ontario news watch

Feds seek ideas at national summit to help put brakes on auto theft

OTTAWA — Officials from various levels of government are set to gather with police and industry leaders in Ottawa today to brainstorm on fighting the scourge of automobile theft.

The federal government says an estimated 90,000 cars are stolen annually in Canada, resulting in about $1 billion in costs to Canadian insurance policy-holders and taxpayers. 

It says auto theft increasingly involves organized crime groups, and the proceeds of these crimes are used to fund other illegal activities.

Ottawa says most stolen autos shipped abroad are destined for Africa and the Middle East.

On Wednesday, the government earmarked $28 million in new money to help tackle the export of stolen vehicles. 

The announcement followed persistent pressure from the federal Conservatives, who have been pitching ideas this week to deal with the problem.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2024.

The Canadian Press