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

Report stage (House), as of Oct. 19, 2017

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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.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 12:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, one of the great things about this country is that we do have certain bodies and councils that protect consumers. The hon. member mentioned the pharmaceutical industry. Obviously, when we reach into that pill bottle and take a pill, we hope that it meets certain standards. I think all governments, and rightly so, make sure that drug identification numbers and processes are there.

There is also food safety. To be quite frank, we remember the melamine in baby formula in China.

We just assume that there are these groups. We have to live in faith that the government is doing its due diligence in keeping Canadians safe, so in the case of pharmaceuticals, food safety, vehicle safety, yes, Canadians can have confidence. We have the highest-quality food in this country, with our agricultural products, and we also have the highest standards of safety. I think people are looking for ways that we can continue to give the consumer choice and also the certainty of safety.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 12:35 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

Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise in the House. I welcome all members back. This is my first opportunity to stand and add some of my thoughts on an important piece of legislation.

To begin, I am reflecting on how very important it is during breaks for members to meet with their constituents to get a better sense of the messages they want us to bring to Ottawa. One thing I respect immensely about the Prime Minister is that he continues to challenge members of Parliament to go into their constituencies and represent their constituents' interests here in Ottawa, as opposed to bringing the interests of Ottawa to their constituencies. We need to ensure our priorities are right, and our priorities are to ensure that constituents in our ridings are represented, whether it is in the chamber, in committees, or in our respective caucuses.

It is a pleasure to be back in Ottawa to deal with important government legislation. All legislation is important, but today is special in the sense that we are talking about Bill S-2, legislation that would make a difference in the safety in our communities. It is very important for all of us to understand and appreciate what sort of impact this bill would have.

One of my colleagues mentioned that it is estimated, and I suspect this is a conservative estimate, that 20% of newer vehicles on the roads today have recalls for some sort of manufacturer defect, and there is a substantial cost to that. In addressing that issue, this legislation carries the ball quite far, I would suggest, and I applaud the minister, the parliamentary secretary, and all of those involved in bringing forward the legislation. I appreciate the fine work that the other chamber has done in providing us with the legislation we are debating today.

After listening to my colleagues across the way, I have a couple of comments. A New Democrat representative referred to the fact that we will be expected to look at different types of legislation and then suggested that Bill S-2 should be relatively uncontroversial. It is a piece of legislation that I believe will ultimately receive the support of all members of the House, at least in advancing it to the standing committee, where there will no doubt be a much more detailed analysis of the legislation. If there are ways it can be improved upon, I am sure the committee will attempt to do so, recognizing that where we can do better, we will strive to do so.

With regard to vehicle safety, we need to recognize that there are two jurisdictions that play a critical role, one being the national government. The bill before us today, Bill S-2, is important legislation dealing with manufacturers. Cars do not last a lifetime. Individuals today have two major expenditures: the homes they live in and the vehicles they acquire. Many vehicles are purchased at face value, meaning that if they are brand new, there are certain expectations for those vehicles. The national government plays a critical role in not only ensuring that vehicles are safe but also, to a certain degree, in providing assurances to consumers. That is done through recalls, ensuring that manufacturers take responsibility for their products.

If I walk into a showroom today and buy a nice, brand new, shiny vehicle, and I pull off, and then a month later there is an issue with an airbag or a steering column, I should have some sense that there is going to be a recourse whereby the manufacturer will have to rectify the problem, because it is not my driving that caused the issue; rather, it was a fault or manufacturing-related issue that caused the problem.

We know that situation exists. As I mentioned earlier, it is estimated that over 20% of all manufactured vehicles will at one point or another have something recalled or something that needs to be tweaked or replaced. It can be fairly substantial. It can be somewhat inconsequential in terms of cost, but important in terms of safety. We know those are the types of things we have to face.

