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

Awaiting royal assent, as of Feb. 13, 2018

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill S-2.

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 30th, 2018 / 5 p.m.
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Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, as I mentioned in my speech, the technology, when it comes to automated and connected vehicles, is advancing so rapidly that sometimes the regulations that are in place right now slow us down.

There is so much talent in Canada. There is so much opportunity here on the business side, on the environmental side, and on the safety side to make some significant gains that we need to make the legislation and the regulations a little more responsive, a little more flexible, so that if there was a particular piece of regulation that was impeding their research or their testing, they could apply to Transport Canada requesting an exemption, saying that they would like to do something different but would make sure that everyone was still safe.

We would embed that power inside Transport Canada so that it would have that flexibility so we could keep this technology moving along.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2018 / 5 p.m.
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NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Madam Speaker, the city of Saint-Hyacinthe, which I represent, is known for its car dealerships, but it also wants to be known for its electric cars someday.

The dealerships are small businesses in the retail sector that sometimes are not compensated by the manufacturers when the vehicles purchased there are subject to a recall. I would like the parliamentary secretary to explain to me why the Liberal government is refusing to protect Canadian dealerships, when their U.S. counterparts are protected under the law in these situations.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2018 / 5 p.m.
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Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, it is a balancing act. There is a commercial agreement that links the automobile manufacturers and the dealers. We did not feel that it was the place of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act to play a role in that commercial agreement. However, we wanted to make sure that the dealers were not left hanging in that kind of situation.

Even the dealers have come away saying that they can live with that. At first they did not understand that they were also eligible to use some of the mechanisms in this piece of legislation for redress from the manufacturers so that they were not put at a significant disadvantage. Once it was explained to them that what is in this bill would apply not only to consumers but to the dealers, they were much reassured, knowing that they had these tools they could use, knowing that if they were in that position, they could make redress back to the manufacturers.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2018 / 5 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I really regret asking the parliamentary secretary anything at all, given how clearly she is suffering through a very sore throat. Part of the question I had was answered in the last answer she gave, so my question is very concise.

I am very interested in the new role of our more independent Senate. There were amendments made to deal with the dealers' concerns. I am certain that we will find out in committee how content the dealers are with the new changes.

This is a novel question for me, because generally, when we see a bill here and the government is speaking to its bill, the text before us is what the government wants. This is one of those rare occasions when the text before us is not what the government wants. Procedurally, normally we would not see an amendment until the bill went to committee.

Is there any procedural objection to ensuring that those of us who are interested in this provision will see the government's alternative before we get to committee and have it presented in clause-by-clause?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2018 / 5:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to be here today to speak to Bill S-2, an act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and to make a consequential amendment to another act.

I am also pleased to see that the Liberal government is willing to take good ideas from the previous Conservative government and implement them in a bipartisan manner. Bill S-2 bears a striking resemblance to Bill C-62, as was mentioned. Bill C-62, introduced by the then minister of transport, the hon. member for Milton, was a solid piece of legislation, designed to increase our safety standards.

Bill S-2 proposes to increase the involvement of the Minister of Transport in vehicle recalls to bring Canada in line with the recall standards of other countries around the world. The power of the Minister of Transport to issue recalls is a welcome addition. While this power is expected to be required only rarely due to the willingness of manufacturers to issue recalls quickly, it is an important deterrent to help avoid any issues going forward. The power of the minister to issue fines to manufacturers for up to $200,000 per day for non-compliance gives this legislation the horsepower it needs to be taken seriously as a legitimately enforceable piece of legislation.

An interesting idea in this legislation is to impose a non-monetary penalty on the company in lieu of, or in addition to, a monetary fine. Such a penalty could take the form of, for example, a requirement for additional research and development to be implemented. I doubt that these penalties would be imposed often, if at all, as the company would want to avoid any public embarrassment that such a fine would cause. That said, having this power would be very useful for the minister should any conflict over safety concerns arise.

