Thank you, Madam Chair.
I apologize ahead of time if I begin to cough on occasion. I am nursing a cold at the moment. Hopefully, it won't happen.
Madam Chair, I'm pleased to be here again this time to speak about Bill S-2, the Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act.
This bill is a key component in support of the transportation safety theme set out in Transportation 2030. It fulfills the government's commitment to amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, making its regulatory framework more flexible, promoting innovation, and supporting the adoption of new technologies while protecting the safety of Canadians.
A key objective of this bill is to strengthen the recall order powers. In 2014, the act was modified to provide the necessary powers to order a company to issue a notice of defect. Since 2014, that power has been used three times to protect Canadians. However, there is a gap in the application of this power.
Although the government has the power to order a company to issue a notice of defect, there is little it could do today to protect Canadians if a company were to refuse to issue a recall and to pay for the defects to be corrected. This could mean that the repairs would not be carried out and the defective vehicles would still be on our roads. This new authority to order manufacturers to issue a recall and to correct defective or non-compliant vehicles at their expense would close that gap.
I recognize that the recall order powers are powerful tools, which is why this bill includes a recourse mechanism for companies that ensures transparency and accountability. Our goal is to keep our roads safe and protect Canadian consumers.
In addition, the proposal for a new power to order a company to undertake testing of its products, which is similar to the power available under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, would be invaluable for defect investigation, particularly where there are proprietary technologies involved. This would assist Transport Canada in carrying out its responsibilities.
Speaking of new technologies, the automated and connected vehicle revolution has arrived. The provisions proposed in this bill are key measures that will support the industry in bringing these innovative technologies to market. They will allow us to maintain the safety of the vehicles on the road where new technologies are being developed and tested, while protecting Canadians. A more efficient exemption process; an extension of the period for interim orders; and the new order power to suspend, modify or adapt a regulation will contribute to our objective of promoting innovation.
Improving our investigation and enforcement tools is also key to protecting Canadians. As such, the bill includes an administrative monetary penalty regime and the new consent project. In addition, the inspector powers have been modified from the previous version of the bill to specify the purpose of the inspector's entry into company property.
Finally, the other House put forward an amendment to the bill to address concerns raised by Canada's vehicle dealers. I am pleased to inform you that we have worked closely with the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association to better understand their views and to clarify how the bill would protect their members. As a result of these conversations, we will be coming forward with a proposed amendment to the current bill that addresses their concerns.
Madam Chair, Canadians have been waiting far too long for the improvements in this bill. It has been nearly two and a half years since the majority of these provisions were first proposed by the previous government. I hope that your committee will pass this bill swiftly so that all Canadians can benefit from increased safety that these provisions will bring, while we continue pursuing other ways to improve safety for Canadians.
Thank you, Madam Chair.