Ontario car thieves will get at least 10-year suspension under new rules, says Brampton MPP

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Published May 14, 2024 at 10:49 am

Ontario car thieves will get at least 10-year suspension

Stealing a car in Ontario could come with a 10-year driver’s licence suspension under new penalties being introduced by the province.

Transportation Minister and Brampton South MPP Prabmeet Sarkaria says the province is bringing in tougher penalties for auto theft that would lead to a lifetime driver’s licence suspension for repeat offenders.

The proposed legislation would mean anyone convicted of motor vehicle theft under the Criminal Code would face a 10-year licence suspension for a first offence jumping up to 15 years for a second offence and a lifetime ban for a third offence.

Ottawa says the licence suspensions would apply to convictions “where the court found that aggravating factors were involved” like violence, weapons, force, threats, “or pursuit of financial gain.”

Sarkaria says a car is stolen every 14 minutes in the province as police are dealing with an increase in stolen vehicles in Mississauga, Brampton, Toronto and across the GTA. More than 5,800 vehicles were reported stolen in Peel in 2022 with another 4,482 thefts in Mississauga and 3,178 in Brampton last year for a total of 7,660.

More than $1 billion in auto theft insurance claims were made in Ontario last year.

Ontario Solicitor General Michael Kerzner said the proposed changes signal to car thieves that “there will be severe consequences.”

Politicians at every level of government have been calling for Ottawa to take more action against car thieves and better protect property owners – Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown wants to see more resources and scanners at the Port of Montreal to stop stolen autos from leaving the country, while Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre wants to add a new charge in the criminal code and a three-year minimum sentence for “repeat car thieves.”

Stunt driving penalties would also be toughened with a minimum mandatory licence suspension – one year for a first conviction, three years for a second conviction and a lifetime suspension for a third.

The province says over 12,000 immediate roadside licence suspensions were issued for street racing or stunt driving last year.

– With files from The Canadian Press

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