Government of Canada announces federal investment to combat export of stolen vehicles

News release

For Immediate Release

February 7, 2024

Ottawa, Ontario

Public Safety Canada/Canada Border Services Agency

Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs, announced a federal investment of $28 million to tackle the export of stolen vehicles.  

With this new funding, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will have more capacity to detect and search containers with stolen vehicles, as well as further enhance collaboration and information sharing with partners across Canada and internationally to identify and arrest those who are perpetrating these crimes. The CBSA will also test available detection technologies that could support the work of border services officers who examine and intercept shipping containers to be exported from Canada with stolen vehicles. This includes exploring the use of advanced analytical tools, such as artificial intelligence.

The CBSA provides critical support to law enforcement partners to disrupt, investigate and prosecute these crimes. The leadership of these partners and their upfront, preventative and investigative work – within Canada and ahead of reaching our borders – is imperative to reduce auto theft overall.

Auto theft is a growing challenge in Ontario, Quebec and across the country. It increasingly involves organized crime groups, and the proceeds of these thefts are used to fund other illegal activities. There is no single solution to this complex problem. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to using the tools and authorities it has as well as to work closely with other orders of government and private industry. Only through coordinated cooperation and ideas from across jurisdictions will we see results.

Building on today’s announcement, the Government of Canada is welcoming leaders from all orders of government, industry and law enforcement to Ottawa tomorrow for the National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft. This Summit is an opportunity to take stock of the scope and scale of the auto theft issue in Canada, identify solutions and further collaborate on ways to address it.

The Government of Canada is committed to combatting serious and organized crime, reducing gun and gang violence and keeping our communities safe, as demonstrated by the recent announcement to provide federal support to prevent crime and combat auto theft in Ontario.


“Auto theft is a complex problem, and tackling it requires all partners to do their part. With this investment, our government is acting to prevent stolen cars from leaving the country and support the work of our border officers. I look forward to continuing the discussion with partners on further actions we can take as part of our joint efforts to combat auto theft at tomorrow’s Summit.”

  • The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs

Quick facts

  • While investigations into auto theft are led by local police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Sûreté du Québec (SQ), and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are working together in integrated task forces to target organized crime, including those groups involved in stolen vehicles.

  • The CBSA responds to 100% of referrals from police of jurisdiction to examine outbound containers at points of export that may contain stolen vehicles and identify criminal activity within the supply chain.

  • Nationally, the CBSA has increased its efforts, intercepting 463 stolen vehicles in 2018 to more than 1,800 interceptions of stolen vehicles in 2023. The CBSA’s actions have resulted in a 290% increase in stolen vehicle seizures over the past five years.

  • The CBSA facilitates two-way trade of hundreds of billions of dollars each year, including the movement of millions of sea containers. Its resources are strategically allocated to respond to the latest threats and service needs at our ports of entry. This includes resources dedicated to the examination of out-bound containers in both ports and railyards.

  • The majority of stolen vehicles exported are destined for Africa and the Middle East. Some stolen vehicles also remain in Canada, enabling other crimes to be committed with the vehicles.

  • Canada has strong laws in place to address auto theft at various stages of the crime. These include offences that address conduct that precedes the theft, the theft itself, possession and trafficking of stolen property, and tampering with Vehicle Information Numbers (VINs). Offense-related property and proceeds of crime can also be confiscated under the Criminal Code. 

  • The Criminal Code also includes comprehensive laws to target organized crime, including specific offences and enhanced investigative tools and enhanced sentencing of offences for violent acts including assault, assault with a weapon, intimidation and the use of a weapon (e.g., firearm) in the commission.

  • In 2023, the Government of Canada announced an extension and expansion of the ITAAGGV program, with $390 million over five years through the Gun and Gang Violence Action Fund to provinces and territories for a variety of initiatives, including support for law enforcement and prevention programs.

  • ITAAGGV investments are complemented by the $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF). First announced in March 2022, the BSCF provides funding directly to municipalities and Indigenous communities to support local initiatives that prevent gun and gang violence and help young people make good choices.

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Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs

For more information or to schedule an interview with a CBSA representative, please contact:

Media Relations
Canada Border Services Agency

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