Auto Theft “Tackling Auto Theft and Property Crime Act”


Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada


OTTAWA, November 5, 2010 – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada was pleased today by the passing in Parliament of Bill S-9 the “Tackling Auto Theft and Property Crime Act“. Bill S-9 provides tough action on property crime, including the serious crimes of auto theft and trafficking in property that is obtained by crime. The legislation will receive Royal Assent in the coming days.

“Auto theft costs Canadians over $1 billion each year and helps make organized crime profitable,” said Minister Nicholson. “Our government has taken strong action to protect the property of Canadians, and ensure our communities are not endangered by the reckless driving which often results from auto theft.”

Trafficking in stolen property, along with drug trafficking and fraud, has been identified as a primary activity for organized crime. Auto theft affects many individual Canadians and businesses – whether through financial loss or as a result of reckless behaviour and high-speed chases.

Once this new law comes into force, law enforcement and the courts will have better tools to tackle auto theft and the entire range of activities involved in the trafficking of all types of stolen or fraudulently obtained property. The new legislation includes provisions that:

  • create a separate offence of “theft of a motor vehicle”, which carries a mandatory prison sentence of 6 months for conviction of a third or subsequent offence when the prosecutor proceeds by indictment;
  • establish a new offence for altering, destroying or removing a vehicle identification number (VIN);
  • make it an offence to traffic in property obtained by crime; and,
  • make it an offence to possess such property for the purpose of trafficking.

In addition, the Tackling Auto Theft and Property Crime Act will allow the Canada Border Services Agency to detain suspected stolen property before it is exported from the country, which will reduce the exportation of stolen vehicles from Canada by organized crime.

“The best way to combat gangs and organized crime is to tackle the illicit activities which make these groups profitable,” said Minister Nicholson. “This legislation does just that and will play an important part in our ongoing commitment to the safety and security of communities across Canada.”

The Tackling Auto Theft and Property Crime Act will come into force at a time to be determined, in order to allow the provinces and territories time to prepare for the changes.

For an online version of the legislation, visit

Backgrounder: Bill S-9 tackling auto theft and property crime act.

Table 1 – Sentences For Theft in General and for Motor Vehicle Theft in Particular
Method of ProsecutionExisting Offences and Sentences in the Criminal CodeOffences and Sentences in Bill S-9
TheftMotor Vehicle Theft
Indictable offenceValue of property – over $5,000:
maximum 10 years
Regardless of value:
maximum 10 years

Regardless of value:
minimum 6 months
(if third or subsequent offence)

Value of property – $5,000 or less:
maximum 2 years
Summary conviction offenceValue of property – $5,000 or less:
maximum 6 months and/or $5,000 fine
Regardless of value:
maximum 18 months
Table 2 – Maximum Sentences for Possession, Trafficking and Possession for the Purposes of Trafficking in Property Obtained by Crime
Value of the PropertyMethod of ProsecutionExisting Offences and Sentences in the Criminal CodeOffences and Sentences in Bill S-9
Possession of Property Obtained by CrimeTrafficking in Property Obtained by CrimePossession of Property Obtained by Crime for the Purpose of Trafficking
> $5,000Indictment10 years14 years
≤ $5,000Indictment2 years5 years
Summary conviction6 months and/or $5,000 fine6 months and/or $5,000 fine

Bill S-9 Home Page

Status of the Bill

Bill S-9An Act to amend the Criminal Code (auto theft and trafficking in property obtained by crime)XML
House of Commons Senate
1st ReadingJune 10, 20101st ReadingMay 4, 2010
Debate(s) at 2nd ReadingOctober 5, 2010;
October 6, 2010;
October 25, 2010
Debate(s) at 2nd ReadingMay 6, 2010;
May 26, 2010
2nd ReadingOctober 25, 20102nd ReadingMay 26, 2010
Committee Justice and Human Rights Committee Legal and Constitutional Affairs
Committee Meeting(s)October 26, 2010 (31)Committee Meeting(s)May 26, 2010;
May 27, 2010;
June 2, 2010;
June 3, 2010
Committee ReportOctober 27, 2010Committee ReportJune 3, 2010
Report Presentation and Debate(s)October 27, 2010Report Presentation and Debate(s)June 3, 2010;
November 5, 2010
Report StageNovember 5, 2010Report Stage
Debate(s) at 3rd Reading Debate(s) at 3rd ReadingJune 8, 2010;
November 5, 2010
3rd ReadingNovember 5, 20103rd ReadingJune 8, 2010
Royal Assent: Thursday, November 18, 2010
Statutes of Canada:

In Force:13. The provisions of this Act, other than section 12, come into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

Coming into force information updated to November 5, 2010

Days Debated:

  • Senate – 5
  • House of Commons – 4
It's only fair to share...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Pin on Pinterestshare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail to someone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.