Insurance Bureau of Canada urges Parliament to finish its work on auto theft

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TORONTO, Sept. 10 2009 – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) today strongly urged parliamentarians to work together to ensure that Bill C-26, a sweeping piece of legislation targeting motor vehicle theft, is passed by the Senate as quickly as possible upon Parliament’s return on September 14.

“Canadians overwhelmingly support tougher laws against auto theft,” said Rick Dubin, Vice-President of Investigations for IBC. He continued, “So, too, did members of the House of Commons when they passed this bill unanimously in June. It would be a shame to see vital legislation like this die on the Order Paper with an election call.”

Pointing out that auto theft costs Canadians $1.2 billion a year, Dubin said that the public safety element of auto theft cannot be overlooked. “Every year, scores of Canadians are killed and injured by increasingly brazen auto thieves,” Dubin remarked. “Canadians who have had their lives turned upside down by auto theft deserve better than to have auto theft legislation die yet again because Parliament stopped working.”

Just this week, a large organized motorcycle theft ring was uncovered in Alberta. In Montreal, where theft for export is a huge problem, the recovery rate for stolen vehicles has plummeted to 31%. Police confirm that organized crime is primarily responsible for the burgeoning theft-for-export racket.

“Bill C-26 makes motor vehicle theft, tampering with a vehicle identification number (VIN) and trafficking in stolen property specific criminal offences, stiffens sentences, and gives Canada Border Services Agency the tools it needs to fight the export of stolen vehicles from our nation’s ports,” concluded Dubin. “We are asking parliamentarians to simply do their jobs, and not leave important work unfinished.”

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent nearly 95% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 110,000 Canadians, pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $38 billion.

To view news releases and information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca.