Ottawa wants to add more U.S. anti-theft devices to its
list of vehicle immobilizers that meet Canadian standards, a move
designed to make it easier for Canadians to import U.S. vehicles,
said Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon.
The federal government proposed changes Friday to add more
electronic anti-theft immobilizers from the States to a Canadian
list that the Registrar of Imported Vehicles checks each time a U.S.
vehicle is imported into Canada.
Under the current importing rules, which came into effect Sept.
1, Canadian-made vehicles, or vehicles imported from the U.S., must
have electronic, anti-theft immobilizers.
The proposed changes _ which take effect Dec. 16 after a 15-day
consultation period _ would add more U.S. immobilizers to that list,
so long as they meet a certain Canadian standard.
``The only thing we're doing is we're recognizing that the motor
safety vehicles that are in the United States have a compatibility
with what we have here. That's what we're recognizing,'' Cannon
He bristled at suggestions the government is lowering its
standards when it comes to the immobilizers that make Canada's list
of approved devices.
Data from the Registrar of Imported Vehicles released earlier
this week showed that Canadians have imported more vehicles than
ever this year from the U.S.
Canadians imported a record 136,666 new and used vehicles from
the U.S. through October as the loonie overtook the slumping
greenback at the very end of September. The Canadian dollar has
largely traded above US$1 since then, giving consumers an incentive
to cross the border to shop.
Last year, Canadians imported 112,826 vehicles from the U.S.,
Transport Canada said.
The government held two conference calls this week to discuss the
proposed changes with auto makers, immobilizer manufacturers and
other interested parties, said Mark Nantais, president of the
Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association.
Nantais, who said he was on the call, said he was surprised the
government went ahead with the proposed changes so soon after the
``We have a concerned that they've required us to do this, a
considerable amount of effort went into developing these immobilizer
systems and putting them into our vehicles,'' he said.
``A good deal of resources, therefore, have been wasted. Product
development resources that are pretty scarce at this point in
Cannon's office said the government went with a 15-day
consultation period rather than the traditional 60 days because of
bottlenecking at the border as Canadians venture south to shop.