Bill S-9: Tackling Auto Theft and Property Crime Act

June 07, 2021
Ottawa Journal (June 07 – June 11, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P. (Dufferin-Caledon)

On May 04, 2010, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the introduction legislation in the Senate tackling property crime, including the serious crimes of auto theft and trafficking in property that is obtained by crime. Bill S-9, also known as the Tackling Auto Theft and Property Crime Act aims to amend the Criminal Code by giving law enforcement and the courts better tools to tackle auto theft and activities relating to the trafficking of all types of stolen or fraudulently obtained property.

Auto theft is estimated to cost Canadians more than $1 billion a year. It also often results in dangerous driving making our roads unsafe. Furthermore, organized crime groups rely on auto theft for their criminal enterprises. In many cases, these groups operate chop shops which disassemble parts of an automobile and illegally sell the parts to unsuspecting customers. Criminals also replace the Vehicle Identity Number (VIN) of a stolen vehicle with that of a legitimate vehicle, in an effort to alter the vehicle’s identity and then later sell the car illegally. 

The new proposed legislation would create a separate offence of “theft of a motor vehicle” with a mandatory sentence of six months. Under the proposed legislation, altering, destroying, or removing a VIN number would be an offence. The proposed legislation also includes two additional offenses: trafficking property obtained in crime and possessing such property for the purpose of trafficking. Overall, criminals would be subject to tougher sentencing and multiple offenses which would also increase their sentences and keep them out of organized crime.

Under this Bill, the Canada Border Services Agency would also be able to identify and prevent stolen property from leaving the country therefore, reducing the number of illegal vehicles being exported from Canada by organized crime. Another benefit of the proposed Act is safer roads for Canadians. The more speeding criminals there are in stolen vehicles, the more unsafe the roads become for motorists. This Act would limit the number of illegal vehicles and criminals on the road and keep Canadian citizens safer. 

Our Government has listened to demands for tackling the problem of property crime. Bill S-9 answers this call for action to protect Canadians, their property, and their communities from this serious type of crime and those who rely on it for their criminal enterprises.