Government of Canada hosts National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft

The federal government convened provincial, territorial and municipal government officials, industry leaders and law enforcement representatives from across the country at the National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft held in Ottawa.

Discussions held at the Summit focused on finding solutions to the growing challenge of auto theft in Canada.

National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft. (Pic from X @DLeBlancNB)

Auto theft is impacting thousands of Canadian households every year, particularly in the urban centres. It increasingly involves organized crime groups, who are using the proceeds of those thefts to fund other illegal activities. The Summit advanced work to keep Canadians safe and prevent auto theft from happening, to recover vehicles that have been stolen, and to ensure the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice.

The Government of Canada is taking immediate actions to combat auto theft by:

  • Increasing the capacity of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) by investing $28 million to conduct more investigations and examinations of stolen vehicles, as well as enhance collaboration on investigations and intelligence sharing with partners across Canada and internationally. This includes exploring detection technology solutions, and exploring the use of advanced analytical tools, such as artificial intelligence.
  • Pursuing all avenues to ban devices used to steal vehicles by copying the wireless signals for remote keyless entry, such as the Flipper Zero, which would allow for the removal of those devices from the Canadian marketplace through collaboration with law enforcement agencies.

These actions build on the recent federal investment of $121 million to help prevent gun and gang violence in Ontario, including organized crime and auto theft, through the Initiative to take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence (ITAAGGV).

National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft. (Pic from X @ChiefNish)

Additionally, the Government of Canada is using the tools and authorities it has to further curb auto theft:

  • The federal government will establish a means of better information sharing between local police and railway police, including through the use of advanced data tools, to identify and find stolen cars before they get to ports.
  • Public Safety Canada, the CBSA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will work with partners across Canada and internationally to increase collaboration and information sharing.
  • Transport Canada will modernize the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to ensure they consider technological advancements to deter and prevent auto theft. The Department will also work with public safety partners to identify cargo handling vulnerabilities through targeted security assessments of port facilities. Based on the assessments, the Department will work with port facilities on corrective actions and to implement updated security plans.
  • The Department of Justice Canada will examine potential amendments to the Criminal Code to further strengthen the legal framework related to auto theft, including by reviewing existing offences and penalties.
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) will work with Canadian companies, including the automotive industry, to develop innovative solutions to protect vehicles against theft.

At the conclusion of the Summit, participants endorsed a Statement of Intent, committing to work together to combat auto theft, and to finalizing an action plan that will be released this winter.