This act would also codify into law what the market has set as the standard for recalls, ensuring that manufacturers are the liable party for the cost of replacing any recalled parts. Again, this is the current market standard, but ensuring that the standard is clearly expressed in law is a positive step for manufacturers, the dealerships, and the consumers. It is important to note that while it is, indeed, laudable to increase our safety standards, this bill is not a response to a significant issue within the industry.

Canada does not have an excess of dangerous vehicles on its roads that manufacturers are refusing to repair. In fact, it is quite the opposite. In 2015, manufacturers recalled over five million vehicles of their own accord for everything from bad hydraulics on a trunk to important engine repairs. Manufacturers voluntarily spent their time and money to ensure that their products were safe and that they met the standards that consumers expect.

With the advent of social media and 24-hour news, manufacturers cannot afford the bad publicity that comes with widespread complaints and potentially dangerous faults. That is why, in 2016, there were at least 318,000 recalls issued without a complaint having been filed with Transport Canada. Again, I believe vehicle manufacturers do not want to be put in the difficult situation of having the press catch wind of a defect before they know about it.

The reason I bring attention to this is due to the proposed changes to section 15 of the act. These proposed subsections give several notable new powers to Transport Canada inspectors. Some of these powers are worth noting due to how they change the current relationship between the manufacturer and Transport Canada.

Considering the extent of these powers, I will read from the bill itself, which states that the inspectors may enter on and pass through or over private property “without being liable for doing so and without any person having the right to object to that use of the property”, and can “examine any vehicle, equipment or component that is in the place”. Inspectors may “examine any document that is in the place, make copies of it or take extracts from it”. They may “use or cause to be used a computer or other device that is in the place to examine data that is contained in or available to a computer system or reproduce it or cause it to be reproduced”, and “remove any vehicle, equipment or component from the place for the purpose of examination or conducting tests.”

Furthermore, the bill states:

Any person who owns or has charge of a place entered by an inspector under subsection (1) and every person present there shall answer all of the inspector’s reasonable questions related to the inspection, provide access to all electronic data that the inspector may reasonably require...

Perhaps now it is clearer as to why I highlight the good record manufacturers have regarding the timely issuing of recalls.

These additional powers seem somewhat disproportionate to any issues we currently experience with safety recalls.

It is very reasonable, and indeed a requirement, for Transport Canada inspectors to have increased powers to go along with their increased responsibilities in the bill. However, I would suggest a measured response.

It simply is not the case that manufacturers are hiding serious defects from both the public and Transport Canada. Again, I call attention to the 318 recalls that manufacturers issued without any complaint made to Transport Canada.

As I mentioned the last time I spoke to the bill, the reality is that the last time a minister of transport criminally prosecuted a manufacturer was nearly 25 years ago, in 1993, when Transport Canada took Chrysler Canada to court over defective tire winch cables. The case was dismissed in 2000.

Those numbers show that vehicle manufacturers are working with the public in good faith and we ought to work with them in that same good faith.

That is why I proposed an amendment to Bill S-2 which would have ensured that the minister acts in good faith while exercising the additional power granted in the bill.

I will read from my amendment to give context to what I am saying. It states, “The Minister may, by order, require any company that applies a national safety mark to any vehicle or equipment, sells any vehicle or equipment to which a national safety mark has been applied or imports any vehicle or equipment of a class for which standards are prescribed to if the Minister has evidence to suggest that there is a defect or non-compliance in the vehicle or equipment.” To add clarity, the amendment I proposed would have required that the minister have a suspicion of defect or non-compliance prior to ordering tests or imposing on a manufacturer. This is as opposed to the original wording, which insinuates the ability of the minister to order tests to prove compliance. While this difference may seem subtle, it is paramount.

While this bill would not amend the Criminal Code, I still believe that the presumption of innocence ought to be the standard in any legislation that contains punitive enforcement options. Remember, the minister can issue fines of up to $200,000 per day. This is far from an insignificant amount of money.

In addition to the text above, my amendment also required that the minister consult with the manufacturer before ordering tests in order to determine if the company had conducted or had planned to conduct the tests he was considering ordering. This could have potentially saved the manufacturers the cost of conducting tests that had already been completed. I saw this as recognition of the effort that manufacturers were currently placing on safety testing, along with their strong safety track records.