Ottawa, in coming up with legislation such as this, is empowering the minister to do certain things we are not able to do today, and I want to focus some attention on a few of those things. However, to speak more broadly about the industry as a whole, we understand and appreciate how important the automobile industry is to our nation in terms of the overall GDP and the impact it has on real middle-class jobs and on our economy in every region of our country. It is not only the manufacturers; it is also the individuals who service the vehicles and those who sell. Major retailers out there are very dependent on the automobile industry. It is an industry I am quite familiar with. My father or other family members have been involved in it in excess of 40 years.

When the average person purchases a car, even though they might think it is the car for them for the rest of their life, very few will purchase a car that will be their car for the rest of their life. Surveys show that an individual will keep a car for six to eight years. After that, they will sell it, but just because they lost interest or decided to go for a new car does not mean that this car leaves the road. It then becomes a second-hand car, and at this point many provincial jurisdictions recognize that we need to ensure that our roads continue to be safe. In my own province, Manitoba, if someone sells a second-hand car, there is an obligation to have it safety-checked, so that whether it is two years, 10 years, or 11 years old, the vehicle is in fact safe for driving.

As provinces continue to look at ways to improve the condition of those second-hand cars on the road, we also have a responsibility to ensure that the new cars that are being sold are safe. Where we can play a role in ensuring they are safer, we should do just that.

When I look at what the legislation specifically does, there are a few things that come to mind, but one of the things that tweaked my interest was how the manufacturers would be financially responsible for correcting a vehicle defect and also have an enhanced responsibility to provide information related to the safety of the vehicle to Transport Canada. That information would go into the Transport Canada data bank.

One of my colleagues made reference to the data bank. If one goes to the motor vehicle safety recalls on the Transport Canada site, one would be amazed at just how detailed that data bank is. For many people who are driving newer vehicles today, whether one, three, or four years old, there is a very good chance there has been a recall of some part on that vehicle, but drivers are just not aware of it.

It is very simple to find out whether a vehicle has been recalled. People visit the website, virtually click on the type and model and the style of the vehicle. The recalls that have taken place will pop up. It is a fantastic databank. I would suggest to all consumers, people who have purchased cars in the last number of years, not to take it for granted just because their vehicle seems to be driving well. They do not have to wait for something to go wrong. There is a fantastic databank that is there to be utilized. One of the things that this legislation is proposing to do is to enhance that databank by requiring additional safety information to be passed on, some of which no doubt will ultimately end up in some form of the databank. I see that as a very strong positive, and I would encourage others to look into it. The minister would have the power to call for additional testing to address safety concerns. That is something that all of us need to be concerned about.

In listening to a number of the Conservatives, it is interesting to hear that they talked a lot about Bill C-62, which is a piece of legislation that the former prime minister, Stephen Harper, had brought to the floor of the House. This is one of the reasons why I am somewhat optimistic that the Conservatives should be onside and wanting to see this legislation pass sooner as opposed to later. I would suggest that the legislation originates not necessarily from the former Conservative government as much as actions that were being taken in the U.S.A. There is a gap between the U.S.A. and Canada related to safety issues and recall processes and procedures and what that government is able to do in comparison to the Government of Canada. I suspect that what we saw was a Conservative government looking at what was happening in the U.S. and then wanting to adopt some of those measures, and I give the Conservatives credit for doing so.

I know that the NDP expressed some concern that this legislation was not in the mandate letter of the current minister. The only thing that I can say to that issue is that just because it is not within a mandate letter does not necessarily mean that the ministers are not looking at still improving the system. We have ministers who are very keen to look at and administer the mandate letters and achieve things within the mandate letter, but there are many other initiatives, and this is one of those. It would appear that, across the way, both the New Democrats and the Conservatives are in general supporting the principle of the legislation, and we see that as a good thing. We look forward to the opposition parties supporting it.

In the legislation, the minister of transport would have the power to order companies to make manufacturers and importers repair a recalled vehicle at no cost to the consumer. For those who use vehicles and have to get vehicles serviced, there is a substantial cost factor to it. As one would obviously argue, why should a consumer, who purchases a brand new vehicle and three months later finds out that there was a defect, have to be financially responsible for recovering or bringing that vehicle up to Canadian safety standards? Enabling the minister to have that additional power or authority is a very strong message that is being sent to the industry.

