NEWS: Canadian politician to ban “RHD Asian vehicles”?

A politician in Canada appears to be working on behalf of a dealer’s association to ban “imported RHD Asian vehicles.” United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney has received a large campaign contribution from the Motor Dealers’ Association of Alberta, in exchange for commitments regarding a host of issues, of which the car ban is just one. Also, these contributions might violate Canada’s election laws.

Our neighbors to the north have long enjoyed generous importation laws, which says any cars built in the last 15 years can be brought into the country. That means Canada is already enjoying cars like the R33 and R34 Skyline GT-R, and had the R32 a full decade before the US.

However, as Jason Torchinsky, senior editor at Jalopnik, reports, the MDA wants to change that. Not only that, but the campaign contributions — which total $170,000 for now but are planned to go as high as $1 million and will be used for TV, radio and social media ads against Kenney’s opponents — might be violations of Canada’s election rules.

The whole thing has created what the Calgary Herald calls a “massive political blowup,” not that most voters in Canada care about the particular issue of JDM car importation. It’s the violation that is the cause for most concern. The letter the MDA sent to its members includes the great following issues:

1) Carbon Tax – The provincial carbon tax would be scrapped immediately. He would join the coalition of other provinces in opposing the proposed Federal government carbon tax.

2) Other Taxes – Corporate and personal income tax increases imposed by the NDP government would be rolled back.

3) Minimum Wages – Minimum wages would be frozen until other Canadian provinces catch up. His transition team will be exploring graduated minimum wages for youth workers.

4) Labour Code, OH&S, WCB Changes – All the recent legislated changes to these three areas will be cancelled.

5) Consumer Protection Act Changes – MDA President will be asked to meet with the UCP transition team to provide input on how to rebalance the playing field between consumers and industry. Returning AMVIC to a delegated authority from a government agency, appointments of AMVIC Chair, compensation fund control, etc.

6) Issues Requiring Government Action – Banning of Imported RHD Asian vehicles – Legislation will be pushed through the legislature.

They didn’t say why Asian (read:Japanese) cars were singled out. Thus far, the issues of safety and environmental concerns has been raised by opponents of JDM cars, but as Torchinsky notes, if that’s the issue, why not include German or British cars as well? His conversation with the MDA president reveals no good answers. Instead, it’s quite likely that dealers see the availability of low-mileage, reliable JDM cars as a threat to their own sales.

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16 Responses to NEWS: Canadian politician to ban “RHD Asian vehicles”?

  1. Chet Manley said:

    Wow Canadian republicans, the only thing worse than republican republicans!

    • Randy Hone said:

      Man, this why we can’t nice things, idiot politicians. Tack some meaningless garbage on your bill so it gets noticed. Death to beaurocrats by a thousand paper cuts.

    • Dimitry said:

      Conservatives, Liberals, Republicans, Democrats, Left, Right.
      It all doesn’t matter – in the end it’s the corruption that stains it all.

  2. LB1 said:

    The Japanese cars were singled out probably because of the demographics associated with them. Probably not the best behaved.

    • John said:

      Not so. I am a japanese car fan but it is very dangerous to have right hand drive cars in this congested city of toronto. I would know because i got hit by one of them and it was his fault . Could not see me when he pulled out because of right hand drive.

      • Matt D said:

        That shouldn’t be indicative of RHD cars being unsafe enough to be made illegal. If it was his fault, it’s because he wasn’t cautious enough — he didn’t drive his particular car safely. The orientation of the steering column wasn’t the causal factor.

        By that logic you should remove all cars that don’t have ABS, use red turn signals, or don’t have two flag mirrors.

      • Chet Manley said:

        I think LHD is more unsafe because of the 5 car accidents I’ve been in they were all involving a LHD car. Each time it was because the person was too busy checking the blind spot on their right or looking at their ridiculous touch screen stereo.

        LHD or RHD doesnt matter, it’s about how crappy of a driver the other person is.

