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Press release  •  2 min

SUVs: The majority of Quebecers in favour of stricter regulations on car ads

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Montreal, September 6, 2023 – According to a recent Léger survey commissioned by Équiterre (in french), the majority (58%) of Quebecers are in favour of tighter controls on advertising for light-duty trucks, including SUVs. The survey shows that Équiterre’s recent public awareness campaign about the impacts of these types of vehicles significantly affected the opinions of those who had been exposed to the campaign.

Administered in June 2023 to 1,001 respondents, the survey on the “Assess what your true needs are” campaign shows that the more aware and informed people are, the more they want meaningful solutions to attack the proliferation of light-duty trucks on our roads. They recognize the auto industry as being largely responsible for the situation.

Survey highlights :

  • 61% of respondents feel that Équiterre’s advertising campaign gave them a better understanding of the environmental impacts of SUVs and made them think about their “true needs” when it comes to transportation.

  • 58% fully or mostly agree that light-duty truck advertising should be regulated (this figure climbs to 69% among those exposed to Équiterre’s campaign, which was launched in 2021).

  • 44% fully or mostly agree that licensing costs should be based on vehicle size (55% among those exposed to the campaign).

  • 40% fully or mostly agree that a surtax should be imposed on the sale of new light-duty truck models to fund environmental measures under Quebec’s Plan for a Green Economy (53% among those exposed to the campaign).

  • When asked to identify the party responsible for the negative impacts of SUVs, 34% of respondents identified the auto industry (24% blame consumers and 9% blame government).

Encouraging signs, and much work to be done

“There are two main conclusions from these numbers. First of all, the more informed people are about the real impacts of light-duty vehicles, the more they tend to want controls to be placed on them. Secondly, our campaign achieved its objective to get people thinking more about what their true needs are with regards to transportation.”

-Marc-André Viau, Director ofGovernment Relations at Équiterre

Viau goes on to say the following: “It’s encouraging to see the degree of support in the survey for the series of proposed measures. There’s an appetite for better regulatory and fiscal control over the increasingly large vehicles being pushed on us by the auto industry. There remains much to be done to raise public awareness about the safety, financial and environmental impacts of SUVs, but we are very encouraged to see the response once people have been given the key information.”

Équiterre highlights how the public has zeroed in on the problem by identifying the auto industry as being responsible for the situation: “If the industry were doing its job, the government wouldn’t

have to step in. But the negative consequences are building up, and we can no longer afford to sit idly by.”

“The time has come for the government to tackle the problem of car advertising. That’s the next logical step, and as we’ve seen, it’s what more and more Quebecers are calling for,” said Marc-André Viau.

Équiterre's offices are located on Indigenous lands that have not been ceded by treaty, which we now call Montreal and Quebec City. We recognize that Indigenous peoples have protected their territories since immemorial times and have used their traditional knowledge to guard the lands and waters. We are grateful to live on these lands and are committed to continuing our efforts to protect them. Read more »


The “Assess what your true needs are” campaign is coordinated by Équiterre. A number of partners are involved in the initiative, including Accès Transports viables, the Automobile Protection Association, CAA-Québec, la Canada Research Chair in Human Mobility, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Fondation québécoise d’éducation en sécurité routière, HEC Montréal, Option Consommateurs and Piétons Québec.

This project was carried out with funding from the Government of Canada

For more information :

Communications Officer, Media Relations (514) 605-2000
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