“I have the truth, and if you disagree with me, then you should be locked up in jail.” Such is the petulant tantrum of NDP MP Charlie Angus, who has tabled a private member’s bill in the House of Commons that would ban fossil fuel ads. If passed into law by Parliament, anyone who violates this advertising ban could be fined up to $1.5 million or sent to jail for up to two years.The monumental arrogance of Mr. Angus is shared by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), which in 2022 called for the censorship of opinions with which they disagree. I fully support CAPE’s freedom of expression, including its right to claim that oil and gas pose a more serious threat to public health than tobacco; that people can somehow control the weather by rejecting affordable and reliable energy; that Canada’s numerous forest fires in 2023 erupted without human involvement; that carbon dioxide is a pollutant rather than nature’s gift to plants; and that everything from food insecurity to infectious diseases can all be blamed on Canadians (and others living in cold countries) burning oil and gas to keep themselves from freezing to death in the winter.With good reason, the Supreme Court of Canada has described freedom of expression as the lifeblood of democracy. Without the airing of all views (including ones which ultimately prove to be misguided or even false), there can be no authentic debate. Without authentic debate, the quality and intelligence of our laws is sure to decline. The question is not about which views are correct, but about whether we as citizens continue to enjoy the freedom to decide for ourselves what is true or false, right or wrong, scientific or unscientific.The alternative to free expression is for paternalistic politicians and unelected bureaucrats to make the ultimate decisions about what Canadians see, hear and read. We could become like communist China and North Korea, theocratic Iran, or any number of banana republics where dissidents can expect fake criminal charges and real jail time for saying what the authorities deem to be wrong, false, or contrary to some “public interest” as defined by government.The same fascist impulse to silence opponents can be readily seen among those who would criminalize public disagreement with the dominant narrative alleging that mass graves exist at Canada’s former Indian Residential Schools. Given the chance, they would make it illegal to point to the fact that the alleged “mass grave” of 200+ aboriginal children in Kamloops, BC, has never been excavated, such that nobody knows what might be found under the ground. People could face criminal charges for asserting that allegations of mass murder are simply not supported by evidence. Censorship of alternative and minority viewpoints stifles the study of history and the progress of science. Both history and science depend for their advancement on the cut-and-thrust of honest debate.As asserted in the preamble to his draft legislation, Mr. Angus seems to believe that “climate change represents an unprecedented and existential threat to people in Canada and around the world.” Perhaps Mr. Angus is not aware of the fact that climate has been changing from decade to decade, and from century to century, for thousands of years, with humanity as well as the polar bears surviving repeated cycles of warming and cooling.During the Medieval Warm Period (c. 950 to c. 1250) there was agriculture in Greenland and grapes were grown in southern England. It was a hot time compared to today, much hotter than the worst-case-scenario that climate alarmists are now trying to save us from. This was followed by the Little Ice Age that ended around 1850. And to think that all of this warming and cooling happened even when people were not driving cars … amazing!Even if I somehow managed to assemble a small fortune to promote my retrograde opinions on large billboards, I should not be jailed for doing so. Instead, in a free country, I should be publicly humiliated by Mr. Angus when he demonstrates his superior grasp of the facts and his masterful use of logic. Even if Mr. Angus is right about his thesis that people control the weather, he has no right to censor and silence those he disagrees with. The importance of free expression to a free society applies to large-scale advertising as much as it does to the latest post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter ("X").As reported in the Western Standard, this private member’s bill specifically prohibits advertising stating or suggesting that “the practices of a producer or of the fossil fuel industry would lead to positive outcomes in relation to the environment, the health of Canadians, reconciliation with indigenous peoples or the Canadian or global economy.” How nice of Mr. Angus to get specific. Under his proposed bill, the only opinion that could be expressed legally on billboards and television commercials is his own view that affordable and reliable energy has negative impacts across the board. Those expressing contrary views through advertising should go to jail. Mr. Angus can use his freedom of expression to argue for what he believes in. In fact, the House of Commons is a perfect forum for this. But please, Mr. Angus, be civilized enough to refute the arguments of your opponents, rather than pushing for essentially fascist legislation that would see dissenters locked away.