An Act to amend the Competition Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (right to repair)

This bill was last introduced in the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in September 2008.

This bill was previously introduced in the 39th Parliament, 1st Session.

Sponsor

Brian Masse  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Not active, as of April 17, 2007
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment adds a definition of “product” in section 75 of the Competition Act to make it clear that that term includes technical information that is required by a person in order to provide a service to a customer. This ensures that the Competition Tribunal is able to require a supplier to provide this information to a customer in accordance with section 75 in cases where the supplier has previously refused to do so.

The enactment also amends the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to provide that companies that manufacture motor vehicles in Canada or that import motor vehicles into Canada are required to make available to Canadian motor vehicle owners and repair facilities the information and diagnostic tools and capabilities necessary to diagnose, service and repair those motor vehicles.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Industry, Science and TechnologyCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

November 17th, 2009 / 6:35 p.m.
See context

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to discuss Bill C-273.

The auto sector is an essential part of the Canadian economy. It has created hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs for Canadians and has fuelled the growth and prosperity of cities and towns across the country. The automotive repair and services sector has certainly played a large role in contributing to our prosperity as well.

The automotive repair and services sector encompasses non-warranty activities related to automotive repair, which includes autobody and collision service. The activities are performed at over 30,000 establishments located at car dealerships, independent garages, specialty shops and branded retail outlets.

However, as I am sure all of us in the House are aware, the technology that goes into automobiles today is becoming increasingly sophisticated. In order to repair and service newer vehicles, there are highly specialized and specific tools that require technical training and diagnostic information. As these vehicles become more complex, aftermarket repair shops have become increasingly frustrated as the latest repair information was not always readily or easily accessible.

In search of a solution to this problem, the hon. member for Windsor West brought forward Bill C-273, a private member's bill that would legislate auto manufacturers to make information and tools for the repair of vehicles available to independent aftermarket repair and service facilities.

While the federal government supported the notion that all aftermarket service providers should have access to diagnostic information on the fleet of vehicles on Canada's roads and highways, we certainly prefer the voluntary approach recently agreed to by the automotive industry over the legislative approach that Bill C-273 proposed. Therefore, we agreed with the industry committee's decision to adopt the motion of the hon. member for Windsor West last month that Bill C-273 need not proceed any further.

The voluntary approach agreed to by the auto industry, which I referred to earlier, is known as the Canadian Automotive Service Industry Standard, or CASIS. It is a voluntary accord in which vehicle manufacturers have agreed to make information and tools for the repair of vehicles available to independent service and repair facilities.

This voluntary agreement is consistent with the spirit and intent of the instructions provided by the Minister of Industry when he wrote to officials of the automotive sector on April 14. In that letter, he expressed his desire to resolve the right to repair issue and stated the government's support for an industry-led voluntary solution, fashioned after the U.S. agreement, which would satisfy the needs of the Canadian after-market auto repair industry.

One primary benefit to a voluntary system, in addition to keeping government out of telling business owners how to run their affairs, is that it would do more to harmonize our approach with the approach taken in the U.S.

On September 29, the Minister of Industry participated in the signing ceremony of CASIS between the National Automotive Trades Association, or NATA, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada. Things are moving very quickly on the implementation of this agreement.

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada, or AIA, has since stated their intent to enter into the agreement as a full partner. Each of the automakers have committed to implementing the terms specified in the agreement by May 1, 2010.

CASIS is modelled after the standard established and currently operating in the United States, known as the National Automotive Service Task Force. The National Automotive Service Task Force was the model of choice because it has a proven track record, having now been in operation for more than 10 years. All repair and service shops, regardless of association, will be able to access available repair and service information provided they commit to the provisions of CASIS and make the necessary investments in equipment, tools and training.

While CASIS is modelled after the American version of the voluntary agreement, it is actually broader in its application than its U.S. counterpart because it includes collision and glass aspects of repair service.

CASIS will see the creation of an associations' working group that will monitor the implementation and ongoing effectiveness of the agreement to ensure continued industry support. As part of the agreement, any unresolved issues will be taken directly to the automaker, an approach that is both co-operative and aimed at resolving issues quickly.

This agreement will pave the way for Canadian independent service and repair providers to access emissions and non-emissions related service information, diagnostic tools and training information. It will continue to protect the intellectual property rights of car companies while addressing implementation issues and technical challenges as vehicles evolve and become increasingly complex.

Since this is a national initiative, the accord will be operational in the entire Canadian marketplace for all companies in the automotive aftermarket. It is an agreement that is fair to the repair and service sector, it allows for choice for consumers, and it is industry-led, a great combination.

I want to thank some people as well. I want to thank the National Automotive Trade Association and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association, the Automotive Industries Association of Canada, and their member companies for their diligent efforts to arrive at this agreement and for their commitment to implement this agreement quickly.

The hon. member for Windsor West should also be commended for his determination to see the issue resolved. He originally introduced Bill C-273 in the previous parliamentary session on April 17, 2007, when it was known as Bill C-425. His initial decision more than two and a half years ago to put this issue in the spotlight has played a large role in getting us to where we are today and his efforts should be recognize.

I would like to close by noting that automakers are now working hard toward meeting their commitment to have CASIS fully implemented by May 1, 2010. Let us offer them our support, while recognizing that we have had a full debate on all of these matters and that our way forward is to allow the voluntary agreement to take hold. We should be proud of the fact that we have all worked together to achieve these positive outcomes for all stakeholders, including consumers and all members of this chamber.

