The federal government recently announced that a national summit on combating auto theft will take place on Feb. 8, 2024, in Ottawa, Ont., bringing together leaders from key sectors to ensure a coordinated response to this ongoing issue.
“Collaboration is key to identifying solutions,” said Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs, in a statement. “By convening partners from across local, provincial and national jurisdictions, this summit will enable us to further coordinate our collective efforts to combat auto theft.”
In a news release, the Global Automakers of Canada thanked the government for its response. They said participating member companies have been working hard over the last two years with private and public entities to both gather and share information — and create a societal strategy to help reduce auto theft.
“Over that same period of time, we have witnessed an increased level of both car jackings and home invasions that have transitioned auto theft from being a property crime issue to a significant public safety issue,” said David Adams, President and CEO of GAC, in a statement.
A main goal of the summit will be to identify short, medium, and long-term actions that can be used to combat auto theft now, and will strengthen joint initiatives that are already in the works. For Adams, that will be the “litmus test” of the summit’s success: concrete actions that can be immediately implemented, and that sends a message to organized crime that Canada is serious about how it is approaching and managing the situation.
Auto theft rates have climbed by 50 per cent in Québec and 48.3 per cent in Ontario in 2022 compared to the prior year, according to the Équité Association’s 2022 Vehicle Theft Trend Report. The study also found that more than 80 per cent of Canadians are concerned about community safety as a result of the crisis.
“The national summit signifies a crucial step toward a coordinated and comprehensive response to this escalating issue,” said Terri O’Brien, President and CEO of Équité Association, in a statement of support.