Appliance manufactures and a Montreal lawyer say proposed Quebec language regulations will lead to fewer choices and higher costs for products like home appliances.

The draft regulations released last month require manufacturers to translate into French all permanent markings on appliances that are necessary for the use of the products.

Under current law, permanent markings, such as those that are engraved on or welded to appliances, don't have to be in French unless they're related to safety.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers says the vast majority of appliances on the market aren't compliant with the new rules.

Eliane Ellbogen, a Montreal-based intellectual property lawyer with law firm Fasken, says the rules would enter into effect 15 days after they are adopted, making them virtually impossible to comply with in time.

She says the proposed rules could lead to delays and higher costs as manufacturers replace their current offerings with compliant products, adding that some of her clients are planning to pull out of Quebec entirely.

A spokesman for French Language Minister Jean-François Roberge says the percentage of appliances with French-language markings has been steadily declining since the 1970s and that in other countries, manufacturers sell products with markings in the local language.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2024.