With only days left until voters take to the polls for the Sept. 20 federal election, the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) has released a letter they sent to all candidates highlighting the impact of right to repair policies on the equipment industry. The AED states, “it is expected that this will be a key policy issue for the industry following the election.”
On behalf of Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), I’m writing to share the significant concerns our members have with “right to repair” legislation.
AED is the international trade association representing companies that sell, rent, service and manufacture construction, mining, farm, energy, forestry and industrial equipment, and related supplies.
AED’s Canadian members account for more than $8.7 billion in annual sales and services and employ over 27,000 workers at 400 locations across the country.
For the equipment industry, right to repair legislation is a solution in search of a problem based on a false narrative that customers are unable to fix their machinery. To the contrary, equipment manufacturers and distributors make available diagnostic tools, repair information and parts.
However, individuals do not have the ability to modify the complex environmental and safety protections on the equipment.
A broad right to repair mandate applied to the equipment industry will be detrimental to safety and environmental compliance. Indeed, given that customers are already able to repair their own equipment, the primary reason someone wants the ability to access and alter source code is to override emission controls and safety mechanisms to increase machine performance. This is not fixing equipment; this is modifying it.
It is also important for policy-makers to recognize a key difference between equipment sold by AED members and other products, such as consumer electronics.
Heavy machinery and tractors have a significantly longer life cycle that may be jeopardized by granting unfettered access to source code.
Modifications to equipment can compromise its durability, which in turn can also have a negative environmental impact as machinery may need to be discarded and deemed unusable prematurely.
Should you be successful in your election and consider right to repair legislation in parliament, we hope we can count on your support in recognizing that owners of equipment do not need any additional resources to fix their machinery and that off-road equipment is significantly different than consumer electronics products like cellphones and laptops.
Brian P. McGuire
President and CEO