Ottawa announces additional $15M to combat vehicle theft

By Stéphane Blais, The Canadian Press

The federal government has announced an additional $15 million to fight vehicle theft.

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc made the announcement in Montreal on Wednesday.

He was accompanied by Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, RCMP Commissioner Mike Duheme and Montreal police (SPCM) chief Fady Dagher.

Minister LeBlanc indicated that $9 million of this amount will be allocated to provincial, territorial and municipal police services.

A further $3.5 million will be devoted to “information sharing with Interpol” to improve investigations into stolen vehicles abroad.

On Feb. 7, the federal government announced an additional $28 million to fight the export of stolen vehicles from Canada.

Nearly $6 million will be devoted to improving intelligence at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), $3.5 million to increase container inspection capabilities, especially on trains, $5.9 million for inspections at ports such as Montreal, and $4 million for new technologies.

The federal government claims that around 90,000 cars are stolen each year in Canada, costing Canadian policyholders and taxpayers around $1 billion.

In Quebec, there were “three times as many” vehicle theft files opened last year as in 2019, according to Sûreté du Québec Director General Johanne Beausoleil earlier this month.

She had explained that the Port of Montreal is “the preferred transit point” for the export of stolen vehicles in Ontario and Quebec, and that the majority of stolen vehicles are shipped to Africa and the Middle East.

A dozen arrests in Montreal

On Wednesday, the SPVM arrested a dozen individuals suspected of belonging to a vehicle theft ring.

Mayor Plante indicated on Wednesday afternoon that 55 vehicles were recovered during this police operation.

–This report by La Presse Canadienne was translated by CityNews

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