October 28th, 2009 / 4 p.m.
See context

David Adams President, Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada

Mr. Chairman and committee members, thank you very much for the invitation to appear before the committee today to review Bill C-273.

My name is David Adams, and I'm the president of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada. Our association represents 14 member companies, which sell over 51% of the vehicles in Canada and 64% of the passenger cars in Canada. They are responsible for about 77,000 direct and indirect jobs in Canada.

The problem with going last in a panel on which people are all saying pretty much the same thing is that much of what is in my presentation has already been said. With that in mind, I'm going to make my remarks brief, because I think the real benefit will come from the questioning from the members.

I have a few points I wish to make, though, if I could, with respect to Bill C-273 and CASIS. I think it's important for committee members to understand that at the time Bill C-273 was introduced by Mr. Masse, on January 27, 2009, and when the House of Commons passed second reading of the bill by a vote of 248 to 17 on May 13 of this year, there was no other option, besides legislation, that existed to address the issue of aftermarket access to vehicle manufacturer service and repair information. At that point, all any of you would have been aware of was that AIAMC, CVMA, and NATA had signed a letter of intent, dated May 1, that, in effect, represented a promise to develop and then implement an agreement among the vehicle manufacturers on the aftermarket.

Where are we today? Simply put, today there is a viable option to legislation--CASIS--which had not been developed when the House of Commons last dealt with this issue. All stakeholders now see the merit of proceeding with an agreement that the industry developed itself, without the need for government intervention.

While access to service and repair information has never been a consumer protection issue, as some have characterized it, consumers do stand to benefit from the CASIS agreement. CASIS will allow independent repair and service providers to conduct all repairs, which will decrease the amount of time a consumer's vehicle will spend in the shop. And consumers will enjoy greater opportunity to have their vehicles serviced at more locations.

CASIS will be fully implemented on May 1, 2010. In the interim, we have populated the task force and subcommittees that will govern the implementation and administration of the CASIS agreement with senior executives from the vehicle manufacturers. The CASIS parties have also invited the director general of the automotive and transportation industries branch at Industry Canada to sit as an observer on the task force to ensure transparency and accountability, which is important to the parties and to you, as members of Parliament.

Additionally, we have met with groups and organizations that had previously supported Bill C-273 to ensure that they were aware of CASIS and its goals and objectives. Overall, these organizations have been supportive of CASIS and have viewed it as a viable alternative to legislation. Importantly, we have met with the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, CADA, which has lobbied members on the issue of access to service and repair information from a slightly different angle. CADA is fully supportive of the CASIS agreement.

So where are we going? We're moving forward collectively and constructively with the implementation of CASIS. We have spent a significant amount of time and effort putting together an agreement that all stakeholders now believe is the most effective means of addressing the issue of automotive aftermarket access to vehicle manufacturer service and repair information. We do not anticipate making any changes to the agreement until experience after implementation dictates that the agreement needs to be amended. Our agreement has provisions for amending it in a fashion that is straightforward and is much simpler than amending legislation.

The three CASIS parties have also laid out a process for bringing the AIA into CASIS as a full partner. My presentation, which you will receive a copy of eventually, in both official languages, outlines a number of the concerns and issues we have with Bill C-273. For the sake of time, I'm not going to deal with those unless the committee wants to delve into those concerns.

In summary, the members of the AIAMC believe that Bill C-273 is not only unworkable, it cannot even be reasonably amended into legislation that will provide the automotive aftermarket with the same access to service and repair information as the CASIS agreement will provide. The development of CASIS is the first step. Implementation in May 2010 is the next step. Garnering real life experience with the agreement following implementation is the most appropriate way of dealing with this issue.

Clearly, if the industry cannot collectively manage the issue of providing service and repair information, training information, and tooling and equipment to the automotive aftermarket, then government intervention is one possible alternative.

To consider legislation, especially bad legislation at this point, is to put the cart before the horse. We therefore make the following recommendations.

In recognition that the CASIS agreement has been signed among the aftermarket and the vehicle manufacturers, effectively resolving all the issues that gave rise to Bill C-273, and Bill C-425 before it, we recommend to the committee that the bill be referred back to the House of Commons with a recommendation from this committee not to proceed with the bill.

In recognition of the provision for government to monitor the ongoing work of the task force in both implementing and administering the CASIS on a go-forward basis, we recommend that this committee recommend to the House of Commons that the CASIS agreement is the most effective tool to address the issues of the automotive aftermarket access to service and repair information.

Mr. Masse has stated in regard to Bill C-273, that he bill ensures a level playing field and creates the mechanism for disclosure”. We do not believe Bill C-273 could achieve that goal. However, we do believe that goal has been achieved through the CASIS.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your questions.

Competition ActRoutine Proceedings

April 17th, 2007 / 10:35 a.m.
See context

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-425, An Act to amend the Competition Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (right to repair).

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to bring forward a bill that I believe all members can support. It is the right to repair bill and looks at two different acts, the Competition Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

This bill is important because of the change in the auto industry with regard to on-board diagnostic equipment. That change has led to a number of different servicing requirements that are necessary.

I would point out that the Canadian auto industry is not alone in terms of the consequences of this bill. Similar legislation in the United States and in Europe has adapted different techniques to deal with the fact that this new type of technology creates problems for people and consumers who service their vehicles. Hence, this bill would allow the proper process and procedure so that independent automobile associations could procure the data, tools and materials necessary to fix vehicles.

It is important for competition as well as for the environment. That is one of the reasons that Pollution Probe and the Canadian Automobile Association are supporting this bill. I would suggest that all members of the House get behind this bill in order to have a good, progressive change.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)