Background: Creating a new regulation for Administrative Monetary Penalties under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act

In 2018, the Government of Canada updated the Motor Vehicle Safety Act to improve its enforcement and compliance regime so that Transport Canada can issue administrative monetary penalties to anyone found to have violated requirements or orders made under the:

  • Motor Vehicle Safety Act
  • Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations
  • Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations, and
  • Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seat Safety Regulations

These penalties provide an incentive for persons, companies and corporations to follow the rules set out by the Act and Regulations by

  • Making it less expensive to follow rules rather than break them
  • Providing incentive for good behaviour and cooperation with Transport Canada
  • Allowing Transport Canada flexibility in setting penalty amounts

In order to bring this new authority into effect, Transport Canada is proposing to:

  • Create a new regulation called the Motor Vehicle Safety Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations which would:
    • Identify the violations - which requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations, the Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations, the Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seat Safety Regulations and which orders could be enforced through a penalty
    • For each violation, specify the maximum penalty amount for an individual, corporation or company, not exceeding $4,000 per individual, and $200,000 per company or corporation
    • Identify which violations could be included in a series (where multiple violations would lead to one maximum penalty amount), or define different classes of violations and the maximum amounts for each class.

As part of this consultation, we'd like to know:

  • Should some violations have a maximum penalty that's lower than $4,000 per individual, and $200,000 per company or corporation? If so, which ones?
  • Should the violations be defined by class or series? If so, why?
  • Should Transport Canada host a meeting to discuss proposed regulations?
    • Depending on the responses from this consultation, we may host a meeting, so please let us know if you'd like to participate. Note: Only people who have shown an interest in participating will be sent an invitation.

On this page:

Why Administrative Monetary Penalties?

Transport Canada takes a graduated approach to enforcement. This means that the use of an enforcement response matches the seriousness and consequences of the “rule-breaking”. This helps to encourage individuals, corporations or companies to follow the rules, and provides added incentive for cooperation and other good behaviour.

For now, we mainly prosecute individuals, corporations and companies who don't follow the rules.

Introducing Administrative Monetary Penalties (or AMPs, for short) gives us another way to take enforcement action that is quicker and cheaper than prosecution, and provides more flexibility to make sure the penalty is appropriate.

Setting the penalties and amounts

The regulations will identify each requirement for which we will be able to issue a penalty, and the maximum penalty amount for that requirement. To set these amounts, we will rate each violation as either low, medium or high severity. The high severity violations will be assigned the maximum allowed by the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, with less-severe violations having lower penalty amounts.

Violations committed or continued on more than one day may result in separate violations for each day or they may result in a series or class of violation. So depending on the circumstances, total penalties could exceed the set limits. There could also be separate violations for each vehicle or item of equipment that’s involved.

Through its graduated enforcement approach policy, Transport Canada can further reduce the penalty amount, depending on the circumstances of the violation, and the following factors:

  1. The actual or possible harm posed by the violation
  2. Whether it was on purpose
  3. Previous compliance history
  4. Whether the violator benefitted financially or economically
  5. What steps the violator took to deal with the issue
  6. How well the violator cooperated with Transport Canada, and
  7. Whether the issue was found by Transport Canada, by working together, or if the violator self-reported

This provides incentive for proactive behaviour and cooperation with Transport Canada, and allows us to make sure the penalty amount is appropriate.

Telling others about violations

The Motor Vehicle Safety Act allows the Minister to publish information about a violation, including who committed it and the penalty amount. This notice must be removed from public records five years after the penalty is paid, unless the Minister believes that it's not in the public interest to do so.

Anyone who is issued a penalty can ask to have that decision reviewed and appealed by the Transportation Appeals Tribunal of Canada (the Tribunal). The Tribunal will review the decision and then decide to either uphold, vary (change) or set aside the penalty.

If either Transport Canada or the offender disagrees with the decision, it can be appealed. Once the Appeal Panel makes a decision, they will contact the offender and Minister.

Learn more about the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada

Coming into force

This is an informal consultation. If a regulatory proposal is created based on this notice, it would be published with a proposed coming into force date in the Canada Gazette, Part I, followed by a formal comment period. You will also have the opportunity to provide feedback during this formal comment period. Any new regulatory requirement would come into force after it is published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.