Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act

An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Motor Vehicle Safety Act for the purpose of strengthening the enforcement and compliance regime to further protect the safety of Canadians and to provide additional flexibility to support advanced safety technologies and other vehicle innovations. It provides the Minister of Transport with the authority to order companies to correct a defect or non-compliance and establishes a tiered penalty structure for offences committed under the Act. The enactment also makes a consequential amendment to the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

Jan. 31, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill S-2, An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 3:30 p.m.
See context

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to the bill. I commend my colleague, the member for Trois-Rivières, who has not only done an excellent job on the bill, but has also been very constructive in his approach to it.

Bill S-2 is an act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and make consequential amendments to another act. However, most important is that it is about providing auto recall for Canadians.

The problem we are faced with is the fact that the bill is so underwhelmingly negligent in fixing the problem. It is nothing short of breathtaking, given the tragedies that have taken place and the historic recalls in auto manufacturing. Right now, the Takata airbag scandal has affected many motor vehicles, and Canada has had to beg for inclusion. We have no rights whatsoever with regard to consumer safety protection and the bill is such a weak response to this. I am rather shocked about that.

The member for Trois-Rivières proposed 15 amendments at committee and none of those amendments were accepted by the Liberals, which is shocking. The previous Conservative government tabled a bill for auto manufacturing recall prior to the last election. I believe it was Bill C-62. The Conservatives only had two amendments to this legislation. Therefore, this is a tweaking of Conservative legislation. It is not surprising that there were only a couple of amendments from the Conservatives.

However, during the election campaign, consumers told me that they wanted more consumer safety and environmental protections. This bill is a slap in the face. It also becomes a wider problem, given Volkswagen has an offence against it for auto manipulation and recall. This is not only being criminally investigated in the United States but in other places in the world. There is also the Takata airbag scandal. These are prime examples of current standards, which Canada does not get and will not get with this legislation. This is ironic. The legislation will marginally improve the situation of auto recall.

The first and foremost thing to recognize is that this is a significant consumer and environmental protection issue and all of us should be concerned about this and Canada's competitiveness.

This is even more important because of our diminished capacity under the new auto revolution taking place for manufacturing. We are becoming more dependent than ever on foreigners to produce vehicles necessary for a modern economy and for transportation use. This affects the air we breathe, our safety, and the way we are able to compete in the world. Because of successive Conservative and Liberal governments and their inaction on the auto file and trade practices, Canada has gone from number two in the world for auto assembly to 10. That means we are increasingly dependent upon foreign vehicles coming into our country. That should point us in a direction of having more accountability because the corporate board rooms in Beijing, New York, in Washington, and other places in Europe are almost exclusively making decisions that affect us and our families when it comes to safety, consumer selection, and environmental degradation related to the use of automobiles and other manufactured vehicles.

It is astounding that we would not want to be at the forefront of that. One only needs to look at the issues related to software and the manipulation of it, the difficulty of defining what the problems are, and the consequences of that. This should be motivation enough for us to be more proactive on this issue.

As noted by the member for Trois-Rivières, the legislation would give the power to the minister to recall, but it allows the backroom corridors and the dark halls to make the decisions, which will never even come to Parliament. It becomes an exclusive decision by the Minister of Transport and he can do side deals in private about which we will never know. That is something to think about.

I was very active on public safety issues with respect to the Toyota Prius and Volkswagen files in particular.

Regarding the Prius, it was the denial by Toyota. It said that software was causing a braking problem with its vehicles. This was causing accidents, costing people their lives, and a series of different things. It received such heightened activity in the United States. Its safety was considerably more advanced than in Canada. Sadly, this bill will not really improve that situation in Canada. In fact, it is so modest that we will not even see the same reciprocity that U.S. consumers and public safety advocates received in regard to this.

The CEOs of Toyota went to Washington, and in front of Congress and the Senate, they apologized. They never did the same in Canada. They knowingly and wilfully misled the people, those who bought their products and drove them on our city streets, going to soccer games, to schools, and to work. The United States took it far more seriously. What did it get out of it? It has more research and development as a result of the decision with Toyota. Its consumers received better treatment than those in Canada. There also was a higher degree of accountability and conviction than there was here. This will be a problem of accountability for Canada as the current law stands.

