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New bill at Manitoba legislature targets scrap metal thieves

Callum Smith / Global News

The province has introduced a new bill at the Manitoba Legislature which takes aim at scrap metal thieves.

The Scrap Metal Act is designed to protect property and public safety, Manitoba Justice Minister Cameron Friesen said in a statement Thursday.

Friesen says the changes would require sellers and scrap dealers to provide and record identification for all metal sales.

“In addition to these measures, scrap metal dealers will be required to keep records and produce those records when requested, increasing accountability and providing barriers to those who seek to steal and sell metal items for quick cash,” Friesen said.

READ MORE: Scrap metal trade needs regulation to avoid sale of stolen goods in Winnipeg: Rollins

Metal theft has become not just a Manitoba issue, according to the minister, but a global issue and calls it extremely costly to the electricity, construction, telecommunication and industrial sectors.

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The legislation would also prohibit the use of cash for highly vulnerable items, regardless of value.

A two-month engagement process with the public and stakeholders was done last year and the majority of people were in favour of making changes.

 

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