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Ban Oil & Gas ads like tobacco

Like we did for tobacco, we must ban false fossil fuel ads

Seth Klein, National Observer

Last week, heeding the call of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), Angus tabled a private member’s bill in the House of Commons to prohibit fossil fuel advertising. As doctors and other health professionals across the country have been saying, “Fossil fuel ads make us sick.”

It’s long been my view that if you are looking for a shorthand heuristic to judge the strength and merit of a climate policy, look at the reaction of the fossil fuel companies. If a climate policy is announced and fossil fuel companies are on the stage claiming they can get behind the plan, then friends, you do not have a climate emergency plan. If on the other hand, the oil and gas companies are protesting loudly and you can see panic in their eyes, then you have a plan with real potential impact.

By that measure, Angus has introduced a winner.

Building on the legacy of laws to prohibit tobacco advertising, the proposed law, C-372, An Act Respecting Fossil Fuel Advertising, seeks “to prevent the public from being deceived or misled with respect to the environmental and health hazards of using fossil fuels” and would prohibit fossil fuel companies from paid promotion of their products. More specifically, the bill takes aim at fossil fuel ads that make claims of environmental or economic benefits.

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