By Nicole Thompson

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO — An Ontario judge has ordered Volkswagen to pay the Canadian government $196.5 million for its emissions-cheating scandal.

Judge Enzo Rondinelli made the sentencing decision hours after the company formally pleaded guilty to all 60 charges against it.

An agreed statement of fact says the German automaker imported 128,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, along with 2,000 Porsches, that secretly violated emissions standards.

The Crown and Volkswagen jointly suggested the penalty, which falls short of the maximum $265 million the company could have been fined for the charges.

But the Crown says the penalty is more than 20 times higher than the record environmental fine in Canada of $7.5 million, which was handed to a mining company in 2014.

Rondinelli says the record fine marks “a new era” in punishment for environmental crimes in Canada.

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