Provincial government tables planned obsolescence and right to repair bill - Retail Council of Canada
Plastics and Alternatives | Quebec | Stewardship and Recycling | Sustainability

Provincial government tables planned obsolescence and right to repair bill

June 6, 2023

Last week, Quebec Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barette tabled a bill to legislate on the right to repair and he calls “planned obsolescence” aimed directly at retailers. If passed in its current form, this bill would have a significant impact on the retail sector.

It includes five flagship measures according to the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC):

  • Prohibiting trade in goods whose obsolescence is planned, i.e. for which means, aimed at reducing their normal lifetime, are used;
  • Creating a guarantee of proper functioning, applicable to several goods (refrigerators, dishwashers, TVs, tablets, heat pumps, air conditioners, etc.) so that the consumer obtains a right to an automatic and free repair, if the good malfunctions during a defined period;
  • Strengthening the right to repair by enhancing the guarantee of availability of spare parts and repair services already provided for in the Consumer Protection Act and by prohibiting the use of techniques that make it more difficult to maintain or repair goods, including automobiles;
  • Adopting an anti-lemon measure for automobiles to protect consumers from “severely defective vehicles”;
  • Providing for the implementation of technical or manufacturing standards for goods so that all electronic devices sold in the Québec market are compatible with a single charger.

The bill also provides for the review of fines in criminal proceedings and the possibility of imposing administrative monetary penalties on merchants and manufacturers who do not comply with the law. While this bill is not expected to be discussed until this fall, in the coming days, RCC members will be invited to join a working committee to prepare our response to this initiative.