If we look at the Takata airbag issue, we cannot recall them as things currently stand. If we do under this bill, the minister can cut a backroom deal with the company and there will be no consequences. We will not know. It will never be published. It will never be tabled, as the member for Trois-Rivières wanted to do, once annually in the Parliament of Canada.

Why would the Liberals oppose that? Why would they oppose the mere fact that taxpayers expect the Minister of Transport to protect them and their families, their safety, and ensure there is accountability for the products they buy, especially given the amount money these products cost. Why would they not want to table annual reports in Parliament, at least identify the problems, show how the minister dealt with them, and show how he or she worked on behalf of Canadians, for safety, consumer protection, and accountability of the many foreign companies?

I will add this caveat to it. My father, who recently passed away, was a CEO at Chrysler for many years. We witnessed first-hand the erosion of the Canadian corporate boardroom as more and more decision-makers were moved from Canada to the United States. We used to have a Canadian president of Chrysler. One of the biggest champions was Yves Landry. We had successive ones after him. Eventually, we became a surrogate training ground for American CEO company presidents. A successive wave of them came here.

Things have changed in the auto industry for a series of different reasons. However, we now have a slanting of foreign decisions that will take place, which can influence and affect Canadian consumers. If members are interested, they can look at Volkswagen. There was a corporate, accountable, organized crime attempt to mislead not only the public but also transportation agencies in their investigations of its vehicles, which had emission devices that were designed to create different results so it could claim “clean diesel”. There are many documentaries and court cases with respect to this.

However, an entire manipulative corporate-run culture, which is not short of organized crime, misled consumers, government departments and agencies about the products it was putting on the streets, which were affecting our air quality. That is a reality. It is happening right now, and continues to happen.

The scenario being presented to Parliament right now is that the Minister of Transport could do a one-off agreement with companies, if he or she wanted to, and we would never know why. We would never know the decisions. We would never know how far it went back. That is unacceptable. The Minister of Transport should be the person to shield Canadians from the organized attempts of an industry that has a history of some of these practices. There are many out there that do not have that culture or prescribe to those things. However, when we go through recall lists of companies that have been involved in the auto industry over the generations, this is an unfortunate part of what has taken place.

When we have five tonnes of steel and glass that needs to be safe all the time, we need to ensure there is accountability for people. For heaven's sake, we would at least think from a consumer protection and disposable income perspective, there would be a genuine interest to ensure vehicles are safe, people will get what they have paid for, and it will define the terms and conditions agreed upon. This is being paid for over several years. It is not a decision that is made in the moment where people just pay for it, then have buyers' remorse later on. These are income purchases for a vehicles, which people put their babies in, take their loved ones to work, or to play, or use for business. It is one of the most expensive things a person will ever purchase where instantaneously its market value will erode significantly. People say they are investing in cars, but they are not. It is a cost, but they will never get their value out of it, unless they are luxury vehicles they hold on to for generations to come. As soon as they drive that vehicles off the lot, the value goes down.

My point is that there is an onus on the government to ensure the sustainability of that investment in that product. I am proud of the New Democratic caucus, which has supported me for numerous years to get the right to repair passed. I have fought for this. This shows one of the reasons we need more transparency. The right to repair was finally passed as a voluntary agreement, and it was supported in the House of Commons. It is like getting a field goal instead of a touchdown when we get a voluntary agreement. At least it has some elements to it, and that is what the industry wanted.

However, what happened was that automotive companies were treating Canada differently, especially compared to the United States, when it came to vehicle repairs. Not only did it affect the safety of the vehicle, but also its environmental emissions and our choice as a consumer. In Windsor, I could get my vehicle fixed in Detroit, Michigan by driving two kilometres and crossing over, but I could not get it fixed in Windsor even though it was an electronic program that literally cost cents to transmit to the business in Windsor. It was prevented from coming into Canada. This is because in the United States its environmental protection act requires companies to provide on a program, or piece of equipment, or tool or training that to the after market.

