Thursday, March 30, 2023

The Right To Repair

Susan Delacourt writes that buried in the Trudeau government's budget is something called "the right to repair." What does that mean?

It is intended to give Canadians another alternative when faced with broken appliances, electronics or machinery. Too often, the government says, people “are pushed to buy new products rather than repairing the ones they have.”

This new right to repair, to be launched after the usual round of consultations and establishment of frameworks and so on, is far from a marquee item in the 2023 budget unveiled on Tuesday.

But it is a tiny, fitting symbol of a larger message that Justin Trudeau’s government is keen to underline in its eighth year in power and definitely in this year’s budget: Canada is not broken. There’s no need to buy something new.

The Right To Repair is Trudeau's counter to Pierre Polievre's claim that "everything is broken" in Canada:

Trudeau’s government will never concede that the nation is broken or breaking, but it could not deliver a budget in 2023 without at least offering some large reassurances that the nation can still function for its citizens.

So amid all of the heady talk of optimism for the future — fully intended to match U.S. President Joe Biden’s rhetoric in Parliament last week — this is a budget aimed at connecting, or maybe reconnecting, with a jaded citizenry, and open to the idea that things feel broken.

Health-care spending is obviously the biggest-ticket item on this front, with billions headed to the provinces and the establishment of a new dental-care program. Everyone has a right to repair, and that includes bodies and teeth.

But that right extends beyond big-ticket items:

There is $7 million sprinkled over five years to improve service at airports and collect data on what’s going right and wrong. There is $156 million to improve services for veterans. Faster service is promised on passports and immigration backlogs; money will be spent to investigate overpayments of COVID-19 relief. More than $17 million will be spent to up the game of 1-800 government information lines.

All of it speaks to a government that feels the need to tell Canadians that the system still works for ordinary people, despite what Poilievre or those so-called “Freedom Convoy” people have been talking about. The Conservative leader was still saying after Tuesday’s budget release that the Liberals are keeping Canada divided into “have-nots and have yachts.”

Conservatives these days are trying to sell the notion that it's better to burn it down and start all over again. Progressives think they have a better idea.

Image: The Toronto Star


zoombats said...

I find the inclusion of "the right to repair" clause in the budget to an odd one. The Trudeau government should not try to own this idea and propel it into the fore front of good politics on their part. The truth is that the right to repair issue has been around for a long time and the farm industry in the US has spear headed the argument that farmers need to be able to repair their own machinery and not have to get their problems addressed by dealers who are often miles away. The same fight has been going on in both our countries with the independent auto mechanics crying foul over dealers and manufacturers with holding repair codes and upgrades. The Liberal Government inclusion of this in the budget is really nothing more than a filler or fluff and by no means shows any real substance. To claim victory in helping us little guys is BS. Skippy on the other hand was probably born in a blue suit and has never had to go on the intertoobs to find a widget and a video to fix his own drier or research the special screw driver to open his Mac Book. If his megaphone breaks, he'll just get a new one. Made in China of corse.

Owen Gray said...

I get the impression that, for Skippy, lots of things -- and people -- are disposable, zoombats.

lungta said...

Good point Owen
People and principles are just levers and stepping stones to 'lil pp.

Owen Gray said...

Quite true, lungta. That's why we should be very suspicious of him.

e.a.f. said...

The right to repair is certainly a good thing! Its better for the enviornment and our wallets. Not being able to repair items you own is some how not right. If I own something and it breaks then I ought to be able to deal with it as I wish and that includes repair. Given the Conservatives always like to tell us about freedom and competitivness, you'd think they would be all over the right to repair.

Now of course if PP says the country is broken, then we as citizens have the right to fix that. Disposing of cour country, just isn't on. Any how its not broken. It needs some repairs in some areas, i.e. drug over doses, lack of mental health services, homelessness, but all of this is repairable.

It did give me a good laugh that the Libderals put the right to repair into the budget.

Canada is way ahead of other countries when it comes to standards of living, law, rights, life expectancy, etc. Yes, there is need for improvement but you turn on your taps in most of Canada, out comes clean drinkable water. You have a problem, you can phone the police, fire, paramedics and in most cases, some one shows up to help you. If you have something catastrophic happen to you or your family not only are there services but your neighbours are most likely ready to start a go fund me page for you.
Yes, we have racism but we also have laws to deal with it. they may not be perfect, but its a start. When it comes to maternal health care and that of babies, we do much better than the U.S.A. which has a climbing rate. In some American states you can't find a doctor to get you through pregnancy and delivery, doctors have quit. Hosspitals no longer offer delivery services. Like where are these babies supposed to be born. Life expectincy is better in canada than the U.S.A.
Canada is not broken. It has some major "owess" but we can all work on fixing those.

Owen Gray said...

What is most important, e.a.f, is our willingness to fix things.