The bill in its current wording seemingly assumes that there is widespread and intentional non-compliance. This is simply not backed up by statistics. Remember, there has never been a case where the manufacturer refused outright to repair a defect in a vehicle, especially one that would lead to a dangerous situation. In fact, there is evidence of the opposite. I would draw members attention again to the over 300 examples from 2016 of voluntary recalls, without any complaint having been received by Transport Canada. I see those examples and recognize the importance manufacturers are already placing on safety.

Again, this is not to state that we do not need a legislative framework to ensure these high standards are maintained. However, improvements could have been made on Bill S-2 to correct the issues I noted. Unfortunately, the Liberal members of the committee rejected my reasonable amendment. In fact, the Liberals rejected both of the Conservative amendments and all of the NDP amendments. For a government that likes to claim bipartisanship or collaboration on these kinds of bills, that is a remarkable statistic.

I would now like to take a moment to speak about the larger framework into which Bill S-2 will fit.

The Auditor General released a report in November 2016 titled “Oversight of Passenger Vehicle Safety—Transport Canada”. The report was less than glowing in its review of the current state of Transport Canada. In particular, the report noted that Transport Canada was slow in responding to new risks, which posed a significant problem for a bill meant to increase the speed and clarity of recalls for Canadians. It states:

We found that Transport Canada did not maintain an up-to-date regulatory framework for passenger vehicle safety. There were lengthy delays, sometimes of more than 10 years, from the time work began on an issue to the Department’s implementation of new standards or changes to existing ones.

The report stated that Transport Canada generally waited until the United States had updated its motor vehicle safety standards. What is the point of conducting research if the safety recommendations are not implemented until another jurisdiction leads the way? Canada has very different requirements than the United States. We expect more from our government agencies than simply waiting and mirroring the actions of our neighbour to the south.

Going forward, this will become an even more pressing concern as autonomous vehicles are introduced onto our roads, as has already been noted by previous speakers. We will need a nimble, legislative, and regulatory framework to ensure that consumers are protected, while recognizing that manufacturers do indeed have a strong track record of ensuring safety.

Furthermore, the Auditor General notes that there is a problem with inconsistent use of evidence and research in determining safety standards. It states:

We also found that it [Transport Canada] did not have complete collision and injury data to inform its decisions. We could not always determine how the Department used evidence and research to develop or amend safety standards. Transport Canada did not plan or fund its research and regulatory activities for the longer term.

These are significant issues facing Transport Canada. They should be resolved if the agency is going to be expected to take on additional responsibilities for a proactive review of vehicles.

The Auditor General report noted that Transport Canada possessed incomplete data on collisions and injuries in the national collision database because provinces were not providing the information.

In addition, the report noted that Transport Canada did not have access to data from insurance companies, hospitals, police, and others involved in vehicle safety matters. Therefore, it is missing information that could help inform future vehicle safety priorities.

Transport Canada will need to work toward addressing these issues as it prepares for the additional responsibilities entrusted to the agency in Bill S-2. It is important to note that the agency has indicated it is taking the recommendations of the Auditor General seriously and working to implement those changes. However, I question how much of a change it can make while dealing with reduced funding.

For example, the budget for crash-worthiness testing was cut by 59% for the 2016-17 fiscal year. At the same time, funding for six regional teams situated in engineering departments in universities and colleges that were charged to assist in outreach activities on vehicle safety also saw their funding cut. These regional teams will no longer be able to feed information into the regulatory decision-making process, which the auditor general had noted was not functioning as well as it could be.

Therefore, while the agency is dealing with a lower budget, Bill S-2 is seeking to increase its responsibilities. I question how it will be expected to fulfill these new responsibilities if it does not have the resources to fulfill the responsibilities it currently has.

Bill S-2 would advance vehicle safety standards and would be a positive step in ensuring safety. However, the bill is missing some key aspects that would make its enforcement much more effective and fair for both the manufacturers and the consumers. It was disappointing that members of the governing party did not work with the opposition to ensure that the proposed amendments by the opposition were added to the bill, which would have provided more transparency and increased clarity when it came to the powers of the minister.

