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Quebec adopts bill to protect against programmed obsolescence

Quebec MNAs unanimously adopted Bill 29 on Tuesday, which aims to protect consumers against programmed obsolescence.

As soon as the law is passed, it will be forbidden in Quebec to sell goods with an operating life that has been deliberately limited.

An "anti-lemon" measure will also be introduced to protect consumers against "seriously defective" vehicles – they’ll be able to request a contract be cancelled or get a price reduction.

The law also creates a guarantee of good working order applicable to several new goods, including stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, tablets and televisions.

If a product malfunctions during the warranty period, it can be repaired free of charge.

In addition, spare parts, repair services and information needed to maintain or repair an item must be available for a reasonable period of time.

Residents will be able to do business with the repairer of their choice.

Finally, the law will establish standards for a universal charger compatible with all electronic devices.

Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette pointed out on Tuesday that Quebec is the first jurisdiction in North America to legislate against programmed obsolescence, and the second in the world after France.

Quebec is also the only Canadian province to have introduced an "anti-lemon" measure in the automotive sector.

"The adoption of Bill 29 consolidates Quebec's leadership in consumer protection in North America and around the world. We can be proud of the model we are implementing," he said in a press release.

His parliamentary assistant, MNA Kariane Bourassa added: "We are now committed to a more responsible model of consumption. The economic benefits have been demonstrated, as have the benefits for our environment."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Oct. 3, 2023. Top Stories

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