The NDP has tabled a private member's bill as kooky as they are — calling for the praise of oil and gas to be outlawed.
Private Member's Bill C-372, An Act respecting fossil fuel advertising sounds the alarm on mere fact. It attempts to bar favourable statements on fossil fuels, from greater production boosting the economy to one fuel having lesser emissions than another.
It received a first reading Monday by NDP MP Charlie Angus, the bill’s sponsor. NDP MP Taylor Bacharach seconded the Act.
"Parliament is of the opinion that fossil fuel advertising currently deploys techniques which knowingly mislead the public and fail to disclose the health and environmental harms associated with their use, impeding informed consumer decision-making, undermining public support for effective climate action and delaying the transition to safer, cleaner energy sources," reads the legislation.
Using terms, expressions, logos, symbols or illustrations would be disallowed should the legislation pass, reported The Western Standard. The regulations would apply to industry professionals and advertisers, as well as media companies who write op-eds, commentaries, or reports on fossil fuels.
It proposes that a ban would "prevent the public from being deceived or misled with respect to the environmental and health hazards of using fossil fuels and to enhance public awareness of those hazards."
Notable exceptions to the regulatory framework would be signs advertising gas prices and "cinematographic work … that uses or depicts fossil fuels."
Those who defy the Fossil Fuel Advertising Act could face upwards of two years in prison and a $1 million fine, said Heather Exner-Pirot, Director of Energy, Natural Resources and Environment at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.
She simultaneously posted to X a sign that read, "As long as the world needs oil and natural gas, shouldn't it be Canadian?"
Mark Scholz, the head of the Canadian Association of Energy Contractors (CAOEC), criticized the controversial bill for disregarding efforts by the industry to reduce emissions and advance economic reconciliation.
"The facts are clear; we need Canadian oil and gas, and our people will deliver on this promise. No legislation can muzzle the truth," Scholz told The Western Standard.
"CAOEC is disappointed by the lack of knowledge surrounding the energy issues that Canadians and many countries face. This bill would impede our country’s ability to foster a sustainable energy industry," he added.
Angus claimed the bill would make history by going after industry "propaganda" that considers oil and gas a part of the climate solution.
"That's like Benson and Hedges telling you that they can help end lung cancer," he said. "This is because big oil has always relied on the big tobacco playbook of delay and disinformation."
"I introduced Bill C-372 to outlaw advertising and promotion by the oil and gas lobby," Angus said on Monday. "Big oil has 60-plus years of disinformation on their impacts on the environment and health. The big tobacco moment has arrived for Big Oil," he wrote.
Canada outlawed tobacco advertising in 1989. Subsequent efforts were made to add health warning labels on cigarette packaging around 2012.