Truth in Advertizing?

A few days ago our blog, A half-truth? or A suppressed truth?, questioned the accuracy of statements made by Canadian politicans. Government ministers have claimed that environmental issues relating to the exploitation of the tar sands and particularly the construction of pipelines to carry its bitumen to market would be determined by “science”, and not politics.

Our blog concluded:

“The reality is that pipeline decision is based on politics, the politics of perceived economic and regional interests. A political strategy that ignores science!”

In an article by Eric Reguly in Saturday’s Globe & Mail (May 12th), entitled “Canada’s $207,000 oil sands ad: Putting a price on deception” refers to an extreme example of just how far the “politics” of the Canadian Government will go. His article is a must read.

Reguly shows how where a Canadian Government ad in the New Yorker Magazine omits highly relevant facts, makes claims that are so misleading that they “border on outright falsehood”, exaggerates the merits of the regulations applicable to the tar sands, and overstates the contribution that Keystone XL might make to America’s “oil energy needs.”

The US has truth in advertizing laws:

When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet, radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence.

These laws are enforced by the US Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers.

The Canadian Government advertizing is aimed at voters, and not consumers who are considering the purchase of goods or services.

Ask yourself this question: Don’t voters deserve the same degree of protection?

Why doesn’t some environmental organization request the Trade Commission to condemn these inexcusable practices of the Canadian Government?

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