Written by Rabita Sharfuddin and Michael SmithProposed changes to Quebec's Consumer Protection Act will be of interest to class action lawyers, as they would impose additional duties and obligations on suppliers and manufacturers of consumer goods.
Provincial Justice Minister, Sonia LeBel announced on October 30, 2019, that the Quebec Consumer Protection Office (Office de la protection du consommateur) will be conducting public consultations on the sustainability, reparability and obsolescence of consumer goods, as part of Bill 197's consultation phase. Interestingly, Bill 197 is a private members' bill originally written by law students at Université de Sherbrooke and tabled by legislative member, Guy Oulette, in the Quebec legislature on April 9, 2019. Bill 197 proposes numerous amendments to strengthen Quebec's Consumer Protection Act. These amendments contemplate longer consumer warranties, increased requirements for merchants to provide repairs, and fines for any persons who engage in the practice of planned obsolescence for consumer goods.
The Bill is currently in the public consultation phase. It will then proceed to the committee stage and thereafter be put to a vote in the National Assembly of Quebec. If the Bill is passed by a majority, it will be enacted into law.