MINISTER’S DESPERATE MOVE VALIDATES MASSE’S BILL: Canadian Legislation is what is needed more than ever

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2009

MINISTER’S DESPERATE MOVE VALIDATES MASSE’S BILL: Canadian Legislation is what is needed more than ever

OTTAWA, ON- The Federal Industry Minister’s desperate actions validate Brian Masse’s, NDP Industry and Automotive Critic, Bill C-273 (Right-to-Repair).

“The Industry Minister finally acknowledges that there is problem affecting every vehicle owner in the country. Just as his predecessor did. But now with just days to go before the vote on the legislation that will establish protection for consumers, the environment, and public safety while preserving intellectual property rights and vigorous competition, he puts together a weak and ineffective side show to obtain a cooked up ‘voluntary agreement’ that is not worth the paper it is written on.” Masse declared.

The Minister of Industry issued a letter to vehicle manufacturers and other Bill opponents, where he stated that the “status quo is not an option” in the automotive repair market place and that a voluntary agreement must be reached by May 11. Masse introduced Bill C-273, the Right-to-Repair, earlier this year and will be voted on May 13. A meeting with auto manufacturers is arranged for April 29th. However, the draft “voluntary agreement” that was formulated in advance was with no input from the Automotive Industries Association, the association that represents over 7000 repair outlets in Canada, or any environmental or consumer organizations.

On board diagnostic capabilities (OBD II) were introduced by the automobile industry in 1998 and are contained on approximately 59 % of the 18.4 million vehicles on the road in Canada. As cars and trucks become more advanced, the use of these computer control units is essential for the proper maintenance of emissions, safety standards, and operations. The tools and software required for repair are increasingly complex, thus creating a need for accurate disclosure and fair access to these technologies. Difficulty in obtaining this information and equipment from vehicle manufacturers has created significant consumer concern. Bill C-273 resolves these issues and guarantees a level playing field.

“The so called ‘voluntary agreement’ is useless. No environmental or consumer protection rule is voluntary. No public safety measure is voluntary. A law is the only real protection for vehicle owners that is available. Even in the United States, which Minister claims he wishes to follow, use an operating agreement that is backed up by the law that is applied by the Environmental Protection Agency. No group of foreign companies should dictate to Canadian consumers what the automotive market place should be. Bill C-273 provides for Canadians to make those decisions. On May 13 their voice, through their Members of parliament will be heard,” Masse stated.

Bill C-273, the “Right-to-Repair Act”, has been endorsed by the Automotive Industries Association, the CAA, Pollution Probe, The Retail Council, Canadian Association of Retire Persons, Building Trade Council and numerous other automotive organizations.
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For more information please contact: Mohummed Peer 519-982-8816

The Industry Minister’s letter is available here available at http://www.righttorepair.ca