  3. Peter B said:

    As an Albertan, I really don’t understand the Dealers group push for this… Most people looking at importing a 15 year old JDM car, are not the people who are going to care, or be interested in buying their new Crossover/Hybrid/Whatever they are trying to hock.

    What’s more frustrating for me is that my workplace is a member of this MDA group….

  4. エーイダン said:

    Wouldn’t it be more productive of these idiots to push for something meaningful for the Canadian auto industry, like oh say for instance, a ban on imports of trucks from Mexico or the U.S.? Oh wait, the cars they are trying to sell are all from America and Mexico…..

  5. ahja said:

    Sucks for Canadians, but good for the rest of us. Canadians having a 10 year head start on all the low mileage JDM cars doesn’t do anything good for Americans. All the good examples are long gone by the time Americans can go shopping.

    • blue said:

      by ” the rest of us” do you mean United States of Americans? Canadians don’t give a fuck if your dumb country won’t allow importing them under the same guidelines. Why are you USA folk looking to bring in more “asian” cars? Doesnt sound like “AMeRIKA PHIRSt!”

  6. ahja said:

    As for why not German or British cars, you can’t find anything desirable for cheaper over there than you can here, which is why you never hear about anybody importing EDM cars. It’s not a thing. The Japanese are unique in how they made SO MANY domestic-only models. And like the gray market cars in NZ, or the gray market imports in the US in the 80s (which is why we have our 25 year rule..but at least it allows for waiting), if the gray market gets big and successful enough, the guys who are stuck having to sell things that have to legitimately comply with the government’s laws will make a fuss if people in the same field are raking it by selling things that DON’T comply with those same laws. And they aren’t really in the wrong. Complain about all the safety and emissions laws that prevented an R34 from being sold in North America in the first place. Don’t blame the dealer who’s stuck trying to sell lard-ass wheezing overstressed Civic Type Rs getting pissed because some guy across the highway is selling a bunch of badass GTRs which don’t and never did have to pass all of Canada/the US’s retarded nanny laws and every sane person would prefer.

    In short, when the rules are rigged, don’t attack the guy who complains when he’s getting screwed by the rigged rules.

    • MattD said:

      Except they’re not making their bottom lines on Civic Type Rs. And if they’re competing against 25 year old cars, they aren’t really competing. There isn’t a single market out there that’s competing against a used product that’s that old — cars are no exception.

      They’ll still sell more than they need to of the bottom of the barrel Civics and Accords and crossover garbage. There’s no reason to go after a niche market other than to increase the sales of those high margin, marked up performance cars, like the Type R. But they’re not going to see a spike in those purchases if there aren’t any GTRs being imported — they’re just going to have a bunch of pissed off people denying them their business because they denied possible consumer’s toys.

      Everyone with a GTR has a daily, they should be working to sell the necessity — not a highly specialized toy.

  7. Gwynn said:

    Worth noting a few things

    1. This dingdong is not elected, but the leader of the opposition party. Granted there’s a very real chance that party will be elected here due to the current government also being terrible.
    2. This is a Provincial election in a province that has like 15% of the country’s population. Should these changes even be made it will make literally no difference to the majority of Canadian’s ability to import RHD cars, or have any impact on the pricing the US consumer has.
    3. The Calgary Herald is not all that reputable, though not likely wrong here about breaking laws.

    The greater problem to the dealers is that no manufacturer sells good, affordable cars. My local Toyota has a 86 on the floor optioned out to $42,000 CAD. WTF, that’s exactly not the point of the 86. Parts are routinely 2-3x the price of the same parts from a US dealer because the non-savvy don’t feel they have a choice. The dealers are their own worst enemy by giving crappy overpriced service, and driving up the price of crappy overpriced cars with nonsense options.

  8. Heard it all Before said:

    It’s always the same.

    Whenever the West can’t win at something, they cheat or change the rules.
    Simple as that.

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