For example, Canadian Tire, small garages, medium-sized mom-and-pop shops, all of those different places were denied even the access to purchase the proper training, equipment, and software. It is becoming an issue again. They have blocked that out.

What does that mean? It means that vehicles in Canada were on the road longer, without their safety being approved or improved, in terms of maintenance. Their emissions were higher, and their performance was lower. The complications for fixing those things were heightened. Consumers had to pay more to take it to a dealership.

It is not like there is not an organized element related to dealing with an industry which at times has been stubborn. Many of those organizations and companies finally came to the table. I congratulate them. We had General Motors at that time. We had Ford, and eventually, Chrysler. However, it took a long time. It took two years out of my life just to get that moving in Canada.

Now we have some more problems. That is a story for another time, but it is very much germane to this. I believe when people make a purchase of this magnitude and it has such an influence on them as individuals and for their families, and for the safety of Canadians, the best thing the Minister of Transport could do is be transparent for all of Canada.

We look at some of the specifics of this bill and we have to wonder why. What has the minister done? He has limited some of the amendments that we had on recall and cost. In the bill the maximum and minimum for fines and penalties are very much non-existent in many respects. They are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is unbelievable, given the cost of it, and having to repair it, and given the consequences of having improperly fixed vehicles, and the process and inconvenience of actually getting that done, that we actually fine at such a low amount.

Monetary penalties are capped at $4,000 for a person and $200,000 for a company. That is unbelievable. I would like to say it is like a slap on the hand, but it would not even be noticed. It would not be felt. We are talking about multi-billion dollar companies.

Again, there is a message being sent there. The message is that Canada is not serious about this. That is what we are telling them. The biggest issue related to that is the basic fact that an amendment was put forward on that by the member for Trois-Rivières. It was not only in line with the expectations of what consumers would want, but it was in line with what U.S. consumers get with regard to fines and penalties.

We talk about reciprocity in trade, elements related to that, and consumer goods going back and forth between Canada and the United States. I live near the border, and I can say that if we are going to be involved in a market system like this, the very least we should expect is what our neighbour gets. We always have to step up to American standards on many different products and services in the auto sector. It is excellent that we do so, because we have an integrated industry. The vehicles go back and forth across the border. However, at the very least we should expect that consumers would receive the same reciprocity. The sticker price is pretty well the same, if we are not paying a little more. However, we should be able to expect the same elements, the same bumper, the same terms and conditions for insurance, the same support for customers. That would be the reasonable approach if we are actually paying for it.

The minister has done none of that with regard to this bill. The minister has even put in the bill a limitation of two years for what he can do. He has unnecessarily handcuffed himself. We saw that with Volkswagen which became a decade of deceit with clean diesel. It is out there. It has been happening, and not only just for a short period of time but for a long period of time.

New Democrats are very concerned with the situation. It is not even a band-aid.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
See context

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat disappointed in the sense that we have before us today consumer-friendly legislation that would ultimately benefit car owners in every region of our country. This is a step forward, although one would never know it from listening to the member across the way.

Yes, there is always room for improvement. Amendments were brought forward at the committee stage and the member is right that no NDP amendments were accepted this time. On other pieces of legislation, there have been. Unlike the former government, if there are ways we can improve legislation, this government has demonstrated its willingness to accept amendments. Because the government did not accept the NDP amendments does not make the legislation bad. This is good legislation, and I am anticipating that all parties will support it, or at least I hope that is the case.

Would the member not, at the very least, recognize that the legislation we are debating today is a step forward? Maybe it is not as big a step as the member across the way would have liked, but at least we are moving forward on a very important issue for Canadians that deals with automobiles, which would make our roads safer, and would protect consumers that much more at the same time.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this bill originated in the Senate, the unelected chamber. The member, his government, and the cabinet should want to take this seriously and do what the people of Canada democratically elected us to do. They expect consumers to be protected and that public safety is number one. When transparency and accountability are on the floor of the House of Commons at least annually, then we will have a serious discussion.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member's comments are valuable. He is the dean of the NDP caucus and has a lot of institutional knowledge. For example, in his speech, he referenced some incidents that occurred when I was not in the House.

