Poilievre announces “Charter-proof” plan to crack down on auto thefts
Poilievre announces “Charter-proof” plan to crack down on auto thefts

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre says his recently plan to crack down on auto thefts will be constitutionally sound and won’t be struck down by the courts. 

At a Brampton, Ont. press conference Monday, Poilievre rolled out a plan he says will tackle the scourge of auto thefts, promising “jail not bail” for repeat offenders. 

“Today I’m announcing that a Pierre Poilievre government will go after the real criminals by restoring jail not bail – jail not bail for repeat violent offenders and career car thieves,” said Poilievre. 

Poilievre said he would pass legislation to require mandatory jail time for repeat offenders, increase the mandatory minimum sentence from six months to three years, remove the possibility of receiving house arrest, lengthen sentences for car thefts associated with organised crime, and reform the bail system. 

The Stephen Harper government had passed tough-on-crime legislation to create mandatory minimum sentences for a variety of crimes, though many of these laws were struck down by the courts, citing violations of the right to life, liberty, and security of the person and the right against cruel and unusual punishment.

True North asked Poilievre about how he would ensure his anti-auto theft legislation would withstand judicial scrutiny.

“My legislation is Charter-proof and constitutionally sound,” responded Poilievre.

The Conservative leader went on to blame the Liberal government for bail system reforms, which made it easier for offenders to receive bail. 

“It’s not the courts that have turned loose criminals and allowed this crime wave, it’s Justin Trudeau. It was not the courts that passed C-75, the catch and release bail system, it was Justin Trudeau. It was not the courts that brought in house arrest for repeat car thieves in C-5, it was Justin Trudeau.”

Poilievre listed three priorities that he believes will ameliorate Canada’s auto theft problem. 

“A common sense Conservative government will fix the criminal code to put the criminals in jail, we will reform the RCMP to stop organised crime, and we will secure our ports to keep the illegal drugs and guns out and our cars in the country.”

A wave of auto thefts has swept across the country in recent years, as criminal organisations have been using Canadian ports to send stolen cars to Africa and the Middle East. 

In Toronto, instances of motor vehicle theft have increased by over 350% from 2015-2023 while the Region of Peel has been reeling from an over 200% increase from 2020-2024.

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