Right to Repair & Canada: History of Legislation

With the right-to-repair movement gaining traction all over the world, it’s no surprise that it’s a common theme in industrial and political discussions in Canada. But just how set in stone are the ideals of the right to repair in this country? Is there any legislation in place that guarantees the automotive aftermarket and its customers the right to repair?

We’ve put together this article to explain how right-to-repair has impacted the automotive industry in Canada, along with how things have changed in recent years.

In this article:

The CASIS Agreement

In 2009, the historic CASIS agreement (Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard) was signed by all automakers in Canada, guaranteeing the aftermarket certain rights and access to information and tools from automotive OEMs. The act was fully implemented in May 2010, and many believed it would be the agreement that defined the way the automotive aftermarket would be run moving forward. 

In 2017, the AIA (Automotive Industries Association of Canada) began investigating the effectiveness of the CASIS agreement, finding gaps in the information that many aftermarket businesses had access to. This was a sign that the right to repair was not as widely exercised as it could have been, and this was before industrial developments started disrupting things.

Technological Advancements and Subsequent Auto Repair Bills

The advancements in automotive technology have reduced the universal right to automotive repair in recent years. As more and more cars from brands such as Tesla are being computerized, designed to run on electricity, and made with more digital components, information about repair and tools has become less readily available to the aftermarket. 

This has triggered a resurgence in the public interest when it comes to the right-to-repair act in Canada, along with new bills being put forward for consideration.

Bill C-272

Liberal MP Bryan May was one of the first politicians to spearhead a new auto repair bill in Parliament, putting forward Bill C-272 in February 2021 as an amendment to the Copyright Act. This bill stated that the aftermarket would be allowed access to information that was protected by encryption and scramblers. This would make more modern details of repair more accessible, but as of June 2021, the act hasn’t made it past the second reading stage in the House of Commons.

Bill C-231

In February 2022, Brian Masse of the New Democratic Party put forward a new bill that is even more focused on the right to repair in the automotive industry. His bill is more specific in that it explicitly states that OEMs must provide diagnostic and repair information to independent service providers, along with service parts, to make such repairs possible. As of today, the act has not yet been fully debated in Parliament, having only passed the first reading stage. 

While it’s clear that the right-to-repair movement is building up steam in Canada, there’s still opposition from automakers and politicians that support their stance. For more useful and interesting articles on the automotive industry and more, visit our blog.

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The goals and objectives of the right to repair are to encourage repair over replacement of auto parts. The goal is also to make such repairs affordable and inexpensive, resulting in a more sustainable economy and less electronic waste.
Consumers with the right to repair can repair and modify their own electronic devices. The right to repair also saves consumers money in two ways. Firstly, by replacing purchases less frequently, consumers spend less. Second, repair ensures that when consumers replace a device, it retains market value.
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Eric Smith
Right To Repair Advocate
A DIY geek, Eric combines his passion for automobiles and his deep engagement with right to repair issues to empower vehicle owners everywhere.