I do not think we need to say all manufacturers are not taking up their responsibilities to ensure that their vehicles are safe and at the highest quality. We recognize that manufacturers do whatever they can. We have seen manufacturers institute massive recalls well into the billions of dollars.

We understand and appreciate that this legislation is there, because at times, whether today or in the future, a minister should have the authority to do what is being proposed in the legislation. The bill would allow Transport Canada to use monetary penalties or fines to increase safety compliance and to enter into compliance agreements with manufacturers to take additional actions for safety. The legislation would also increase and clarify Transport Canada's vehicle inspection capabilities. It is important that we have a sense of enforcement that is real and tangible, so that if we have a vehicle that needs to be recalled for whatever reason, we would have the ability to ensure that it would be carried out. This is something we see within the proposed legislation.

I look at the legislation as a whole and recognize that what is being proposed by the Senate amendment is ultimately dealt with in the legislation. With the Senate amendment, a company would be required to compensate a dealer for an amount equivalent to at least 1% per month of the price paid by the dealer. The amount would equal an annual interest rate of at least 12%. This arbitrary rate does not take into account the fluctuations in the real financing costs, and therefore the amendment could have the perverse effect of a dealer potentially making more money by not making the repairs, keeping the vehicle on the lot, and charging the manufacturer. Therefore, when we look at the amendment being proposed by the Senate, as much as the intent might have been very good, I do not believe it is required. Within the legislation, the minister would have the authority to have manufacturer defects dealt with, paid for, and recovered by the manufacturers. The minister would have that authority already.

We have to be very careful that, within the Transport Canada legislative framework, it is not required for us to be arbitrary or work between the dealerships and manufacturers. It is very much a consumer issue. At the end of the day, as much as the intent of the Senate's amendment is meant to do well, I do not believe it is required. The opportunity to see dealerships adequately taken care of through the current proposed legislation is there, and the minister would have that authority.

It is interesting that one of my colleagues made reference to the fact that, when we think of recalls, we have to ensure that the priority of manufacturers is to get the vehicles that are actually on the roads dealt with as a first priority. Those vehicles in the large compounds, which we have all seen, will ultimately be on the road, and I suspect there will be modifications made to them before they are sold to the consumer. The bottom line, once all is said and done, is that the legislation before us is all about increasing the safety on Canadian roads, and therefore ensuring that manufacturers and companies take on their responsibilities by providing the type of vehicles that consumers expect when they purchase them. I think this is legislation that we should all be supporting.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 12:55 p.m.
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Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Flamborough—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I think it is important to point out that we finally had a good example of our good response to the parliamentary secretary to the House leader, and unfortunately, the example was removed from the House. I hope everyone takes a look at Hansard in the future and takes a look at a proper reaction to the member's speech.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 12:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to a question. Maybe the member across the way can expand as to what caused his frustration, which led him to stand on a point of order. I believe the time has expired, so I look forward to his question. Maybe he could expand on his point of order.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 12:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have had the opportunity to ask questions of a number of members of the governing party on Bill S-2 and I would ask, if he had to, what he would pick out as the key differences between Bill C-62 and Bill S-2, which he believes make this a better bill.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 12:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

I appreciate the question and take it very seriously. As I pointed out, Bill C-62 was a piece of legislation that came out of concerns that were being developed in the United States, and the Harper government introduced it at that point. There was a review from within the ministry, and with all due respect, maybe it might be advisable for the member to pose the question to the minister who introduced the bill, and I suspect maybe she has, although I am not sure. She probably already has the answer to the question. I believe that the Senate's amendment was not incorporated into Bill C-62, if that is the point the member is making.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 12:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Filomena Tassi Liberal Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, the legislation we are discussing is about safety first and foremost. We want to ensure that all vehicles on the road are safe, and I am happy we are taking steps to ensure that. I speak first hand. I was in a terrible accident and I am lucky to be alive today. Air bags deployed, glass crumbled, the vehicle flipped upside down, and I was lucky the roof did not crunch. I know many others have had similar experiences. That is really what today is about. Part of it is about ensuring that the vehicles on the road are safe.

