Known as the “Act to protect consumers against planned obsolescence and to promote durability, repairability and the maintenance of goods,” Bill 29 proposes “major advances for Quebecers, who are entitled to obtain durable, quality and repairable goods.”
It was introduced by Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Quebec and Minister responsible for Consumer Protection, Simon Jolin-Barette, along with the Minister of Environment, Benoit Charette, and the MNA for Charlevoix-Côte-de-Beaupré and Justice Parliamentary Assistant, Kariane Bourassa.
The bill aims to ensure that all Quebecers: obtain durable and quality goods, whose maintenance and repair do not represent a burden; are protected against planned obsolescence; and can keep their goods longer and get more bang for their buck.
It proposes five key measures:
- Prohibition of planned obsolescence. Québec will become the first region in North America to prohibit trade in goods whose obsolescence is programmed, i.e.: for which means to reduce their normal useful life are used.
- Creation of a guarantee of good functioning. This warranty will be applicable to several goods (refrigerators, dishwashers, television sets, tablets, heat pumps, air conditioners, etc.). The consumer will obtain the right to on-demand free repair if the good malfunctions during the coverage period.
- Strengthening of the right to repair. Citizens will be able to do business with the repairer of their choice. For their part, businesses will have to make available spare parts and relevant data and information to identify and solve problems, including for cars. Spare parts must be able to be installed using commonly available tools and without damaging the goods.
- Implementation of an anti-lemon measure for automobiles. An anti-lemon measure for automobiles will be adopted to protect consumers from “severely defective vehicles”. Consumers struggling with a recent problematic car will be able to more easily request the cancellation of the contract or a reduction in the price paid.
- Establishment of standards to define a common charger. Quebec will become the first region in North America to establish standards to determine the charging cable with which all electronic devices sold on the Quebec market must operate. The goal is that it will eventually be possible to use one and the same charger for all rechargeable devices in the house.
“Quebecers must be able to count on goods that are durable, of quality and repairable,” said Minister Jolin-Barrette. “In today’s environment where all families are dealing with inflation, we want them to get good value for money they spend. Equipping your home or house and getting a vehicle are certainly an important part of the household budget, and it should not have to be done every year. It is not normal for a good to be defective shortly after purchase. Thanks to this bill, citizens will be better protected. They will be able to make more informed choices and consume more sustainably. It is both an economic and environmental issue, on which it is important to act for the benefit of present and future generations.”