Converter theft, right-to-repair deserve attention
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/12/2021 (409 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Since my last column in November, the provincial government showed movement on the issue of catalytic converter theft by introducing legislation during the most recent sitting of the Manitoba legislature.
Unfortunately, the Progressive Conservative government continues to be silent on the consumer right to repair. While the U.S. federal government and 50 state governments have all begun their right to repair journeys, following Europe’s example, Canada and our provincial government remain asleep at the switch, and consumers and a sustainable economy will be the worse for it.
On Dec. 3, the last day our recent sitting I re-introduced my two right to repair bills from the previous session. Bill 214 concerns electronic devices, including smartphones, and Bill 216 addresses farm machinery. The objective of these bills is to level the playing field for Manitoba consumers by forcing manufacturers to make products that are better designed, last longer, and which can be repaired — just like in Europe.
The government introduced its catalytic converter legislation a full six months after we took the lead and introduced our bill. Unfortunately, until the bill is passed, and rules are in place preventing scrap dealers from accepting cash payments, these thefts by organized criminals will continue, costing Manitobans about $2,000 per replacement.
The government’s bill differs from Bill 215, the private member’s bill I first introduced in May 2021. Although both would end cash payments and impose financial penalties, our bill is aimed at organized criminals by doubling the proposed fines and giving the court system the option to administer prison sentences.
An obvious benefit of highlighting issues such as catalytic converter thefts in The Herald and in my mailers to Elmwood constituents is that residents have an opportunity to provide feedback. That’s why I’ll be asking the province to require that scrap metal dealers post catalytic converter serial numbers online so MPI can check them. That’s just one improvement we’ll be bringing forward when the legislature returns in the spring.
Season’s greetings, merry Christmas, and a happy, and above all safe, New Year to all.
If you have any questions about other provincial programs, feel free to contact me at 204-415-1122 or email me at email@example.com. Please take a moment as well to visit my web site at www.yourelmwood.com
Elmwood constituency report
Jim Maloway is the NDP MLA for Elmwood.