REGINA - Both the Saskatchewan and Alberta provincial New Democrats have come out against a federal NDP private members’ bill that would ban fossil fuel advertising.
A joint statement was issued Monday by Saskatchewan NDP Energy Critic Aleana Young and Alberta NDP Energy Critic Nagwan Al-Guneid on Bill C-372, “An Act respecting fossil fuel advertising,” introduced in the House of Commons by Timmins-James Bay NDP MP Charlie Angus.
Angus’ bill would prohibit people from promoting a fossil fuel, a fossil fuel-related brand element or the production of a fossil fuel, according to its wording, and is aimed at preventing the public from being deceived or misled with respect to the environmental and health hazards of using fossil fuels. Jail sentences are contemplated for those breaking the provisions in the bill.
But both Young and Al-Gunied say the bill goes too far.
“We do not support the Private Member’s Bill introduced by Charlie Angus. Energy companies are important job creators in Alberta and Saskatchewan and shouldn't be singled out by advertising restrictions. We already have legislation around false advertising, and we are more interested in advancing ideas that can actually help people. It is not helpful to pick fights that just polarize people and get in the way of the real solutions we need.
“Elected officials should be advancing policies focused on creating good-paying jobs and diversifying our economy while addressing climate change. All indications show that Alberta and Saskatchewan will face a challenging summer with severe drought, less rain, and potential wildfires. We remain focused on finding climate solutions while strengthening the economy.”
Angus’s private members' bill has already received heavy criticism from conservative-leaning politicians in recent days, who were critical that the bill would put people in jail for speaking out in favor of the oil and gas industry.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith posted this on on the X platform: “As Alberta MLAs we all need to speak against such lunacy regardless of party stripe - I’m asking all NDP leadership candidates to call out NDP MP Charlie Angus for this irresponsible bill that would jail anyone who dare advertise the merits of Alberta’s world class energy sector. Shameful.”
Federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre posted: “Charlie Angus & the NDP would prefer Canadian energy workers just shut up about creating powerful paycheques, opportunities for First Nations, and displacing oil from dictators & despots. Conservatives will repeal all Trudeau/NDP anti-energy laws & unleash Canadian energy for our people and the world.”