On March 1, 2018, Bill S-2, the Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act, SC 2018, c. 2, received Royal Assent and is now in force. This legislation introduces significant amendments to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, S.C. 1993 c. 16. The stated purpose of the legislation is to strengthen the enforcement and compliance regime in Canada, and to bring the Canadian regulatory scheme into greater harmony with the U.S. scheme.
The Minister of Transport has acquired expanded authority under the new legislation, including the power to:
- issue a recall;
- order the payment of costs to correct a defect or non-compliance;
- prohibit sale until a defect or non-compliance is corrected; and
- order tests, analyses, or studies on a motor vehicle or equipment.
Inspectors have also been granted greater authority under the new statutory scheme. The new legislation also confers the power on the minister to assess administrative monetary penalties for contravention of the act or the regulations, although this provision will only come into force on a date to be fixed by the Governor in Council. Industry stakeholders are advised to be aware of the new regulatory climate.