Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface, introduced Bill 200 today - a bill to crack down on scrap metal theft by requiring recyclers to keep records of who sold them scrap metal and where it came from.
Lamont said the bill was developed after community consultations in St. Boniface, which saw property crime soar in the last years and is based on similar measures in BC, Alberta and Ontario.
In the last year, there have been cases of people stealing sewer access covers, catalytic converters, bulk wire, and selling it to scrap metal dealers for a quick payment.
"This is about breaking a cycle where individuals and organized gangs can get quick cash for scrap without explaining where it came from," said Lamont. "There is no question that this is fuelling property crime, and this bill is designed to disrupt the cycle of scrap metal theft for substance use disorder."
The Manitoba Liberals' bill:
Requires the seller to provide identification, and requires scrap metal dealers to keep the information for two years
Delays immediate payment
Scrap metal dealers must not pay cash of more than $50 to an individual in a 24 hour period
If a scrap metal dealer has reasonable grounds to believe that material they have is stolen property, they must immediately report it to the proper law enforcement agency
The bill also has exemptions: does not apply to a corporation that is authorized to carry on business in MB, or a person who is a dealer, salesperson or recycler under The Drivers and Vehicles Act.
The legislation does not apply to the sale of containers used for food, beverages, paint or other household items normally recycled to avoid waste. It also does not apply to coins, jewellery or other prescribed items.
Lamont added that the bill is also designed to protect vulnerable people who are legally collecting scrap for income.
"There are still plenty of people who are collecting scrap and selling it legally. This is a way of protecting these individuals while protecting Manitobans," said Lamont.