The ACSA submitted the following letter to Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc in response to their recent resolution to encourage the use of point-of-sale gas pump climate change warning labels.
May 7, 2015
Mayor George LeBlanc
City of Moncton
655 Main Street
Moncton, NB E1C 1E8
Via email: [email protected]
Subject: Gas pump climate change warning labels
Dear Mayor LeBlanc:
The Atlantic Convenience Stores Association is a not-for-profit organization representing the business interests of Atlantic Canada’s convenience store industry. The mission of the association is to help ensure an economically viable and sustainable business environment for members by serving the best interests of Atlantic Canada’s convenience store operators and consumers alike through advocacy, advice, education, training and responsible retailing.
Approximately 42% of the 768 convenience stores in New Brunswick retail motor fuel. They employ approximately 2,000 New Brunswickers and the greatest concentration of them work and reside in the Greater Moncton area.
Our motor fuel retailers are not pleased with Moncton’s recent resolution to encourage the use of point-of-sale gas pump climate change warning labels.
Particularly disturbing are the direct and indirect references to similarities between the use of gasoline and tobacco products as “harmful products.” Until some viable alternative energy is developed, fossil fuels will be a critical economic and societal necessity. The same cannot be said for tobacco products.
Linkages between the burning of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are widely known. Consumers can and should educate themselves on the issue of climate change and exercise responsible use of fossil fuels. Information on the science and various policy positions surrounding climate change as well as energy conservation practices is widely available and easily accessible via untold thousands of websites, blogs, newspapers, magazines, books and scientific journals.
The City of Moncton should pursue these avenues of information dissemination – including more proactive use of the city’s own website, www.moncton.ca
– to promote its viewpoints rather than promoting the concept that gasoline retailers be forced to convey a city’s view on climate change.
One can also ask why gasoline retailers are being singled out other than the City copycatting an initiative that began in Berkeley, California. If the City of Moncton is truly serious about increasing climate change awareness and effecting behavioural change among consumers, then perhaps every home, business and Government building in the city of Moncton, burning a fossil fuel for heat or air conditioning should be required to have a climate change warning label on its front door?
The same rationale applies.
New Brunswick gasoline retailers are responsible retailers and fully support energy conservation. Moncton gasoline retailers are business owners and operators who employ staff, support other local businesses, and pay taxes. The City of Moncton should be more supportive of these retailers and their important role in the city’s economy instead of promoting additional regulatory red tape and telling businesses what they can and cannot do.
c.c.: Mr. Brock Carlton, Chief Executive Officer, Federation of Canadian Municipalities