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Ottawa invests $28 million to stop car theft

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Representatives of the automobile industry will be present during the summit, indicated the federal Minister of Public Safety, Dominic LeBlanc. (Archive photo)

  • Philippe Granger (View profile)Philippe Granger

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The federal Minister of Public Safety, Dominic LeBlanc, announced on Wednesday financial support of 28 million dollars to limit auto theft in the country.

With this amount, the Government of Canada says it wants to develop new technological tools, including detection tools and advanced analytical tools, such as artificial intelligence . Ottawa also says it wants to strengthen the collaboration of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) with local police forces and with international agencies.

On Tuesday, the leader of the official conservative opposition appeared at the port of Montreal – a key location in many cases of auto theft – to promise, if elected, an increase in security in ports. In order to respond to Justin Trudeau's mismanagement of federal ports, Pierre Poilievre said he planned to buy two dozen X-ray machines and hire 75 people to operate them, mainly in Montreal, but also in Halifax, Vancouver and Prince Rupert.

Questioned if the announcement of the $28 million investment was provoked by Mr. Poilievre's statements the day before, Dominic LeBlanc affirmed on Wednesday that the fight against automobile theft did not start yesterday.

Mr. Poilievre does not have a monopoly on the idea that there are technologies that can help the Canada Border Services Agency. We have been talking about it with those in charge for months, he said.

This announcement comes the day before a “summit on auto theft” created by the government. The event, to be held in Ottawa, will bring together law enforcement leaders, provincial ministers, municipal officials and representatives from the automotive and insurance sectors. , said the minister at a press conference.

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Among those present at this summit will be the mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, the mayor of Laval, Stéphane Boyer, as well as the heads of the police services of Montreal, Laval and Gatineau, said Dominic LeBlanc. Quebec Minister of Public Security, François Bonnardel, will also be on site.

Last week, the Conservative leader made a mockery of the summit. Thank goodness: politicians, bureaucrats, and lobbyists will all get together and send you the bill for their hotel rooms. Don't worry: a summit is underway, Pierre Poilievre said.

At a press conference, Dominic LeBlanc and his colleagues present were keen to underline that the presence of representatives of the automobile industry and the upcoming discussions concerning the development of new technologies demonstrated the relevance of the summit.

Vehicle theft is a growing problem in Ontario, Quebec and across the country. Increasingly, organized crime is involved in these thefts, and the proceeds of these crimes are used to finance other illegal activities, recalls the Canada Border Services Agency in a press release.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Data provided by the Canada Border Services Agency illustrates an increase in the number of stolen vehicles intercepted over the years across the country. If it was 351 in 2016, it rose to 766 in 2019, then to 1806 in 2023.

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In recent weeks, the federal government has made numerous declarations concerning the phenomenon of automobile theft. In addition to creating a summit, last week he announced $121 million in aid to police in Ontario to combat gun violence, gangs and car thefts.

With information from Christian Noël

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