The member talked about manufacturers taking responsibility for their products and how this legislation would enhance that, so I wonder if the member could comment on this very important point about how this would ensure that manufacturers are more accountable and more responsible with respect to ensuring that the vehicles we drive are safe.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 12:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the single greatest thing that the legislation would do is attach additional powers to the minister and provide additional information to Transport Canada. I believe it would help to facilitate different types of agreements between companies and manufacturers, things that were not incorporated into the previous legislation under the Harper government. These are likely some of the more significant things, but the member is quite right in the assessment.

The number one priority of the legislation is to ensure that Canada has safer roads. The second is to protect the consumer, as I pointed out. When an individual buys a brand new vehicle, there is an expectation that the vehicle is going to last a good number of years, 200,000-plus kilometres, depending on how the individual drives and maintains the vehicle. There is an expectation when people enter the showroom and purchase a new vehicle that it will be a vehicle that is safe to drive at all times.

What we are doing within this recall legislation is ensuring that manufacturers stick to their responsibilities in ensuring that, when there is a known defect or a problem with a vehicle that has been sold and it is not consumer-related but rather a manufacturing default, the part and labour are covered to get that vehicle safe and back on the road.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 1 p.m.
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NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is quite simple. I will repeat it because I have yet to get an answer.

While I acknowledge that Bill S-2 has merit, as I said in my speech, could my colleague tell me what aspects of Bill S-2 fill the gaps that were identified by the Auditor General in his last audit of motor vehicle safety in Canada?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 1 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, not having read the report the member is referencing, and having heard the member pose that question a couple of times this morning, I really do not know the details. I cannot provide the type of answer the member across the way would like.

The Government of Canada looks at what its independent officers of Parliament have to say on a wide variety of issues, including this one. I suspect that a number of issues the Auditor General has raised have been addressed in the legislation.

Coming from an opposition point of view, and I sat in opposition for a number of years, the real challenge is to look at what the Auditor General has said and where the NDP might feel the legislation does not meet what the he has requested. That might be more helpful, especially going to the committee stage.

As I indicated earlier in my speech, we have a government that is very sympathetic to well-thought-out, argued, and articulated amendments that could possibly be made to improve the legislation. If the NDP has some specific amendments, I am sure that whether it is parliamentary secretary, minister, or members of the committee, the members will be afforded the opportunity to have a good, healthy discussion, and vote on the merits of what is proposed.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 1 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time today with the hon. member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner.

Before I begin, I would like to mention that it has been almost two years since the passing of my friend's predecessor Jim Hillyer. This summer I had the absolute pleasure of having Jim's son, London Hillyer, as our intern. I want to let Jim know upstairs that his son London did a fantastic job and he would be very proud of him.

I am pleased to rise today to talk to Bill S-2, an act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Like many people in the House today we generally support the intent of the bill.

Presently, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act limits the power of the Minister of Transport to issuing notices of safety defects and criminally prosecuting manufacturers.

Transport Canada does not presently have the authority to order recalls, but rather to list active recalls on its website and issue press releases if it believes there is an issue with a type or model of a vehicle.

Bill S-2 would amend the act to provide the minister with the authority to order a vehicle recall and order the vehicle's manufacturer to correct the defect at no cost to the consumer. So far, so good.

An hon. Conservative senator from Newfoundland amended the legislation to ensure that vehicle manufacturers would be responsible for costs to protect car dealers from shouldering the costs of a vehicle recall. We have many car dealerships in Edmonton West. I have spoken to several of these dealers and they are 100% behind the amendment, of course, because it would save them money. I generally agree with parts of the amendment, but not where the amendment starts to set out compensation guidelines. That is best left to the market to decide.

