News has reached us of the passing of John Norris, staunch industry advocate and executive director of Collision Industry Information Assistance, and foundational member of the Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard that oversees access to OE service information and tools for the aftermarket.
Norris, who was also among the creators of the Ontario College of Trades, was particularly focused on the collision repair industry and created the Collision Industry Information Assistance organization some decades ago to help facilitate access to information and services for the industry.
Norris had been attending the Skills Canada competitions in Halifax, N.S., and passed away while returning to his home in Hamilton, Ont.
Norris was a tireless advocate for the apprenticeship program and spoke regularly about the need to improve engagement with apprentices at the shop level to ensure that more apprentices completed their programs.
In 2017, he was recognized for his contributions with the Ontario College of Trades Chair’s Award of Excellence for his commitment to organizing Certificate of Qualification preparation courses and offering free of charge pre-apprenticeship orientations for those interested in becoming auto body and collision damage repairers.
He was insistent that the CASIS agreement provided the access the independent automotive aftermarket required, alongside the Vehicle Security Professional program that he was also instrumental in creating.
He most recently contributed the a brief on CASIS to Indie Garage.
He had an encyclopedic knowledge of the programs available to help businesses and of the nature and scope of the challenges that businesses and apprentices faced, but remained confident that the industry would continue to address these to a successful conclusion.
Outside of his automotive involvements, he was also a tireless environmental advocate. In 1988 he shared in the The Dr. Victor Cecilioni Award for the Environmentalist of the Year by for his work to preserve a green space at Olympic Park in Hamilton, Ont.