Rights of the Farmer VS Dealerships in Canada

January 15, 2016

You may not be aware of this, but earlier in 2015 several provinces enacted legislation to enforce certain obligations on machinery dealers with regards to what levels of support they need to provide with regards to providing parts for machines you purchase from them for your operations. These protections vary from province to province, so we thought we would share what we knew about them to our readers.

What’s the Legislation?

Not all provinces offer what is known as a Farm Implements/Equipment Act. So far, only 4 have adopted this type of legislation: Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Each province that has adopted this kind of legislation has implemented different rules and different levels of coverage for farmers. We have collected links to each province’s legislation, take a minute and read up on what’s available:

ONTARIO (Farm Implements Act): http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/fiap/fiap.htm

MANITOBA (Farm Machinery and Equipment Act): https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/business-and-economics/business-management/farm-machinery-act.html

ALBERTA (Farm Implement Act and Regulation): http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/acts6047

What equipment is covered?

In Saskatchewan, the Agricultural Implements Act lays down the law. It applies to any farm machine that meets this description: “…any implement, equipment or machine that is used or intended for use on a farm…” The Act lists a couple of specific exclusions, such as motor vehicles (eg, trucks); but in general, it applies most machines you’d find on a farm.

In Alberta, the Farm Implement Regulations apply. And just like the Saskatchewan Act and Manitoba’s Farm Machinery and Equipment Act, the definition of machinery it applies to is pretty all-encompassing. It includes “…any implement, equipment, engine, motor, machine, combine, tractor or attachment used or intended for use in farming operations…” But Alberta does exclude any farm machine with a retail price of less than $4,000 along with tractors below 30 horsepower, and a few other things.

The next thing to understand — and, again, this applies to all three provinces — is the duty of dealers and manufacturers to supply parts applies only to those for new machines that were sold in the province. Parts must be continuously available for 10 years after the date of sale for each machine. When that time is up, all bets are off.

Not only that, if you bought a used machine, regardless of how old it is, these rules don’t guarantee you a parts supply at all, only purchasers of new equipment get protection from the Provincial Acts.

What’s the time limit?

How fast dealers need to come up with those replacement parts for purchasers (or lessors) of new equipment depends on the time of year; and yet again, it’s the same for all three provinces. If you bought a new machine within the 10-year period, the dealer has 10 working days to put new parts on the counter from the day you ordered them. But if you’re broken down and can’t use your machine during the season when you need to, you can specify the parts are for an emergency repair. Dealers, then, have just 72 hours to supply them, not counting weekends and statutory holidays.

If there is a delay in supplying parts that is beyond the control of a dealer or manufacturer, such as a labour strike or transportation problem, they can’t be held legally responsible for that. Of course, dealers can add fees above and beyond the regular retail price for that kind of expedited delivery, as long as they specify it on the parts invoice, at least in Saskatchewan.

In Alberta, anyone who makes a claim for compensation arising from a violation of its Act could be paid a settlement out of that province’s Farm Implement Compensation Fund.

Know Your Rights

If you are lucky enough to live in a province with this kind of legislation, read up before you go to purchase anything that qualifies as machinery according to your province’s acts. If you live somewhere that doesn’t have protections in place like this, contact your MLA, get the ball rolling!”

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