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Poll: 75% of People in Canada Support Right to Repair Legislation

Innovative Research Group poll shows majority of people in Canada would support legislation to make it easier and more affordable to fix electronic devices.

June 12, 2019— People in Canada are tired of throwing out and replacing devices that should be easy to repair, and are ready for the government to step in and make repair more accessible. An Innovative Research Group (INNOVATIVE) poll released today found that 75% of people are in support of making devices easier to repair through the introduction of ‘Right to Repair’ legislation in Canada, with only 3% of those surveyed opposed.

Right to Repair legislation would require manufacturers of electronic devices, appliances and machinery to make information, parts and tools necessary for repairs available to consumers and independent repair shops at a reasonable price. The poll shows that this idea sees support across party lines, with 67% of Conservatives, 79% of Liberals and 76% of New Democrats supporting the proposal.

Calls for Right to Repair legislation have grown in recent years as manufacturers have made repair and maintenance of consumer goods increasingly difficult and more expensive. Companies like Apple, Samsung and John Deere use restrictive design, software locks and warranty restrictions to control the repair services market and force consumers to buy new products.

“There is nothing that will increase the cost of your cell phone plan faster than having to replace your device unexpectedly. People are tired of having to throw away phones and appliances for minor issues that could be repaired if parts were available. Our current system gives big companies too much control over the things we own. We need to rebalance the scales,” said Rodrigo Samayoa, digital campaigner at OpenMedia. “The results of this survey come as no surprise. When we buy a car, we expect to be able to send it to any independent shop for maintenance, or even do it ourselves. Is it too much to ask that our electronic devices and appliances work the same way?”

Last year, iFixit helped more than 120 million people fix their things. It’s proof that people want to maintain the things they own and that, with access to the right parts, tools, and instructions, they're more than capable of doing it themselves. Right to Repair legislation would allow millions more to maintain the things they own—and the results of this survey are further evidence that the majority of people want just that.

KEY FINDINGS of the Innovative Research Group poll include:

  • 75% of respondents say that they would support Right to Repair legislation.
    • Just 3% would oppose it.
    • While only a quarter of respondents said they are familiar with the Right to Repair, results show that support increases with awareness.
  • Support for the Right to Repair is strong across party lines
    • 79% of Liberals support the proposal
    • 76% of New Democrats 
    • 67% of Conservatives
  • Over three quarters (76%) of Canadians have discarded or replaced a broken device because of a repairable issue. 
    • 44% replaced or discarded a device because of a broken/cracked screen 
    • 42% because of a weak/dead battery 
    • 23% because of a broken or lost charger
    • 22% because it did not support software updates
    • 20% because of a keyboard malfunction
  • A third of respondents claimed the repair of a product was prohibitively expensive, forcing them to buy a new one. 

At least 20 U.S. states have introduced or are debating Right to Repair legislation, while the European Union recently approved repairable design standards for some appliances that will be implemented by 2021.

In Canada, two repair bills were tabled earlier this year. Liberal MPP Michael Coteau introduced a bill in the Ontario Provincial Parliament, and MNA Guy Ouellette introduced one in the Quebec National Assembly. While the Ontario bill has been defeated by the ruling Progressive Conservatives, the Quebec bill is still being debated by legislators.

In both Canada and the United States, proposals for the Right to Repair have faced well-funded opposition from manufacturing giants like Apple and John Deere, who are looking to control the sales of parts and repair services.

Almost 12,000 people have signed an OpenMedia petition calling on Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains to introduce a national Right to Repair bill.

A PDF with the full results of the survey can be downloaded at https://openmedia.org/sites/openmedia.org/files/openmedia_right_to_repair_omnibus_questions_report_-_20190531.pdf

The survey was conducted by Innovative Research Group Inc. for OpenMedia and iFixit through their monthly national online omnibus survey fromMay 27th to May 30th and had 1,691 Canadian respondents. The sample was weighted by age and gender within provincial sub-regions for a final weighted sample size of 1,200. This is a representative sample. However, since the online survey was not a random probability based sample, a margin of error can not be calculated.

About OpenMedia
OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.

About iFixit
iFixit is a wiki-based site that teaches people how to fix just about anything. Anyone can create a repair manual for a device, and anyone can also edit the existing set of manuals to improve them. Our site empowers individuals to share their technical knowledge with the rest of the world.

 

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OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.

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