Canada’s fastest growing export under this Liberal government? Stolen vehicles.

Across this country, people now wake up and look out their window not to check the weather, but to check if their car is still there.  Vehicle thefts in many parts of Canada – particularly here in the GTHA – have become so common CAA now recommends that if you own two vehicles, “park the less expensive one closer to the road.”  This is not normal.  Rather, this is what the Trudeau Liberals’ catch-and-release bail system and total mismanagement of Canada’s federal ports – as I have seen and heard first-hand on the Transport Committee – have brought us.

These aren’t just roving gangs of teenagers going for joyrides.  The theft of vehicles has become industrial-level organized crime, with over 100,000 vehicles stolen in Canada in 2022 alone.  This is not just a minor inconvenience that will be covered by insurance; it’s a sophisticated effort by criminal minds to make billions of dollars off the theft of your vehicles – billions that go to fund things like organized crime, gun smuggling, human trafficking, and even terrorism overseas.  And speaking of insurance, this is having a direct impact on the cost to you. 

The insurance payouts of $1.6 billion in 2023 translate into higher premiums for law-abiding Canadians, adding to the already challenging cost of living.  It is estimated that auto thefts are costing every driver in Ontario at least $130 more per year.  Some estimates, including other associated costs, put it at an extra $500 per year. 

One reason for this surge is that crime rings are targeting Canada specifically because of weak penalties for car theft.  Liberal Bills C-75 and C-5 introduced catch-and-release bail and house arrest for car thieves.  But again, these aren’t minors and first-time offenders we’re dealing with, and this has opened the floodgates for career criminals because if you’re caught, even after multiple offenses, you’ll be back on the streets sometimes in a matter of hours.  The Liberals know this and yet still haven’t fixed their flawed policy.  But it doesn’t end there. 

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) plays a crucial role in preventing the export of stolen vehicles.  But the mismanagement from multiple Liberal Transport Ministers I have witnessed as Associate Shadow Minister for Transport has left understaffed and poorly-equipped Border Agents unable to effectively inspect the thousands of containers leaving the country daily.  Criminals exploit this by labeling containers as innocuous products, such as washing machines, to evade detection.  Technology exists to scan containers without opening them and speed up the process, but the Liberals have not made investing in border security a priority.

We need decisive action – reinstating jail, not bail, for repeat offenders, implementing mandatory minimum jail sentences for car theft, and enhancing the presence and technological tools of our border police.  Canada’s Conservatives will make these changes and bring home safer streets.

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