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Competition Watchdog Probes Canadian Gas Association

 |  November 10, 2022

The federal Competition Bureau is investigating the Canadian Gas Association to determine if it made misleading statements about the environmental impact of natural gas.

The bureau confirmed Thursday it has launched an inquiry into “alleged deceptive marketing practices” by the industry lobby group. The inquiry was prompted by a complaint lodged by six individuals connected with the advocacy group Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE).

Related: Skating on Thin Ice: Why Canadian Competition Policy Should Not Be Determined by U.S. Antitrust Enforcement

The complainants allege the Canadian Gas Association — whose members include companies such as Enbridge Inc., FortisBC, and ATCO — is misleading the public with its “Fuelling Canada” marketing campaign.

The campaign promotes the use of natural gas as a form of low emission energy. On the campaign’s website, the lobby group says “Canada’s natural gas industry works 24/7 to ensure affordable, clean, and reliable energy for families and businesses.”

But the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment argues natural gas is not as “clean” as the campaign makes it sound. In a news release, the group says natural gas is a fossil fuel that contributes to global warming. 

“The extraction and production of gas also pollutes the air and contaminates water sources, while closer to home, gas appliances cause indoor air pollution and pose a serious health risk for children’s respiratory health,” said Dr. Melissa Lem, a member of CAPE and one of the complainants.