The Commons Public Safety committee voted this week to initiate an investigation into Canada's growing black market trade involving vehicles stolen for the purpose of export.According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the insurance claims for stolen cars, trucks and SUVs amounted to $1 billion in 2022.“This is an issue that is actually quite personal to me as my vehicle was stolen,” said Conservative MP Dane Lloyd (Sturgeon River-Parkland, AB). “I did recover it thanks to tracking technology many companies are putting into their vehicles.”“This is a national issue,” Lloyd told the committee. “Not only is this providing an immense amount of capital for organized crime, it is also driving up insurance premiums for all Canadians.”The committee unanimously supported a motion by Bloc Québécois MP Kristina Michaud (Avignon-La Mitis, QC) that it “study car thefts in Canada as well as federal resources to fight crime.” According to a Vehicle Theft Trend Report released by insurance members of the Équité Association on June 6, there were a total of 70,082 vehicle thefts last year, with the majority occurring in Ontario (28,131), followed by Quebec (14,380) and Alberta (12,965).“Sixty percent of cars stolen in Ontario wind up in the Port of Montréal and are shipped to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe,” said Michaud. “We are talking about a thousand thefts a month.”“Insurance companies have had to pay a billion in claims in the past year,” said Michaud. “Everyone here knows someone whose car was stolen. The federal government has a direct responsibility.”Liberal MP Iqwinder Gaheer (Mississauga-Malton, ON) stated that his community was possibly the Canadian car theft capital.“The region I am from, Peel Region, which includes Mississauga and Brampton, is particularly hard hit,” said Gaheer. “We probably have the highest level of car thefts in the country. This is something my constituents raise with me all the time. I hear it every single day.”In 2010, Parliament passed Bill S-9 An Act to Amend the Criminal Code, which introduced a threat of up to five years of imprisonment for altering vehicle identification numbers.The bill also granted the Canada Border Services Agency new privileges, including access to police databases for tracking stolen vehicles intended for export.According to official estimates, Canadian ports manage around 1.8 million shipping containers annually. However, Access to Information records revealed that only a small number of these containers underwent random inspections.“For the Atlantic, I would say the number of export examinations is less than 1%,” said minutes of a 2011 meeting of Agency managers. Checks in Montreal were conducted only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.Officers in Halifax completed “a maximum of six examinations a month,” said records.