About time government stood up for consumers
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This article was published 25/05/2022 (254 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
More measures are needed to prevent catalytic converter theft. In 2020, Manitoba Public Insurance reported 400 calims for stolen catalytic converters. In 2021 there were 2,200 claims – a 450 per cent increase.
I’m worried the numbers are going to be even bigger for 2022, and many claims go unreported. As long as precious metals such as rhodium, palladium, and platinum are worth thousands of dollars an ounce these thefts will continue. Organized groups of criminals have a shopping list of vehicle types and it’s not uncommon for a stolen converter to fetch up to $800. MPI covers the replacement cost but charges a betterment fee.
There are ways we can combat catalytic converter theft. I’ve introduced Bill 232, the Catalytic Converter Identification Act, which would require motor vehicle dealers in the province to mark the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the catalytic converters of every vehicle sold by a dealership, including new and used vehicles. The purpose of the marking or etching would be to identify the catalytic converter to a specific vehicle, something that’s currently not possible. All vehicles sold in dealerships end up on a hoist at one time or another for inspections or repair, and this additional etching could be done at minimal cost and inconvenience. The provincial government should order MPI to offer substantial discounts to Manitoba drivers who have their catalytic converters engraved with VIN numbers, to incentivize people to get it done. Legislation like Bill 232 would be a meaningful step in catalytic converter theft prevention and one more tool in the fight against thefts occurring across the province.
Around a year ago I introduced legislation aimed at organized groups of criminals stealing catalytic converters and precious scrap metals by prohibiting cash sales of these goods and requiring proper documentation and record keeping for five years. Rather than pass my private member’s bill, the Progressive Conservative government introduced similar legislation of its own which will hopefully soon be passed into law.
I will continue to work to prevent catalytic converter thefts across Elmwood and Manitoba. For more information please call my office at 204-415-1122 or email me at email@example.com
Elmwood constituency report
Jim Maloway is the NDP MLA for Elmwood.