The fate of the 2022 editions of the Toronto and Montreal auto show could be decided soon, according to a new report by the Automotive News. Both of those events are normally held early in the calendar year, recall. Here's the latest - subject to change, of course, depending on the future course of the pandemic:
Organizers of the Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) are seeking answers and clear direction from the Ontario government on the rules for Covid-19 for indoor and outdoor events before committing to the 2022 show.
“Hopefully in the next 30 days there will be greater clarity about the ability to host an event,” said Jason Campbell, executive director of CIAS. He added that the current restrictions are such that it is now difficult to think about hosting the event.
A decision on whether to hold the 2022 show, scheduled for February 11-20 at the Toronto Convention Centre, will be made by mid-November, Campbell said.
At the time of writing, Ontario's rules state that indoor and outdoor events must limit attendance to 50 percent of capacity, but that may soon change. Following the lead of Quebec with its system already in place, the Ontario government announced on September 1 that the first phase of a Covid-19 vaccination certificate system will come into effect on September 22. The system will require residents to show proof of vaccination and valid photo identification to attend certain events and participate in certain public life activities. An app is expected to be in place by October 22.
The introduction of a passport in Ontario could impact the decision made by CIAS organizers.
Government officials remain cautious, explaining that at the moment there’s no intention to increase capacity at events. Ontario's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Kieran Moore, said in late August that an event could be classified as “very low risk” if it is determined that everyone has been double vaccinated.
Montreal show organizers are also currently in nervous waiting mode. Denis Dessureault, executive vice-president of the Montreal International Auto Show, currently scheduled for January 21 to 30, 2022, said a decision on whether to hold the event will be made by the end of the month. He said as many as six manufacturers, a quarter of the total participants, could decide to skip the show.
Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda and Volkswagen have indicated they will not participate, said Dessureault.
“We are working on a show, but the manufacturers will have the final say. To use the language of the industry, everyone has their foot on the brake. They're all looking at each other. We have verbal confirmation, but nothing is signed. They all want to wait until the end of the month.”
The Toronto Auto Show normally averages about 350,000 visitors, while the Montreal Auto Show usually sees some 200,000 people come through the turnstiles each year.