I support legislation that will protect consumers from unnecessary and unfair financial burdens of defective products. It should not fall to a consumer, nor really the car dealer, to assume the cost of manufacturer defects, particularly with something like vehicles, which have potentially fatal consequences if something goes wrong. I also support legislation that is designed to keep consumers informed of any real or potential dangers with the equipment they choose to purchase.

The Auditor General report on Transport Canada, entitled “Oversight of Passenger Vehicle Safety”, lists two positive items on Bill S-2. One is a proposed new regulatory power to establish an information reporting requirement that would identify safety defects sooner. The Auditor General report also notes a positive part of Bill S-2 that would require companies operating in Canada to be more aware of foreign defects and issues of non-compliance for vehicles that would be similar to those sold in Canada.

That said, I have a few concerns with Bill S-2 as it is outlined and I will elaborate on them now.

The government's justification for the legislation is, to be charitable, a bit underwhelming. Per the words of the government's representative in the other place, it is because vehicles are complex and sophisticated, and much of the technology is proprietary.” No kidding.

Bill S-2 would give the minister new powers on ordering companies to conduct tests, analyses, or studies on vehicles or equipment at the minister's discretion; just at the minister's discretion, with no parameters, no guidelines.

I want to stop and take a look at what is going on with Boeing and Bombardier. The government is putting jobs at risk, investment at risk and has politicized the replacement of needed equipment for our men and women in uniform to protect its friends in Bombardier, and we want to give unfettered and undefined power to the minister? What is next? Are we going to interfere with the General Motors Cami strike going on right now because of concerns of moving the plant to Mexico or the US? Or using these powers to punish Toyota for not putting a plant in a friendly riding? It sounds inconceivable, but we have to stop and look at this through the lens of the Bombardier and Boeing mess, where the government has stepped in and interfered. We have to look at how the Liberal cabinet interfered with the purchase of the Navy's replenishment ship apparently at the orders of a rival firm.

It is important to ensure that motor vehicle inspectors at Transport Canada have the information they need to ensure companies are complying with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. It is also important that we are not unnecessarily and excessively increasing the discretionary power of the minister at the expense of companies invested in Canada.

In 2015, as has been noted before, five million passenger vehicles were recalled in Canada. Dozens of vehicle types are recalled each year for which Transport Canada has not received any complaints. This means that vehicle companies that already have the incentive to ensure their vehicles are operating safely on our roads to the benefit of consumers are largely fulfilling their role in ensuring vehicle safety. I am therefore left wondering if we are increasing the discretionary power of the minister and the Department of Transport to fix a problem that does not really exist.

The government's argument is that the powers are anticipatory. Unfortunately, it is logically inconsistent to arbitrarily increase the power of a member of the executive unless there is a clear need to do so.

The new ministerial powers would also potentially be self-justifying their actions. The minister would be able to order a company to conduct tests on a product and provide evidence to the minister, which the government could then turn around and use to justify a recall against the same product.

The legislation would also give vehicle inspectors from Transport Canada new powers to enter any private property, other than a home dwelling, examine any documents, disassemble and remove any components, use any computers that would be on the location and copy data, as well as interrogate workers present to ensure compliance with the act. This power is quite exceptional and directly contradicts the very basic privacy protections afforded to individuals and businesses in Canada. Everyone must provide clear and objective standards under which the minister would invest inspectors with such extraordinary powers to prevent said abuses of power.

A reading from the Auditor General's report, and there are a couple of items here, states:

Overall, we found that Transport Canada did not develop motor vehicle safety standards to respond to emerging risks and issues in a timely manner. [We had to] waited for the United States to change its motor vehicle safety standards before modifying Canadian standards....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.

Nothing in this act would do anything to address these real concerns addressed in the Auditor General's report.

Earlier, the minister stated that Bill S-2 was well-intentioned. We do need something a bit more than well-intentioned.

