"Like tobacco, fossil fuel production and consumption has resulted in a national public health crisis of substantial and pressing concern," reads the anti-energy House of Commons e-petition sponsored by Cloverdale - Langley City MP John Aldag.
The petition demands a "comprehensive ban on advertising, sponsorship, and promotion of fossil fuel companies, products, and services (including gasoline, gas utilities, and internal combustion engine vehicles) to protect public health."
Initiated by Leah Temper from Montreal, Quebec, the preamble of the petition notes that:
- Climate change represents an unprecedented and existential threat to people in Canada and around the world;
- The Canadian Government has made international climate commitments to drastically reduce fossil fuel consumption and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, which requires the timely phase-out of fossil fuels;
- In 1989, Canada restricted tobacco advertising and sponsorship to reduce tobacco use to respond to a public health crisis. The government similarly limits advertising of gambling, alcohol, and pharmaceuticals in recognition of their negative effects;
- Like tobacco, fossil fuel production and consumption has resulted in a national public health crisis of substantial and pressing concern;
- Fossil fuel air pollution causes up to 34 000 premature deaths in Canada and over 8 million globally every year and is a major cause of cancer, respiratory illness, adverse pregnancy outcomes, children’s diseases, and cardiovascular symptoms;
- The deadly consequences of extreme weather events such as the 2021 BC heat dome are already leading to lives lost in Canada, and according to Health Canada, will increase in frequency and magnitude due to climate change; and
- Fossil fuel advertising deploys greenwashing techniques which knowingly mislead the public and fail to disclose the health and environmental harms associated with their use. This impedes informed consumer decision-making, undermines public support for effective climate action and delays the transition to safer, cleaner energy sources.
Dr. Leah Temper is the director of the Fossil Fuel Ads Make Us Sick Campaign at the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and the founder and co-director of the Global Atlas of Environmental Justice.
Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised a phase-out of Canadian oil and gas to meet arbitrary climate goals.