Automobile property rights won't be protected by "Conservatives"

A Globe and Mail article discusses how federal Industry Minister Tony Clement has claimed that a temporary non-binding deal granting Canada's independent garages access to the proprietary software and tools to fix newer-model cars is sufficient to protect the right to repair. He is claiming that that Private Members bill C-273, the Right to Repair bill, is no longer necessary, suggesting that "intellectual property rights" need to be balanced against the rights of automobile owners. Sorry, but unless the automobile owner is manufacturing and distributing new automobiles, there are no legitimate "intellectual property rights" at question.

For a party that alleges to hold protecting property rights as a founding principle, they don't seem to be interested in protecting this right.

Attached is the text of a press release I received in email:


Minister of Industry Applauds Voluntary Accord on Access to Vehicle Repair Information

OTTAWA, September 29, 2009 — Industry Minister Tony Clement today welcomed the news that vehicle manufacturers in Canada have come to a voluntary agreement to equip independent service and repair providers with access to important information and tools for the repair of vehicles.

"This accord is a victory for consumers," said Minister Clement, at a press conference held at Rolland Levesque & Sons garage, in Ottawa. "It maintains choice in the vehicle repair marketplace by providing independent repair shops with access to the same information and tools as dealerships."

Minister Clement wrote to all car manufacturers earlier this year asking them to find a solution to the issue, referred to as "right to repair." This voluntary system is fashioned after a similar agreement in the United States. It was negotiated and signed by the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada and the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association, which represent every vehicle manufacturer and distributor in Canada, and the National Automotive Trades Association, which represents the aftermarket service sector.

Vehicle manufacturers and the aftermarket sector in the United States worked together to develop the National Automotive Service Task Force.

The federal government places a high importance on consumer protection and support for a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace in Canada. This agreement provides an environment for independent service providers to compete directly and provide consumers with quality service and choice.