Auto Service World
Feature   June 1, 2009   by CARS Magazine

Canadian Right To Repair Bill Passes, Heads To Committee

Bill C-273, the "Right to Repair Bill," was passed by the Canadian Parliament late Wednesday by a vote of 248 to 17.

Bill C-273, the “Right to Repair Bill,” was passed by the Canadian Parliament late Wednesday by a vote of 248 to 17.

As is often the case for such bills, it has been referred to committee for analysis and discussion. In the case of Bill-273 it will be the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology that will handle the task.

In the run up to the vote on the bill, more than 9,000 letters were sent to Federal MPs seeking their support, the majority from independent garages.

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada, which spearheaded the initiative and pulled in support from another of other groups, thanked those industry individuals who took the time to voice their concerns.

“For the past five years, AIA has worked diligently in cooperation with a number of partnering associations and groups to ensure that MPs, the media and the industry at large understood clearly the issue at hand. While there is still a lot of work ahead at the Committee stage, this vote is a clear indication that we have successfully shown to our elected representatives in Parliament that a legislated solution is the only real mechanism to resolve the Right to Repair issue going forward,” said association president Marc Brazeau.

Bills in committee are subject to a number of analysis and feedback from groups affected. The committee will report back to Parliament in the fall.

Following the passage of the bill, groups working toward a voluntary agreement reiterated their view that a voluntary agreement is preferable. The groups, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association (CVMA), the National Automotive Trades Association (NATA), and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada (AIAMC), released a Letter of Intent on creating a voluntary agreement May 1.

“The vehicle manufacturers and distributors have overcome some major hurdles to get to a position where we can address legitimate service, repair, training and tooling information needs of the automotive aftermarket through a voluntary solution” said Mark Nantais, CVMA’s president. “When Bill C-273 was first introduced, our industry was challenged by the Minister of Industry to develop a voluntary framework to address the concerns being raised by the aftermarket automotive industry. We have responded aggressively and positively towards creating this voluntary framework that will ensure that all automotive manufacturers are providing this information in the near future. In fact, many companies are already making this information available today.”

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