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The Right to Repair Movement Gains Momentum in Canada

Phones Canada is following the progress of the right-to-repair movement in Canada, which has gained momentum in recent years. The movement seeks to give consumers the right to repair their electronic devices and reduce the environmental harm caused by excessive waste. In May 2019, a private member’s bill that aimed to give Ontario consumers the access and resources needed to fix and modify their gadgets was voted down in the provincial legislature. However, right-to-repair efforts have since gained traction in Canada and around the world.

In the United States, two Democratic presidential candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have called for federal legislation to give farmers the right to fix their tractors and equipment. In the European Union, manufacturers will need to make spare parts available to professional repairers for up to 10 years starting in 2021.

The reliance on expensive digital devices in our social and professional lives has led consumers and politicians of all stripes to hold up the right to repair as a necessary principle in a connected world. Advocacy organizations, such as OpenMedia in Canada, have helped shine a light on this dialogue.

Despite strong opposition from manufacturers like Apple and John Deere, the right-to-repair movement has continued to grow. Industry players argue that intellectual property rights and security and safety concerns should limit consumers’ rights to fix their devices. However, this has not stopped provincial politicians in Canada from taking the debate seriously.

In Quebec, Bill 197, a private member’s bill sponsored by independent MPP Guy Ouellette, aims to bolster consumers’ right to repair while deterring planned obsolescence. The bill would require companies to offer replacement parts and other resources at a reasonable price and on reasonable conditions. If successful, the initiative could serve as a guide to other provinces and territories.

Phones Canada supports the right to repair movement and encourages our customers to explore repair options before considering costly replacements. We believe that empowering Canadian consumers with the rights, tools, and resources they need to safely and securely fix their devices will foster sustainability and reduce environmental waste.

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