To that end, the big question is whether we can do better. I think Canadians expected better. This was, as I understand it, a piece of legislation which the Conservatives, almost in their dying days, brought to the floor. The government is now moving it forward from the Senate to this House.

The NDP put forward 15 amendments and the Conservatives, from what I understand, put forward a number of amendments, too. None of them were adopted. Is there one in particular that is good for consumers and good for public safety that the government should have moved forward on in a bipartisan way to make this legislation better? That is the question before us. How can we make it better for Canadians?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, quite frankly, I am frustrated with the government's legislation. The reason it went through the Senate, I suppose, is that it is Conservative legislation. They did not want to overtly wear it, but want to be seen as having done something. They got somebody in the Senate to move it and it went through there as the primary source. That is why it is Bill S-2. A new sticker has been slapped on it.

There were two amendments by the Conservatives and several by the NDP, but of the 15 amendments, the most glaring one was from the member for Trois-Rivières. He did this in a very constructive manner. Everybody on the Hill knows that he is a very constructive individual, not only in the NDP caucus, but on the Hill in general. One amendment was for an annual report to Parliament from the minister, so at least we would know a little more about the deals the minister is making behind closed doors. It is not even a compelling story for all of the things that we should know about, but at least we would know.

The interesting thing about this, which is my frustration, quite frankly, is that it has taken so long for us to even get out a recall. This bill would give us auto recall after all of these years, but once it has passed through both chambers, when will we see another amendment? It will probably not be until after all the renovations to this place are finished, after we come back to this chamber from West Block, and it is finally reopened to the public, and 20 years after that. That is when we are most likely going to see another change.

Meanwhile, not only is the auto age right now curious, in terms of its research, development, and change, but it is a revolution. It is significant. It is like the platinum age of auto development right now. It is not only the very unusual types of materials being used but it is also the technology. All of those things are in this global industry, which will be pumping in different brands, different vehicles, and different changes to our city streets and the way we move around in society.

One thing in the bill is that if a recall that has caused death, injury, collision, or damage, the minister, under a clause for new technologies, can give a waiver and carte blanche. That is astounding in this new age. We will have experimentation on our streets, experimentation with tonnes of steel and glass. It does not sound reasonable.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 3:55 p.m.
See context

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Windsor West for his tour de force explanation on an issue that most of us have some idea of, but unless we are faced with it directly, do not fully understand. I appreciate very much the explanation behind what is really at play here.

I would ask my colleague to expand a bit on the issue of safety recalls. Again, those of us who are not experts in the field like him do still see that whenever there is a safety issue, an auto recall, the Americans seem to move very fast. Before we know it, those corporate heads are brought in front of committees publicly and are demanded to account for themselves. Here in Canada, we either get a very light echo of that or nothing at all. I would ask the member to expand a little on the difference between how quickly the Americans move when their citizens are at risk versus what happens here in Canada.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 3:55 p.m.
See context

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his advocacy for steel, because that is part of what we have seen in the struggling elements of our manufacturing society. Canadian steel was the backbone of the auto industry not only in Canada but also in North America. Interestingly enough, the Auto Pact that was signed in 1964 by Canada and the Untied States was primarily in response to developing a mature, sophisticated auto industry for both of our nations, which led us to be basically a very solid manufacturing area, including the Hamilton area.

With regard to the recall issue, what we are going to see now, and what we have seen in the past, is that we are very much on the defensive because of cuts. The member for Trois-Rivières actually had in his amendments the redoubling of some of the efforts, supports, and availability of government investigative resources for auto recall.

In the U.S., there is a much more robust system for that. In fact, there is congressional and Senate oversight. Here, there is a complete void. There is a system in place in the United States that is structural, and the EPA is much more solid. Over here, we are basically docile, and we wait to see what pops up on its website and decide later on if it is an issue over here in Canada.

Let us look at Volkswagen. There was stunned silence from the government here while criminal and other investigations took place there. Consumers are protected and the streets are looked at, and we basically get the leftovers. This is the philosophy that has taken place here with regard to the current bill.