All in all, Bill S-2 is important legislation and would result in increased road safety, which why I will support the bill at third reading.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2018 / 5:20 p.m.
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NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, BC

Madam Speaker, in substance, I agree with the remarks of the member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, although I always find it a little odd when the Conservatives start talking about the Liberals cutting budgets when the process was actually started under the Conservatives.

One of the questions I believe the member asked earlier of the parliamentary secretary is of concern to me. It is the responsibility for the financial losses for dealerships if a car is subject to recall becomes unsaleable and is stuck in the dealer's inventory. I believe the hon. parliamentary secretary said that she did not want to interfere in this commercial relationship, but I would submit that there is hardly any commercial relationship more unequal than car manufacturers and dealers.

Therefore, the amendment made by the Senate, which was taken out by the Liberals, seemed to be an important part of levelling the playing field for dealers so they would not be stuck with the cost of what was essentially the fault of the manufacturers. Does the hon. member share that opinion?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2018 / 5:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Speaker, we recognize that the bill before us was introduced in the Senate and that the Senate put forward an amendment that it believed would have addressed some concerns raised by dealerships across the country. At the time we were debating the bill, I believe there was support for that amendment.

As the bill was being debated, we understood there were discussions being held by members of the governing party with an association that represented the dealerships. Apparently, the amendment put forward by the governing party was amenable and acceptable to it. Therefore, when the committee was debating it, we certainly saw some merit to the amendment that had been put forward by the Senate.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2018 / 5:25 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, what is encouraging, as the parliamentary secretary said earlier, is that we have very proactive, progressive legislation that is going to benefit the consumers of Canada. This is legislation that has been put together over a period of time, in which we are getting close to the final stages. I appreciate the comments of the member across the way. She seems to be of the opinion, as we definitely are on this side, that this is a step forward. As the Prime Minister says, there is always room to improve things. We can always make things better. No doubt the ministry will continue to look at ways in which we can continue to protect consumers.

I can appreciate some sensitivity in terms of amendments as we go through committees. I can recall the days being in opposition when Harper was the prime minister, and we saw zero amendments ever pass. A lot depends on the content of the amendments, and I am sure the member across the way can appreciate that fact. This is a government that has recognized good amendments brought forward by opposition members on many other pieces of legislation, and they were adopted.

At the very least, would she not recognize that in the passage of this particular piece of legislation we are protecting Canadian consumers? That is a positive thing.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2018 / 5:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Speaker, I agree that when legislation is tabled, it certainly may not be in its perfect form. This bill is one that was introduced in the previous Parliament. Even members in the Senate and we, as Conservative members, brought forward amendments to a bill that very much resembled one that our own party introduced in the previous Parliament.

Yes, I understand there is always an opportunity to make a bill better. Ultimately, I think this is about ensuring that Canadians are safe when they are travelling on our roads. That is why we are committed to supporting this bill at third reading.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2018 / 5:25 p.m.
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NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Madam Speaker, it is interesting to note with this bill that the member for Winnipeg North just raised this issue around amendments and that it needs to be centred on consumer protection. To that end, I note that the NDP advanced 15 amendments to this bill. None of them were supported.

A particular one speaks to, I assume, consumer protection. That is, for the minister to be able to grant an exemption for any model of vehicle manufactured by the company from conformity with any prescribed standard if that exemption from the standard would, in the opinion of the minister, promote a technological development. That is what is in the bill. The NDP moved an amendment that would ensure that such an exemption would only be granted on the condition that the minister ensures the new vehicle model is based on safety standards equivalent to or superior to that prescribed by the regulations. That is for consumer protection, in the name of safety, yet that amendment was defeated at committee. It was not passed at committee.

