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Cracking Down on Converters: Alberta’s proposed Bill 25 aims to reduce metal theft

Calgary, Alberta — The Albertan government has introduced a new measure aimed at tackling metal thefts, particularly in the automotive industry.

On June 18, Bill 25: Protecting Alberta Industry From Theft Act, 2020, was introduced to establish new measures that will make it more difficult for criminals to sell stolen metal for scrap.

“Our government has heard loud and clear from Albertans who have been victimized by property theft for far too long. We are taking action to protect them by making it more difficult for criminals to monetize the goods and materials they steal. This will send a strong message that taking advantage of vulnerable Albertans and their businesses will not be tolerated. We want Albertans to know we are going to do everything we can as a provincial government to help them feel safe,” said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General in an online release.

If passed, the bill will require scrap metal dealers to report all transactions involving commonly stolen metals and items such as catalytic converters to law enforcement.

The bill was tabled hours after the police laid charges against an Edmonton man who was found with 462 stolen catalytic converters in his trailer.

To give stakeholders time to adjust and comply, the new provisions would be implemented in two stages:

  • On Sept. 1, new provisions would include a requirement for sellers to provide government-issued photo ID. Dealers would be required to record and retain the seller’s ID information, as well as details of the transaction.
  • On Nov. 1, additional provisions would include requirements for dealers to report transactions to law enforcement and for all payments to be made using traceable forms of currency, such as electronic transfers or cheques.

The proposed legislation also includes increased fines for both individuals and corporations.

“Scrap metal theft is an ongoing challenge across rural Alberta with major impacts on many rural business and industries. Bill 25 is an important step toward protecting rural Albertans from the risks of scrap metal theft by developing a centralized database of scrap metal sales. RMA appreciates the Government of Alberta’s decisive action to address rural crime and support safe rural communities,” said Al Kemmere, president, Rural Municipalities of Alberta.

For more information on Alberta’s Bill 25, click here.

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