An e-petition sponsored by Cloverdale – Langley City MP John Aldag is demanding a comprehensive ban on advertising, sponsorship, and promotion of fossil fuel companies, products, and services in Canada. The petition argues that fossil fuel production and consumption have resulted in a national public health crisis and calls for measures to protect public health.
Initiated by Leah Temper from Montreal, Quebec, the petition highlights the following points:
1. Climate Change Threat: Climate change poses an unprecedented and existential threat to people in Canada and around the world.
2. Government Commitment: The Canadian government has made international climate commitments to drastically reduce fossil fuel consumption and reach carbon neutrality by 2050. This necessitates the timely phase-out of fossil fuels.
3. Precedent for Restrictions: In 1989, Canada restricted tobacco advertising and sponsorship to reduce tobacco use in response to a public health crisis. The government has similarly limited advertising for gambling, alcohol, and pharmaceuticals due to their negative effects.
4. Public Health Crisis: Like tobacco, fossil fuel production and consumption have led to a national public health crisis. Fossil fuel air pollution causes up to 34,000 premature deaths in Canada and over 8 million deaths globally each year. It is a major cause of cancer, respiratory illness, adverse pregnancy outcomes, children’s diseases, and cardiovascular symptoms.
5. Extreme Weather Events: The deadly consequences of extreme weather events, such as the 2021 BC heat dome, are already leading to lives lost in Canada. Health Canada predicts that these events will increase in frequency and magnitude due to climate change.
6. Greenwashing and Misinformation: Fossil fuel advertising deploys greenwashing techniques that mislead the public and fail to disclose the health and environmental harms associated with fossil fuel use. This hinders informed consumer decision-making, undermines public support for effective climate action, and delays the transition to safer, cleaner energy sources.
Dr. Leah Temper, the director of the Fossil Fuel Ads Make Us Sick Campaign at the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, supports the petition. She is also the founder and co-director of the Global Atlas of Environmental Justice.
The Liberal Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has promised to phase out Canadian oil and gas in order to meet arbitrary climate goals. However, this commitment has faced criticism, as over 200,000 Canadians work in the oil and gas sector.
The e-petition aims to raise awareness of the public health impact of fossil fuel production and consumption and encourage the Canadian government to take stronger action to protect public health. Supporters hope that a comprehensive ban on fossil fuel advertising, sponsorship, and promotion will foster a quicker transition to cleaner energy sources and mitigate the harmful effects of fossil fuel pollution on public health.
To sign the petition, individuals can visit the House of Commons e-petition website and show their support for banning fossil fuel advertising. This campaign represents an ongoing effort to prioritize public health and accelerate the transition to a greener and more sustainable future.