Again, it is quite remarkable, after being in the auto sector for so many years and seeing the displacement and the changes happen, that we are outside of it. Canada does not have a say, for example, on electric modification or a battery strategy for all the new technology that is taking place. We are being left out of that. Think about the fact that we are going to become more dependent upon research and development that is done outside of this country. Until we get a national auto strategy and rebuild ourselves to being robustly involved more than ever before, we will be dependent upon others for consumer protection, the safety of our streets, the safety of the products we purchase. There is value and resources that we put into that product.

Most importantly, we will have taken a pass for any type of discussion about the minister's decisions and how they affect Canadian consumers and public safety by allowing ministerial decisions in basically a black ops behind-the-scenes type of approach.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 4 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak to Bill S-2, an act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This government pursues the continual improvement of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act as part of its commitment to the safety of the Canadian public.

The Motor Vehicle Safety Act and the regime itself include requirements that are to be followed. These can be detailed technical requirements, such as the regulatory standards for lighting systems. They can also be process requirements, such as how and when to notify the government of a newly discovered defect or the documentation standards around the importation of a vehicle. The legislation also includes tools for the enforcement of these requirements.

This government considers safety to be of paramount importance, and this bill would help improve and ensure vehicle safety for Canadians by providing a new, less onerous process for addressing contraventions and promoting compliance with the act and its attendant regulations and standards.

Since the Motor Vehicle Safety Act came into effect in 1971, the only option available to Transport Canada to address contraventions of the act or its regulations was to pursue criminal charges. While the use of criminal charges is more appropriate for more serious contraventions, it can be too strong a response for many lesser offences. This situation has meant that many minor contraventions are difficult to enforce because the process was too severe for the offence. Using this mechanism for minor offences would redirect valuable court time for other key issues.

Accordingly, one of the proposed changes to the legislation is the introduction of an administrative monetary penalty regime as a tool to help elicit compliance from companies. This is an efficient, effective mechanism and a less costly alternative to criminal prosecution. Administrative monetary penalties, or AMPs, are similar to traffic tickets for car drivers. When a company or individual does not comply with the legislation or regulation, the department can impose a pre-established administrative monetary penalty or fine to help encourage compliance in the future.

Administrative monetary penalties are used in other Transport Canada acts as part of their safety and compliance regimes. Examples in other safety regimes include the Marine Transportation Security Act, the Aeronautics Act, and the Railway Safety Act. In addition, administrative monetary penalties are used in other federal acts, such as the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act.

The inclusion of administrative monetary penalties in the Motor Vehicle Safety Act would not only be consistent with other federal transportation safety frameworks, it would also result in greater alignment with the United States motor vehicle safety enforcement regime. The United States uses a system of civil penalties to encourage motor vehicle safety compliance.

The administrative monetary penalties regime proposed for the Motor Vehicle Safety Act includes maximum fine levels for violations. For individuals, the fine level would be $4,000, and for companies, the fine level would be $200,000. A violation that is committed or continues on more than one day is deemed to be a separate violation for each day it is committed or continued. In addition, a violation would apply separately for each implicated vehicle. Accordingly, depending on the scope and nature of the violation, companies could face significant cumulative fines if they are not in compliance with the safety regime.

The fine levels proposed in the bill represent maximum values. The level of penalty for each specific violation would be established using the Government of Canada regulatory process and the penalties for each violation would not exceed these levels. As the level of the penalties can accumulate, the proposed changes to the legislation include the ability to set a cap or overall maximum level for an accumulated penalty in regulations. It is interesting to note that in 2015 the United States raised the level of its cap from $35 million to $105 million.

Defining the specific penalty levels and caps in regulation provides the flexibility to modify the program as appropriate in an open, transparent, and agile manner.

With respect to the administrative monetary penalty process, Transport Canada enforcement officers would make decisions based on the nature of the infraction as to when the issuance of an administrative monetary penalty is warranted, and would notify the company or individual.

Companies and individuals will have the ability to appeal an administrative monetary penalty. The Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada will be the body responsible for reviewing the case. The bill also includes necessary changes to the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada to provide it with the jurisdiction to take on this role. If the company or individual disagrees with a penalty within 30 days of being served a notice of violation, a person may file a request for a review with the tribunal. The review process will determine whether or not a violation has occurred. If it is determined that a violation has occurred, the tribunal will also have the authority to determine the amount of the penalty.

