaying or cancelling your trip in bad weather.
  • Notify a friend or family member of your destination and anticipated arrival time.
  • Always exercise caution and drive according to road and weather conditions.
  • Watch for the flashing lights of snow and ice control vehicles. When approaching them from behind, slow down, stay back and be patient. Do not pass around or between them. NEVER PASS A SNOW PLOW!
  • Move over for emergency vehicles.

And if you’d rather get your winter driving tips from a cute video, they’ve got you covered. Check out their “Top 10 Tips to Prep for Winter Driving” video.

As temperatures drop across the country and roads get covered in snow and ice, safe-driving practices should be even more top-of-mind. Do your part and be a conscientious driver on our winter roads.

~Kate T.


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.


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.


Road-tripping Safely this Summer

Last weekend, I went on a picnic for the first time in what seems like a million years. And as you can imagine, the process for heading out on a simple picnic has changed from the last time I went. I’m used to swinging by my local sandwich shop, picking up a few items, and driving wherever the mood took me. Often down to Peace Arch Provincial Park – which is currently closed. And normally I’d text a bunch of friends – maybe 2 would show up, maybe 20. Not this time. Need to keep that social bubble small.

Social Distanced Picnic

But even in light of restrictions, I still had a great time – it just takes a little planning. If you’re headed out on a road trip this summer - whether a day trip for a picnic, an overnight stay at a campground, or a longer holiday – there are ways to travel safely. And a lot of great resources out there to help!

Plan Your Destination

Since each territory and province has a different re-opening schedule and regulations, you’ll want to check the specifics of your destination. Every province and territory has published their COVID-19 restrictions on their websites, including guidelines for using public spaces like provincial parks.

And if you happen to be road-tripping inter-provincially, you’ll want to make sure you’re actually allowed to visit. The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable has put together a tool that allows you to check what locations you’re permitted to visit based on your residency, including links to that location’s public health guidelines. Handy!

Also, Parks Canada’s website offers some great tips for visiting this summer – whether you’re headed there for a day trip or a longer visit.

Be Self Sufficient

Be aware that if you’re headed up to the cottage or cabin, smaller communities where these are typically located have more limited health care and other resources. Don’t put a strain on these communities – bring the essentials that you need with you. And if you do go out, respect physical distancing protocols and mask regulations. And don’t go out if you’re sick or exhibiting symptoms.

For more information, Destination BC has a comprehensive list of ways to travel safely and responsibly this summer.

Keep Your Car Clean and Organized

When you’re road-tripping, you’ll want to make sure that you keep your car clean and organized. If you’re like me, you may not have been using it a lot lately, but now that I head out for day trips, I’m a lot more aware of all the surfaces I touch in the car.

  • Using disinfectant wipes, regularly wipe down "high touch" surfaces on a regular basis. This includes places like: the steering wheel, volume knob, temperature controls, seat belts, door handles, gear shift, etc. Be careful about using wipes with bleach - they can damage the interior of your vehicle. Always test on a small area first. And it is better to spray a cleaning solution on a rag and use it rather than directly on the surface itself.
  • Don't forget to give your key fob a wipe as well.
  • Air out your vehicle. If you can, occasionally give the AC a rest, open your vehicle’s windows and let the fresh air in.
  • Car seats can harbour crumbs and germs - make sure you're cleaning your children's car seats regularly. You can vacuum out the crumbs, but check your manufacturer's guidelines on what to use to wipe down the seat, belts, etc.

Cleaning Kit in Your Car

Keeping your car organized can also help keep it clean. A few tips:

  • Designate a specific receptacle for trash. If there's one container, you'll be more likely to empty it on a regular basis than if trash is just scattered everywhere. Plus you can give that trash receptacle a regular clean.
  • Put a small caddy together with a box of tissues, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and an extra mask. This will save you time instead of having to dig through your purse or bag as well as keeping additional touched surfaces to a minimum.

And don’t forget to wash your hands after you’ve unloaded your car.

It’s so nice to be able to get out and about and enjoy the beauty of Canada. Please stay safe and healthy and continue to be kind to one another as we navigate this next phase of the new normal.

If you want to know what Petro-Canada is doing to support guests and on-site teams at our locations, please check out our COVID-19 response. If you’re looking for more information about preventing the spread of COVID-19, check out Health Canada’s website – there is great information there about proper hygiene and cleaning.

~Rose R.


It’s Auto Show Season in Canada!

If you're a car enthusiast, this is the most wonderful time of the year – auto show season! The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas just wrapped. As always, there were some pretty amazing and futuristic vehicles there; Driving.ca gives their take on the best concept cars and future auto technology of CES.

But don’t worry if you didn’t make it down to Sin City, there are a lot of great vehicles and automobile technology on display at Canada’s auto shows!

Car Show

Happening right now is the Montreal Auto Show at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal from January 17 to 26, 2020. It features the Electric Zone where consumers can learn about the latest in charging technology and inspect twenty different electric vehicles as well as the Expose ton Char where ten cars that have been modded by young Quebecers are featured.

Next up on the auto show circuit is the Canadian International AutoShow at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from February 14-23, 2020. Features at the AutoShow include EV Test Drives, a celebration of Canadian military vehicles and a tribute to McLaren racing.

Early March takes us to Calgary for the Calgary International Auto and Truck Show being held March 11th to 15th at the BMO Centre in Stampede Park. Details are still forthcoming about exhibitors and programs.

And finally, in late March, the Vancouver International Auto Show  at the Vancouver Convention Centre West rounds out our cross-Canada auto show tour. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the auto show in British Columbia and as such the show will kick off with a procession through Vancouver showcasing cars from each decade of the show. The parade will end at the Convention Centre and officially open the auto show on March 25.

Are you planning on attending any of these auto shows? Or are there more local ones that you prefer? Let us know in the comments!

~Rose R.