Canadian Letter Writing Campaign

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by bgoates, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. bgoates

    bgoates New Member

    The potential penalty cost of operating a motor vehicle without insurance, license, headlights, tail lights,and signal lights can easily add up to thousands of dollars if I happen to get a cop who had a fight with his wife that morning or a bad cup of coffee. This is more risk than I wish to assume.

    I think the only chance we have in changing this situation is a letter writing campaign to our Minister of Transportation, MP and MLA's.

    We need to have a few members submit template letters which can easily be cut and pasted along with a directory of MP's and MLA's email addresses. If we make it easy to do and these politicians get hundreds of letters it may make a difference.

    You can start by emailing the Minister John Baird of Transport Canada at

    Followup with letters to your MP and sure to include your name and address.

    For background information see the thread "Attention Canadians"

    Please start writing your letters and posting them on this thread for others to use as templates !

    Good luck !!!

  2. Dilly Bar Rob

    Dilly Bar Rob Member

    I totally agree.

    I don't understand why the only "legal" type of "MB" in the whole country should be electric's. I think that gas powered MB's should be allowed even if they were to impose some (strict) regulations regarding safety, power output etc. Perhaps even some sort of inspection to ensure rider safety would be acceptable IMHO, if that would be what it takes to make them legal.

    Just yesterday I talked to some old lady who said that her sister rides a "better" electric and easily rides at "30 clicks" even up steep hills with no pedaling. Well that's about what my MB does going up a steep hill. Whats the difference then for pete's sake? Surely the government makes more off gasoline taxes then off of electricity taxes, if anything gas powered MB's would make them more money then electric's would.

    I understand that a store bought electric is "factory motorized" which a home built gas powered unit isn't, which may be the main issue (in the authorities eyes). But I think this should be negated by the fact that a "home MB builder" (or should I say somebody capable of building a MB) is much more likely to use decent quality bike components (being aware of the added stress, vibes etc.) that are "up to the task" compared to a chinese factory churning out electrics built "to a price" for crappy tire and other stores. Also, the "home MB builder" (being "mechanically inclined") is probably much more likely to do proper routine bicycle maintenance then the "average Joe" who buys an electric and just keeps on riding it until something major fails.

    Also, the "home MB builder" is probably aware of the fact that his contraption is currently illegal in Canada, and thus much more likely to ride in a safe, "low profile" manor so as not to attract unwanted attention from the authorities (compared to many kids on regular bicycles and even pedestrians who seem to think that they are "king of the road".

    Interestingly enough- I live in a rural area, and everybody who I talk to (including one friendly police officer) about motorized bicycles thinks that they are legal. When I tell them that they are NOT, they don't want to believe me (they see no reason why they shouldn't be) and they usually say "no, no, they ARE legal if they are under 48cc". This leads me to believe that MB's must have been legal in some point in Canadian history...

    Hmm, I think that I may indeed edit this post a bit and send it to the email address posted above, for whatever difference it may make. Something HAS TO BE DONE!

    bgoates and other canadian members, please DO post other relevant email addresses for me to send this to if you find any.

    Dilly Bar Rob
  3. sangesf

    sangesf New Member


    What's the current law in Canada?

    You're not allowed at ALL? to have a bicycle with a gas motor on it?
  4. Dilly Bar Rob

    Dilly Bar Rob Member

    Nope. The only province (Alberta) that to my knowledge DID allow motorized bicycles (gas engine) finally banned them this year:shout:. It seems that how much the po-lice are "out to get you" varies across the country. I hear that Ontario & most big cities are pretty bad. Personally I have never had any troubles (yet...) but I would still rather ride legally.

    Only electric MB's are allowed. Here is what ICBC's website says (applies to BC but I assume that most provinces are similar) :

    Motor-assisted cycles
    What is a motor-assisted cycle (MAC)?

    A MAC is a two- or three-wheeled cycle with a seat, pedals and an electric motor that is 500 watts or less. MACs cannot be gas-powered.

    Because of their wide-ranging appearance, MACs can be easily confused with other types of motorized, two-wheeled vehicles, such as low-powered motorcycles or scooters.