I would like to ask this member about her comments around this amendment. Will she support this kind of amendment, and would that not be for the protection of the consumer?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2018 / 5:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Speaker, the safety of Canadians and everyone who uses our roads is of paramount importance to me and certainly my colleagues in this place. While not perfect, I believe that this bill does strike a reasonable balance. However, I would agree that the member from my colleague's party on our committee, the member for Trois-Rivières, proposed a number of amendments that would have increased transparency when an order was made under the powers provided for in this bill. My Conservative colleagues and I supported all the amendments, I believe, made by that member at committee. If I am wrong in that representation, I will certainly correct the record, but we were very supportive of that member's amendments to this bill.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2018 / 5:30 p.m.
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NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, just to follow up on this issue around safety, I think it is critical, and it is mystifying to me why the government would not actually support such an amendment. One would think that openness and transparency is the hallmark that the Prime Minister, himself, campaigned on and promised Canadians in this House of Commons.

On the issue around safety, related to regulations with manufacturers, why would the government not support this? This amendment was further justified, given that the Auditor General stated that the government was behind in coming in with regulations adapted to technological developments. Before using his power to issue exemptions, the minister should first address this problem.

Surely this would be the right thing to do, yet this is not the case. Again, I wonder if the member could shed some light on the rationale behind that.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 20th, 2017 / 3:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Brenda Shanahan Liberal Châteauguay—Lacolle, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak to Bill S-2, an act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, otherwise known as the strengthening motor vehicle safety for Canadians act.

The safety of Canadians is of high importance to this government, and this bill will help further ensure Canadians can enjoy peace of mind while driving on our roads.

The rapid development of automated and connected technologies for light duty vehicles is of great interest to this government. This summer I had the pleasure of attending the conference of U.S. governors in Rhode Island, where we were treated to a talk by Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla, about the advent of fully autonomous vehicles, which can fully drive themselves without the aid of a driver.

He predicted that this type of vehicle will replace human-operated cars in the next 15 years, so members should enjoy their cars while they can. The prototypes of some of these vehicles are already undergoing on-road testing in the U.S. This exciting area of vehicle technology development can be seen as both a safety benefit and an economic innovation opportunity.

Shifts in the global technology landscape are placing a growing reliance on vehicle safety innovation while transforming business practices and consumer demands. These emerging and disruptive technologies offer promising opportunities for economic safety and environmental benefits, as well as a number of regulatory challenges. The challenges at the pace of change associated with these technologies, and how they are transforming the motor vehicle sector, is rapidly increasing while the regulatory process remains unchanged.

New technologies offer promising opportunities for improving road transportation, including the environmental impact of vehicles. However, these technologies can be challenging in terms of safety oversight. Much of the technological safety of a vehicle cannot be seen by the naked eye. From the outside, two vehicles may look the same, but many of the safety elements are internal to the structure or operating system of the vehicle.

Safety standards include those related to crashworthiness and crash avoidance. Crashworthiness or how to survive once one is in a collision standards include those related to front and side impacts. As we shift to new technologies and building materials, we need to ensure that this survivability is not compromised.

Personally, I prefer the second element of crash avoidance. These crash avoidance technologies allow drivers to detect and avoid collisions. One example of such a technology is electronic stability control, which has been mandated on new vehicles since 2011. For this type of technology, we need to ensure that the promises made by the developers are accurate, as consumers will be relying on these technologies. The speed and scope at which new technologies are being developed and implemented is challenging the status quo and is testing the ability of governments to respond in a timely manner.

Canadian industry and businesses need to understand, adopt, and deploy new innovations and business models to stay competitive and better position Canada for success in leveraging the full potential of emerging and disruptive technologies.

I had the opportunity to hear some of the debate on Bill S-2. Many of the issues that are involved in Bill S-2 have already been discussed in full, including the Auditor General's Report No. 4 from 2016, which my hon. friend and chair of the public accounts committee, the member for Battle River—Crowfoot, discussed yesterday at length. Therefore, I will be limiting my time today to the regulatory issues that are involved in Bill S-2.

