Boating Ontario Members Discuss Industry Issues

The Boating Ontario Dealer Association/Ontario Marine Operators Association (OMOA) held a meeting at the Port of Whitby Marina on April 15 where several current issues of interest to its members were discussed.

Nearly 40 people enjoyed presentations including an update on the impact that Ontario's new Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) will have on marine businesses; retail financing business offered through National Bank; information on tools available to dealers on the Discover Boating website; and an overall update on the status of financial services offered in Canada.

Rob Allright, Senior Principal for KPMG, Kingston, ON, discussed several of the consequential amendments affecting HST and what impacts lie in store for boat dealers, brokers, repair services and manufacturers. However, more questions were raised by those in attendance than there were answers for. According to OMOA Executive Director Al Donaldson, the association will seek answers in the form of an official letter stating the government's position on several areas of concern to its membership, especially on the rules affecting brokers and collection of taxes on private sales.

“We will push for a ruling regarding the sale of a used boat through broker and/or dealer,” says Jack Pady, Boating Ontario Dealer's Chairman. “Our board is working hard towards getting the answers to our members.”

Discover Boating Canada's Marketing Manager, Tracey Hart, used the opportunity to remind those present that the provisions available to Canadian boat dealers on the Discover Boating Website are still not being used to the fullest advantage. “This is a tool we're not really taking advantage of as best we can,” agreed Donaldson. Hart highlighted several of the tools that can be found at, including tips on writing press releases, sending out e-newsletters, using fact sheets and the use of video to enhance a dealership's website.