Progress Continues on Canada’s Electric Highway

Since announcing the launch of Canada’s Electric HighwayTM in February, we’ve been making good progress on its construction. We’ve installed nine EV fast chargers at locations along the Trans-Canada Highway in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan with more than forty more planned for the remainder of 2019.

Canadian drivers’ needs are evolving. While you’ve always been able to drive from the Rockies to the Maritimes, now you’ll be able to do it in an electric vehicle.

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram accounts for further updates about EV fast charge locations!

~ Braden H.


Keeping Chill on Your Commute

A while ago, I had a job where I drove 30 minutes each way. Well, most days it was 30 minutes each way. Occasionally I would leave 10 minutes later than usual and those 10 minutes added another 20 minutes and a whole lot of stress to my commute. Leaving later meant there were more people on the road, worried about being late and trying to get to work on time. Inevitably, some of them drove like jerks.

When that happened, I had to work pretty hard to stay relaxed on my drive. Watching other drivers commit reckless moves only to get one car ahead increased my resolve to remain calm and, ideally, cheerful. Keeping chill on the commute (and getting to work in a good mood) usually required engaging my body, mind and emotions. Here are a few of the strategies I used:

Breathe. We wrote about this is a previous PumpTalk post - Breathe in through your nose, slowly, for five seconds. Hold your breath for three seconds. Breathe out through pursed lips, slowly and gently, for seven seconds. Repeat.

Roll or drop your shoulders. Something else I learned in yoga – when your shoulders are high or hunched, you feel more stressed. Try to drop your shoulders when you’re driving. And, if you feel safe and comfortable, give them a good backwards roll or two. Keeps things loose.

Hydrate. I was originally a caffeine junkie on my commute. But then one day, on the advice of a friend, I switched to water with a little lemon in it (she also recommended cucumber – like the spa). I found it so refreshing that I started saving my coffee fix for after I arrived at the office.

Learn a language instead of listening to an audio book. I have so many friends who love listening to audio books on their commutes. I find that listening to audio books make me sleepy. Instead, I’ll pop in a language disc, especially one that focuses on conversational skills. It keeps my mind engaged more than just listening to a book.

Focus on Gratitude. Cruising down the 401 isn’t really the best time for a hardcore meditation, but I do find that spending some time being grateful is doable and a pleasant way to pass time while driving. It makes those times when another driver doesn’t seem to appreciate the wisdom of the zipper merge less fraught; it’s harder to get angry when you’re listing the things you’re grateful for.

How do you stay chill on your commute? I’d love to hear your tips – leave a comment below!

~Rose R.


Keeping Communities Safe and Engaged Through Public Art

One of my favourite events in Vancouver happened a few weeks ago – the Vancouver Mural Festival. It’s an annual celebration of art, music and community featuring neighbourhood mural tours, live painting, live music and an all-around great time. The City of Vancouver has a strong tradition of supporting public murals; artists and building owners are encouraged to collaborate on projects that can bring a community together around urban neighbourhood beautification.

In addition to beautifying urban neighbourhoods, murals have been shown to reduce crime in areas where they are painted as well as increase community ownership towards crime prevention, particularly where the community has been involved in the creation of the mural.

Petro-Canada is piloting a mural project at one of our stations in downtown Toronto. We commissioned graffiti artist, Jessey Pacho (aka Phade), to design and paint the mural.

Before Jessey took to the wall he visited the Regent Park Community Centre where he met youth from the Jimmie Simpson and John Innes Community Centres. He spent the afternoon with local budding artists teaching them about responsible street art and giving them some style tips. And a few of the youth joined Jessey on site to help with the first day of mural painting.

Over the last week, Jessey completed this new piece of art. Doesn’t it look awesome?! Jessey shared his inspiration for the piece:

The mural design is a celebration of diversity. Born from the idea that there was one specific time, during the recent playoffs, that everyone in the city - regardless of nation, creed, political views or background - was united and connected.

We’re very proud of this collaboration between Jessey, the City of Toronto and our Petro-Canada team. Being an active participant in the communities in which we operate is important and projects like this mural embody our commitment to creating a safe and dependable space in the community.

- Rose R.


Compliance with Ontario’s Federal Carbon Tax Transparency Act

Earlier this year, the Ontario government enacted, as part of Bill 100, the Federal Carbon Tax Transparency Act – a regulation that requires gasoline retailers in Ontario to display, on each gas pump, a sticker that illustrates the provincial government’s position on the federal carbon tax.

Ontario Carbon Tax Sticker

The safety of our guests is our primary concern and we believe that communications at our fuel pumps should focus on that and the services we provide. This sticker is not consistent with that focus.

However, we respect that this has been passed into legislation so we will comply with the requirement to place them on our gas pumps in Ontario. More information about the Ontario government’s position on the carbon tax can be found at www.ontario.ca/carbontax.


Safety Tips for Back To School Season

More folks on the road, more kids on the sidewalk, pumpkin-flavoured drinks on the menu – must be back to school time! As the days get shorter and the traffic gets busier, here’s a refresher on sharing the road and staying safe this time of year.

School Bus

Put down your phone. This applies to both drivers AND pedestrians. That’s right, I’m looking at you, kid who walked right into my dog this morning because he was too distracted by his phone to watch where he was going. Distracted driving due to phone use has become a major problem; and distracted walking has its own set of perils. Put your phone away when you’re driving or walking.

Turn down the tunes. Here’s another tip for both drivers and pedestrians; if you’re listening to music, in your car or on your headphones, keep it at a reasonable level so you can still hear ambient sounds.

Allow extra driving time for your commute. Traffic is generally more congested when school is back in session - even if you don't live near a school, your drive times may be affected. Try to leave a half hour earlier than you usually would, at least for the first few weeks of the fall - then you'll be able to take your time and keep an eye out for darting children without worrying that you'll be late for work.

Respect the speed limits. Obviously, speed limits are lower in school zones, but be vigilant when driving in residential areas as well. While the weather is still good, more kids will be walking, skateboarding or riding their bikes to school. Children on the sidewalk can be difficult to see behind cars parked on the street, so be sure to scan the ground for little feet getting ready to cross the road.

Obey the school bus rules. When the upper red lights are flashing, drivers travelling in either direction must stop until all of the children have exited the bus. Also, if you're behind a school bus, be sure and leave lots of room - they often make sudden stops.

Take it easy on new drivers. In high school areas, newly licensed drivers who've been practising all summer may be experiencing back to school traffic for the first time. Be patient and set a good example for those more inexperienced drivers - after all, you were just like them once.

Back to school time is a good time to educate your kids on pedestrian safety. Check out this article from Parachute Canada for more tips on how best to teach your kids to stay safe on the streets.

Do you notice a change in traffic patterns when school is back in session? What kind of adjustments do you make to your commute? Let us know in the comments. Hope you all have a safe and happy back-to-school season!

- Rose R.