The Canadian government has announced a new federal investment of CA$28 million (US$20.81 million at current exchange rates, 2/8/2024) to fight car theft and stolen vehicle export. The new funding will support the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) with new technology and facilitate information sharing with partners. The announcement was made by the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democatic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs.
“Auto theft is a complex problem, and tackling it requires all partners to do their part,” LeBlanc said ahead of the National Summit on Combating Auto Theft in Ottawa. “With this investment, our government is acting to prevent stolen cars from leaving the country and support the work of our border officers. I look forward to continuing the discussion with partners on further actions we can take as part of our joint efforts to combat auto theft at tomorrow’s Summit.”
The new funding will provide the CBSA with additional capacity to detect stolen vehicles, enabling the Agency to test available detection technologies and support the work of the border services officers that examine and intercept containers exported from Canada containing stolen vehicles, including an exploration of the use of advanced analytical tools such as AI. The funding will also enable the CBSA to coordinate with partners across Canada and internationally to identify and arrest perpetrators.
Car theft is a growing problem in Ontario, Quebec, and elsewhere in Canada, impacting thousands of Canadian households annually, in particular those in urban areas. It is also frequently tied to organized crime groups, with proceeds often redirected to fund other illegal activities.
The CBSA intercepts an increasing number of stolen vehicles every year, with a total of 1,806 stolen vehicles intercepted during the 2023 calendar year, up from 1,348 stolen vehicles intercepted during the 2022 calendar year and 1,345 stolen vehicles intercepted during the 2021 calendar year.