MPP Anand’s thirty-seventh Members’ Statement was on the topic of “Gas Theft”, delivered on 29 March 2021.

A rising trend posing a serious threat for consumers and employees at Ontario gas stations is the 100% preventable crime of gas-and-dash thefts. In 2019 alone, there were 37,000 cases, skyrocketing from a mere 9,200 thefts in 2010. That is over 100 cases of gas thefts a day, and rising.

In the past, there are many instances where workers were chasing cars and getting hurt—even lost lives—to avoid docked pay, an unnecessary yet common practice in Ontario. Though they don’t have to, these vulnerable workers—many times, some of them are new immigrants—often feel morally obligated to catch these fleeing criminals. This also poses risks to innocent bystanders and adds up work to our police officers.

Mr. Speaker, we have a choice, and we can avoid these risks. My private member’s bill, Bill 231, unanimously supported by all members, will decisively address all these issues of community safety by making prepayment at gas stations a requirement. BC and Alberta have already implemented prepayment and have avoided these risks for their residents.

I’d like to thank the Ontario Convenience Stores Association, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and all members of this Legislature for supporting Bill 231. Together, let’s make our community safer and induce further trust in our system.