    Important: Know for sure whether you are riding a MAC. MACs have unique licensing, insurance and operating requirements.
    Rules for using MACs

    To ride a MAC, you must

    * be 16 or older, and
    * wear a bicycle helmet.

    However, MAC riders are not required to

    * have a driver's licence, or
    * register, license or insure their MAC (though insurance may be available under a homeowner's policy).

    The only other category they have is:

    "Mopeds" (limited-speed motorcycles)

    To operate a moped

    * it must be registered, licensed and insured for road use,
    * you must have a full-privilege driver's licence (any class) or a Class 6 or 8 learner licence, and
    * you must wear a helmet.

    Clearly, a gas engine motorized bicycle can not be registered, licensed and insured. You could probably get a VIN for it, but then it would have to be inspected to pass as a moped... I think by the time (& money...) you would need to make it "worthy" (if at all possible) you would be better off just buying a moped.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  5. sangesf

    sangesf New Member

    Pretty stupid..

    Moped or electric bicycle.
    With nothing in between.

    I guess they only want you to buy something that meets safety standards for the appropriate type of vehicle.

    Oh well, I guess if you REALLY NEED A gas powered bicycle, you would have to move out of Canada or get ALOT of people to start a petition to get them legalized.

    I guess that's the point of this thread.
  6. Dilly Bar Rob

    Dilly Bar Rob Member

    How do we get a petition going? Lets do this!

    Oh, and I looked at Ontario's laws yesterday, interestingly enough they state that: "a moped is a motor-assisted bicycle fitted with pedals...". This is really confusing, it's like they are trying to allow/ban devices that they don't even know how to define. I mean, clearly a MOPED is not a motor assisted bicycle, even though that's what it was at some point in history the modern moped is something quite different then a bike with a motor on it....

    I keep looking at definitions across Canada, looking for a loophole or some "grey" area. Unfortunately the lawmakers seem to have been pretty thorough. :

    Operators of motorized cycles that don’t qualify as MACs are considered motorcycles and are subject to offences under the MVA if operated improperly, including:
    No vehicle licence $109
    No insurance $598
    No driver's licence $138
    Ride motorcycle without required helmet $138
    Operating a motor vehicle not equipped as required, e.g., if the MAC motor size limit is exceeded then LSM equipment is required $109

    Also, I ran over some more "specific" definitions yesterday (cant find right now), they stated that "MAC's" cannot be equipped with gas powered generator to charge the batteries....There goes the idea of getting around the problem with a gas/electric bike.
  7. sangesf

    sangesf New Member

    That's about the stupidest thing I've ever heard...
    Why wouldn't you be able to have a small trailer to the bike with a small generator... That's just mean and there is no reason for them to restrict that too.
  8. Dilly Bar Rob

    Dilly Bar Rob Member

    Sad but so, I managed to find the definition again, here's the link for anybody who wants to "read up":

    4 A motor assisted cycle must not be equipped with a generator, alternator or similar device powered by a combustion engine.

    I also noticed something that I didn't see before:
    NOTE: In addition to the above the requirements the bicycles must be marked in accordance with the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

    So, even if you build an electric bike yourself you are apparently still not legal, as the bike will not have a little sticker saying that it complies with the "Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Act". Could you get one? I doubt it :shout:
  9. beast775

    beast775 Guest

    years of research here

    the newest bc motor vehicle act states-[motor vehicle] means a vehicle,not run on rails,that is designed to be self propelled or propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires,BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE A MOTOR ASSISTED CYCLE!............that is the motor vehicle status.the powers that be are all messed up you cannot liscense a bicycle,a bicycle is a bicycle.i have one but its a complete joke. legalese definitions are made so you cannot understand them, its another language.i wish you guys luck.i have some paper work still from talking to ministers of transport etc.that i could send out but there useless.theyve all heard from me,its all about control and building a 10 hp ebike right now,but its still 500watts legal limit,o boy gotta be legal haha:devilish:
  10. bgoates

    bgoates New Member

    As the "manufacturer" of my own ebike why can't I put my own stupid sticker on it claiming it to be compliant with Transport Canada bull**** ?
  11. beast775

    beast775 Guest

    you can

    nobody cares about a bicycle with a motor on it unless you hit a little old lady,then youll need your sticker.contracts rule,so do pro looking stickers.ride and enjoy:cool2:
  12. POPS

    POPS Member

    Hey Mark

    I just came off of looking at ICBC again.

