Those in favour of creating a federal right to repair law say the government should avoid shaping such legislation according to the wishes of special interest lobbyists as Ottawa gets set to launch consultations on the issue.

Ottawa signalled in its March budget that it would study the need for legislation to ban the sale of products that aren't intended to last and reinforce consumers' ability to repair the home appliances and electronics they buy.

Alissa Centivany, an assistant professor at Western University, says national right to repair rules would be critical in the agriculture, health-care and consumer goods sectors, which often face restrictions on third-party repair technicians.

A bill introduced last week by Quebec's justice minister would ban the sale of products whose obsolescence is planned and require repair services be available at a reasonable price.

Natasha Tusikov, an associate professor at York University, says the lack of such protections in Canada places the country behind its counterparts, such as the U.S. and Australia.

She says the government's consultation should hear from local mom and pop retailers along with second-hand store shoppers who are especially disadvantaged by Canada's current framework.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2023.