I want to focus on motor vehicle technologies that are regulated. The legislation needs to be flexible and adaptive to promote Canadian leadership and to give Canadians access to these new technologies as quickly as practically possible. The regulations are aimed at keeping Canadians safe, but cannot be so rigid that they delay the introduction of new vehicle safety technologies or fuel systems. There is a balance to be struck there.

These proposed improvements to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act have been developed to address these and a number of other important challenges. Currently, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act includes a provision for interim orders. An interim order allows a Canadian regulation that corresponds to a foreign regulation to be suspended or modified if there is a change by that foreign government.

Currently, interim orders can only suspend or modify a Canadian regulation for one year, which does not reflect that some regulations could take longer to develop, particularly if they deal with a very technical subject matter. As such, Bill S-2 proposes to extend the period of an interim order to three years to reflect the typical length of time required to complete the full regulatory process for such a technical requirement.

The bill also introduces suspension orders, which would allow for the suspension or modification of existing Canadian regulations. For this type of order, a foreign government's enactment or regulation is not required. In this way, Canada would have a tool to lead the way in regulatory development to address new and emerging technologies. This process would permit the Minister of Transport to allow newer technology solutions, when appropriate, to take effect more quickly. The order would be in place for up to three years.

Both these tools would increase the flexibility of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act to address an ever-changing landscape related to the automotive industry. These orders would be published, and would apply to all manufacturers equally in order to provide a level playing field.

Another tool currently available in the Motor Vehicle Safety Act is an exemption order. These orders allow the minister to exempt a model of vehicle from a regulation.

Currently, exemption orders are only valid for one year and require approval from the Governor in Council. An exemption is requested by the regulated body, and it is up to that entity to demonstrate that safety is not negatively affected. An example of this type of request would be if a manufacturer applied to not meet a rearview mirror regulation in order to install instead a rearview camera that performed the same function or improved on the existing function.

As these requests are very technical in nature, under these proposed changes the minister would be given the power to decide, based on the best evidence, and I would think common sense, whether it is in the interest of safety to grant the exemption. The duration of the exemption would apply for three years to allow sufficient time to determine what technical regulatory requirements would be appropriate, and to allow time for the manufacturer to implement and use the proposed technology.

The exemption would only apply on that model of vehicle, but the exemption would be made public, again, this is very important, allowing other manufacturers to be knowledgeable about options for advancing their own technologies.

In summary, the automotive industry is changing very rapidly, and vehicle technologies are making vehicles safer and more fuel efficient. However, these changes are challenging our regulatory capacity to assess and apply them in the Canadian context in a timely fashion. This act would include a number of tools that would allow adoption of regulations already available in another country, and the ability to create new short-term regulatory changes in advance of a full regulation being available.

This represents a new regulatory process for Canada for the next century, will increase safety and fuel efficiency on our roads, and help Canada be an important player for the next generation of automobile innovation.

Madam Speaker, I neglected to say that I will be sharing my time. I am sorry, but I do not know who I will be sharing it with, but if there is another speaker, I will be sharing that time.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 20th, 2017 / 3:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Madam Speaker, I have a question for my colleague. I worked with him on a committee and I know him well. We are approving the bill at this stage so that it can be sent to committee. We still have some questions, which I will talk about more during my speech.

Does my colleague not think that this bill gives the Minister of Transport a little too much discretionary power?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 20th, 2017 / 3:35 p.m.
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Liberal

Brenda Shanahan Liberal Châteauguay—Lacolle, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague across the aisle. We remember the discussions we had in committee about the problems with Transport Canada and enforcement and the fact that there has been rapid change. Of course, we know the auto industry never stops innovating, but over the past few years, that has been happening faster than the Department of Transport could handle.

The Auditor General's report covered the period from 2010 to 2016, which, it is fair to say, is quite a long period of time. The report showed that when changes happened in the U.S. or Europe, Transport Canada took too long to react. The department explained its reasons to us, but the issue remains unresolved. Car companies in Europe or the United States, under the supervision of the respective governments, consider it important to have certain regulations in place. Since we here in Canada use the same cars, thanks to integrated manufacturing chains, we need to be faster at making changes for the public safety of Canadians by giving this power to the Minister of Transport.