Strathcona County has decided not to go through with creating a bylaw that would attempt to tackle the theft of catalytic converters.

The idea came up in October when Strathcona County council was looking into ways to deter the theft and illegal possession of catalytic converters.

The county looked at the City of Leduc, which had created the Business License Bylaw. This bylaw meant that those found with unattached catalytic converters must possess a valid business license for auto repair, transport, or have an RCMP-licensed permit in order to sell or trade the vehicle part. 

Despite this new bylaw, Leduc has reported a 90 per cent increase in catalytic converter thefts between 2021 and 2022, with only one person being charged under the bylaw.

It was for this reason that Strathcona County decided not to move forward with a bylaw of its own. 

“Criminals still don’t care about bylaws,” said Ward 6 councillor Corey-Ann Hartwick.

Just because Strathcona County isn't going through with the bylaw doesn't mean other measures haven't been taken.

Between 2019 and 2020, the provincial government passed three pieces of legislation: the Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Identification Act, the Protecting Alberta Industry from Theft Act, as well as putting in regulations for scrap metal dealers and recyclers to help combat the thefts.

Between the first and third quarters of 2022, Strathcona County reported 163 catalytic converter thefts.