The Auditor General provided rather uncomplimentary assessment overall on the state of operations at the Transport Canada motor vehicle safety directorate. His office was especially tough on the processes Transport Canada used to create and enforce new regulations, noting that, “We could not always determine how the Department used evidence and research to develop or amend safety standards.” The AG cannot determine how Transport Canada comes up with safety standards, but the government wants to give Transport Canada full power to order recalls and demand that companies conduct research on safety standards.

It is not clear how Transport Canada would obtain, utilize, and keep the vast new data it would be able to collect, and it is sure unclear whether it would be able to justify the decision to obtain the data in the first place.

The Auditor General criticized Transport Canada's national database for not including complete Canadian data and for not attaining relevant information on industry statistics.

It is troubling that a department criticized for its existing process should be granted new powers without clear mechanisms for oversight to protect the integrity of the process. Perhaps the minister should focus his energies on addressing the Auditor General's report first before moving on with Bill S-2.

I look forward to the minister addressing the processes at Transport Canada and to rectifying the issues noted by the Auditor General. I encourage the government to provide adequate justification to make the case to increase discretionary power.

It is unclear how the government plans on addressing differences in opinion between vehicle manufacturers and Transport Canada. While not opposed, auto and parts manufacturers are concerned about the outcome of a potential difference in opinion about the nature and gravity of a defect between them and Transport Canada.

It is incumbent upon the government, as I mentioned, to ensure that it is creating a system that is open and clear and can be objectively applied in each case, perhaps some system where it could make evidenced-based decisions of some kind.

I am concerned about the lack of detail surrounding the arbitrary increase in the powers accorded to the minister. I am further concerned about the lack of oversight of Transport Canada, which has been criticized by the Auditor General specifically for being opaque regarding its internal processes and decision-making frameworks. I hope we can get the legislation to committee for further study. I trust the committee will take a long, hard look at our concerns as well as the concerns of the Auditor General.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 1:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Filomena Tassi Liberal Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, as has been noted many times in the House this morning in discussion of this bill, it is really about safety and protection of consumers. I am curious because the member now is questioning the use of the minister's power. Let us take one of the powers the minister would have in the legislation. That power would be that if a defect were found, the minister would have the power to ensure that before the vehicle was sold that defect would be corrected.

As a consumer, before I buy a vehicle, I want to ensure it is working and it is in good order. I just shared my own personal experience with being in a very significant car accident. I want to know if the member has a problem with this specific power of the minister, whose concern we know is safety and protection of consumers. Does the member have a problem with the fact that the minister would have the power to ensure that unsafe vehicles would not be sold?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 1:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Obviously not, Mr. Speaker. The issue I laid out very clearly in my speech, and perhaps she was not listening, is not that the minister has the power to recall, but the undefined power of the minister and Transport Canada to raid offices at will looking for information. The issue is that the power is undefined. If the government wants to specify very clearly the conditions under which it has the power to recall, that is perfectly fine. We just ask that it be defined better.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 1:15 p.m.
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NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.

I agree with a number of aspects of his presentation, but there is one that truly stands out for me.

In his opinion, is this about optics or can this bill truly make a difference? We cannot seem to get any assurances that the budget cuts at Transport Canada are a thing of the past nor is anyone willing to say that major reinvestment is needed for implementing the merits of Bill S-2.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2017 / 1:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from the NDP makes some very good points. While Bill S-2, as the minister mentioned, is well intentioned, we need a lot more than just good intentions. The Auditor General's report is rife with examples of where Transport Canada has ignored safety or recall issues in the States that it has known about for years. It has laid off people in the investigation division. The problem is that Bill S-2 does not go far enough in addressing important safety issues. We hear members on the government side talk about safety, safety, safety, and while we do intend to support its going to committee, it does not go far enough to look after the true safety of Canadians. I suggest that the government take a really hard look at the Auditor General's report and listen to what I and my other NDP colleagues have to say about it.