    No where do's it say you have to have a sticker!!

    What it do's say :


    " As a condition of "initial sale",
    all "commercially manufactured" MACs
    must bear a permanently affixed label
    stating that the vehicle is a "power assisted bicycle."

    So what this means to me is if I build it myself, NOT commercially manufactured, I am good to go. NO WHERE do's it say you need a sticker
    if you build it yourself. To take that a step futher because it is not Com. Man.
    a person do's not have to follow the initial sale rule ether because it was
    built in your own shop. Not commercially...POPS
  13. Veloteq

    Veloteq New Member

    E-bike Regulations re: building your own

    The regulations do not say that you cannot build your own e-bike. They set forth what standards to which they must be made in order to be compliant with the regulations.

    Because the operator is not required to have a driver's license which would indicate knowledge of traffic regulations and behavior, the speed is limited to what a healthy bicycle rider could achieve, although not for very long. It is hard to sustain a continuous speed of 32 km/h, and what about weather conditions such as hot summer weather?

    Alberta clarified the definitions of "power bicycle" and "moped" when the regulations changed in July, 2009. Here is link to their advisory.

    Building a 10hp e-bike with a power output of 500W does not mean that it would be in compliance with the CMVSA regulation. The regulation clearly states that the e-bike cannot travel at a speed greater than 32 km/h on a dry level surface. If an operator were pulled over because a police officer observed him/her traveling a speed estimated by him to be over the limit, he could call for a test of e-bike. If it is home made and does not comply with the regulations, the operator would likely be charged with operation of a non-licensed motor vehicle, as well as insurance infractions.

    The logic behind the e-bike law to begin with was that it is better for the environment to have people operating non fossil-fuel vehicles. However, since they would not be stringently regulated in order to permit larger numbers of people to participate in the initiative, it is necessary that there be rules in place, otherwise the situation would be chaotic.

    I would suggest that if you build your own e-bike you make it comply with the federal regulations under CMVSA Subpart 2(1), and put a sticker on it so if you are stopped the police officer will at least know what he or she is dealing with.

    Veloteq developed one of the first coherent compliance labels, in cooperation with Transport Canada and Canada Customs, back in 2003. We would be happy to send anyone of sample of this. Just drop us an email to with the subject line, 'Canada Compliance Label'.

    Happy riding!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  14. Veloteq

    Veloteq New Member

    That is covered under 2(1)(e) of the Transport Canada regulations: . It does not exempt home made vehicles. There are kits available to convert conventional bikes to e-bikes but they must still comply with the above.

  15. POPS

    POPS Member

    Hey Veloteq

    I am not saying that you don't have to comply

    with the rules just because it's home made!

    What I am saying is that I can NOT find anywhere

    that is says you have to have a sticker if its home made...POPS
  16. Veloteq

    Veloteq New Member

    Short Title
    1. These Regulations may be cited as the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations.

    2. (1) "power-assisted bicycle" means a vehicle that:
    (a) has steering handlebars and is equipped with pedals,
    (b) is designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground,
    (c) is capable of being propelled by muscular power,
    (d) has an electric motor only, which has the following characteristics, namely:
    (i) it has a continuous power output rating, measured at the shaft of the motor, of 500 W or less,
    (ii) if it is engaged by the use of muscular power, power assistance immediately ceases when the muscular power ceases,
    (iii) if it is engaged by the use of an accelerator controller, power assistance immediately ceases when the brakes are applied, and
    (iv) it is incapable of providing further assistance when the bicycle attains a speed of 32 km/h on level ground,
    (e) bears a label that is permanently affixed by the manufacturer and appears in a conspicuous location stating, in both official languages, that the vehicle is a power-assisted bicycle as defined in this subsection, and .......

    Further (source, The Oxford Dictionary)

    - verb 1 make (something), especially on a large scale using machinery.