The first level of appeal will be before a single Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada adjudicator. Both the department and the offender will have the ability to present either written evidence or present a case in person. Following a decision from the first review process, there will be an option for an additional appeal process to which either the offender or the minister can apply. In this process, three different TATC adjudicators will hear evidence to assess the appeal and they will render a final judgment. As always, a final appeal may be made to the Federal Court as an option for the accused.

These review and appeal processes will ensure that when administrative monetary penalties are used to elicit compliance, the process is fair and public.

The addition of the administrative monetary penalty regime will allow for a tiered process of enforcement, ranging from a penalty process through to criminal charges. This tiered process has been designed to be an efficient, effective, and fair process to address issues of non-compliance with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This process will reduce the burden on all involved parties in terms of dealing with non-criminal non-compliance.

What has been introduced today is very substantial. It is a powerful suite of necessary changes to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act that will increase the tools, enforcement measures, and industry requirements that will help ensure the safety of Canadians.

These changes are not intended to be punitive to the industry but rather to help protect Canadians. For companies that continue to be good corporate citizens, that have the safety of their consumers and Canadians as part of their core interests, little will change. If companies falter in their responsibilities for their products, the tools will be available for the Minister of Transport to help ensure their accountability and to help protect Canadians.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 4:05 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. friend for his work on committee and in getting the bill to third reading.

We heard through his speech that the bill would provide a flexible regime and is a great bill for consumer protection. Could my colleague tell the House the type of expert evidence that he heard at committee, which showed how this bill would bring our regulations up to meet with those in other countries and would improve the health and safety of Canadians?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 4:05 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague mentioned, I do sit on the committee. We had a well-versed set of witnesses that came to committee, whether they represented the industry or represented consumers. A vast number of people came that had an interest in the legislation. I am quite confident that we heard a very holistic view and we were able to move forward.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that we are debating the issue of motor vehicle safety. I would like to think that we will be able to expand it given the horrific number of highway deaths that we are experiencing, particularly in the Ontario region. We need to look at addressing at a national level issues of infrastructure, driving, and overall safety, which brings us back to the issue of vehicles.

There are many things in the bill that are commendable. However, time and time again Canada waits before taking action until there is major legal action on recalls led out of the United States. We have never stood up for consumers or for vehicle safety until an issue comes up in the United States. I want to know how that operating culture within Parliament is going to change with this if we are not willing to make the follow-through as we see time and time again?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to backtrack a bit and discuss how we actually ended up in the situation we are in now. First, the legislation was introduced as Bill C-62. Then there was an election. Following that, the Auditor General's report was given to the committee in December of 2016. Subsequently, we have Bill S-2, which takes into account the safety of Canadians. In particular, it gives the minister the flexibility to actually initiate a recall. It is this flexibility that will help make sure we do not fall behind other jurisdictions or counterparts, whether in Europe or the United States.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Anthony Housefather Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, the member for Mississauga—Streetsville, for his very educational speech about Bill S-2. I am also very pleased that we are moving to a regime of administrative penalties that would allow us the flexibility to not use criminal sanctions that clog up the courts with things that should be resolved administratively.

The member just talked about the recall provisions. Are there any other improvements to the bill that he would like to address while he has the time?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for the question. I know he chairs the justice committee.

We have brought in a regime where we do not necessarily have to go through criminal charges, which might be a little too severe, but this also has the consequence of clearing up the court system, allowing for other things to be addressed. That is pretty imperative in the legislation as well, because we balance Canadians' protections, while not being overly punitive in our actions.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2018 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

NDP

Cheryl Hardcastle NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to acknowledge to motor vehicle users who are following this issue that, regardless of amendments being ignored, the NDP feels strongly about the fact that there has been a 59% decrease in the department's budget for crash worthiness. Therefore, I wonder if my hon. colleague could talk about the ways that would be addressed. If it is not through an actual return to the budget for that particular department, for the ministry of transportation, is there some other way this would be achieved?