Toward a Canadian Right to Repair: Opportunities and Challenges
29 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2022
Date Written: July 14, 2022
This Article draws a picture of the past, present, and future of the right to repair in Canada. It looks to early successes toward automotive right to repair, challenges faced in proposing consumer protection reforms in Ontario and Quebec, and the utility of a proposed copyright TPM Exception allowing circumvention for repair purposes. In light of right to repair priorities identified by Canada’s current federal government, the Article identifies a selection of reforms that could achieve these goals. Such reforms include creating regulations under the Copyright Act governing the use and implementation of TPMs, passing an exception to the Trademarks Act to facilitate the importation of replacement parts, and expanding access to remedies under the Competition Act. The creation of a federal sustainability index with repairability scores is also addressed. The Article then looks to potential obstacles and challenges in realising upon right to repair reforms in Canada, including constitutional restrictions on Parliament’s legislative power and the need to find grassroots support for the right to repair as a social movement. Looking to the future of the right to repair in Canada, the Article contends that a greater degree of federal-provincial cooperation is needed to address the multifaceted and interwoven laws which touch upon repair.
Keywords: right to repair, canada, intellectual property, competition law, consumer protection, constitutional law, jurisdiction
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