Time to give consumers a level playing field
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/03/2021 (808 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Europe’s right-to-repair laws are now in force, and Canadian legislators need to direct their attention to better protecting consumers from unnecessary additional expenses and more waste added to the environment.
If you are like most Canadians, you’ve discarded or replaced a broken fridge, washer, or electronic device because of a reparable issue. Perhaps it was a prohibitively expensive part, or simply a design feature. You were forced to buy a new one because repairing the old item was just too expensive.
Right to repair means small business repair shops will have access to the right training and the right tools, and a positive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) relationship, and consumers will benefit.
Canada does have right-to-repair agreements in place for automobiles. That’s why you can take your car to a mechanic of your choice or fix it yourself.
We need to do the same with devices big and small, keep them out of the landfills and create jobs in the repair sector.
By legislating the right to repair Manitobans will be better able to repair their older appliances at reasonable cost.
Some European industries already have right-to-repair laws apply to them. New rules there also require manufacturers of appliances, computers, TVs, and other plug-in electronics to build their products to last longer and to provide spare parts for their machines for up to 10 years.
It won’t be easy here. Attempts to legislate these rights in Canada have been met with strong, well-funded industry opposition by groups representing Apple, Panasonic, John Deere, Samsung, Microsoft, and other big tech companies, just as they did in the U.S. Yet, in spite of this opposition by many manufacturers, at least 20 U.S. states have introduced or are debating right-to-repair legislation.
Right here in Elmwood, small businesses such as Elmwood Appliances see the effects of a system now weighted against consumers and the environment in ways that can be corrected.
You may have seen Ron and Anthony Theriault’s washing machine converted into a Zamboni on TV, in the news or on social media. Given the tools and resources, the repair business sector and small businesses can once again flourish, and our economy and environment will be the better for it.
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com or call my office at 204-415-1122.
Elmwood constituency report
Jim Maloway is the NDP MLA for Elmwood.