    Forget the caveat about large scale, etc. If you make it, you are the manufacturer. The federal regulation does not specify that the bike be commericially made.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  17. Dilly Bar Rob

    Dilly Bar Rob Member

    That's it. I'm pretty sure they mean no label = not legal.

    Makes sense?


    That's what makes me think that is indeed what they mean - it's a Canadian law, so if it doesn't make sense that's probably the way it is :goofy:

    Anybody know of a place that prints quality stickers in small quantity's?
    I saw a "sample label" somewhere, I think that's what we need (how kind of them to put a picture of one online).....

    I imagine a worst case scenario like this (at least where I live):

    Officer: Where did you get that sticker? Only e-bikes are supposed to have those!
    Me: Your kidding?! It came with with the engine kit. There was a note that said "Valued customer please kindly use sticker affix to bike must be on to be legal in Canada". It also came with a sticker for the US but I threw that one out, not planning to ride my bike down to the states Officer.
    Officer: Well a sticker doesn't make it legal! Where did you get the kit?
    Me: Ebay, I think it shipped direct from Hongkong, might be wrong, sorry it's been a while, never using ebay again it's one big scam, everything is sub par quality.
    Officer: Oh... Well it's not legal sir, the motor vehicle act states that............ I better not see you on that thing again or you will face charges, now push that thing back home!
    Me: Certainly officer! So sorry, I didn't know....

    Of course this would be a tad risky, but what are we to do?

    You guys really think that a petition wouldn't help? I remember signing a petition (about a year ago) not to let some criminal of local significance out on parole (don't even know who the guy was) and to my knowledge (word of mouth) they didn't let him out thanks to that! Surely if a petition can be used for that it could be used for a harmless cause such as making MB's legal....
  18. Veloteq

    Veloteq New Member


    Near the conclusion of the e-bike Pilot Project last year in Ontario a bunch of manual bike purists with support from a few people in Transport Ontario petitioned the federal government, specifically, Transport Canada, to disallow scooter-type e-bikes from the definition of "power-assisted bicycle" because they did not want to share the bike lanes. What they got was a reaffirmation in April of 2009 on the part of Transport Canada that the law stands and they had no intention of altering it. Ontario subsequently, in September 2009 upon conclusion of the Pilot Project, acquiesced to abide by the federal definition and permitted the operation of scooter-type e-bikes on Ontario roads. Many Ontario owners of scooter-type e-bikes had also petitioned Transport Ontario to continue to permit them after the Pilot Project completed. They won out. The point is, depending on which side you are on the petition can turn out to favorable or unfavorable. In my long experience with Transport Canada, they would not even consider dropping the label requirement, anymore than they would the CMVSS label that is required on motor vehicles. The label is a statement that the vehicle is in compliance with the motor vehicle laws.:cowboy2:
  19. POPS

    POPS Member


    As you know, the federal transport Canada rules are only

    a guideline for the individual provinces to interpert and implement

    their own rules. EG: Albertas old rules.

    When you go to ICBC and type in MACs in the search box

    at the bottom of the page on the left hand side

    the only mention about labels I can find anywhere on the site is:

    "As a condition of initial sale
    all commercially manufactured MACs must bear a permanently
    affixed label stating that the vehicle is a power assisted bicycle."

    So to me that clearly states that if you are not going to sell the bike you do not need a sticker or it would say ALL MACs need a sticker.

    I would also argue about com. man. if I ever ended up in court.

    Can you show me anywhere on the ICBC site,( not federal) any other thing
    where they mention stickers other than the quote above...POPS

    Even if you click on the link " rights and duties of " it omits your quote (E) in the rules.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  20. beast775

    beast775 Guest

    pops and thanks veloteq

    for stickers if someone needs does not include in their legislation homebuilt says in their jurisdiction that if you are caught with a ice mtor on your bike with it not running and cold you can be fined with a non compliance motor vehicle?well there is a shovel in my backyard maybe they can fine everyone with a shovel for harming a human...with one.babble but i guess we have to know so we can play around with bicycles.ow by the way veloteq,i found after riding motored bicycles on the road for more than 13 yrs that i usually stay around 20 miles an hr,but i will still have 10 horses rthe hills here are gnarley.:cool: