Premier blasts “hypocritical” Regina council

The capital city of Canada’s second-biggest petroleum producer has voted to restrict advertising for energy companies in the city

Western Investor
January 21, 2021

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe: warns of funding action against city .| Brian Zinchuk
— Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe: warns of funding action against city .| Brian Zinchuk

Regina, the capital of the second-largest oil producing province in the country, has voted to implement a policy restricting advertising for energy companies within the city.

On January 20, the city’s executive committee voted to recommend a policy that “The City will not solicit nor accept sponsorship or advertising from companies or organizations  whose business is principally derived from the sale or production of fossil fuels,” according to the minutes of the 20 meeting. 

That amendment carried 7-4.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is not happy about it.

Moe posted on Facebook and Twitter: “Regina City Council’s executive committee has passed an absurd motion that would restrict energy companies from sponsoring or advertising with the City of Regina. I commend Mayor Sandra Masters and the three other councillors for voting against this motion.

“This motion is a hypocritical attack on the hardworking workers and employers that fuel Saskatchewan’s economy and fund important community initiatives through voluntary sponsorships. Should this motion pass Regina City Council next week, our government will seriously consider the future of sponsorships to the City of Regina from provincial energy companies like SaskEnergy and SaskPower.

“I would also note that the City of Regina receives about $29 million a year from the municipal surcharge on SaskPower bills and $4.3 million from the municipal surcharge on SaskEnergy bills. If these Regina city councillors have such a strong aversion to accepting money from energy companies, I assume they will no longer want to receive these funds, which could instead be distributed to other Saskatchewan municipalities.”

Regina is headquarters to SaskEnergy, TransGas, and SaskPower. It hosts the Enbridge mainline running through the city’s north end, a tank farm on that mainline, and the adjacent Federated Co-operatives Limited Co-op Refinery Complex. Its Evraz steel mill’s principal product is producing steel for pipe, and the production of steel pipe used in pipelines.

Several other companies do energy-related manufacturing in the city, including Brandt, which builds large crawler-mounted pipelayers.

Regina’s recommended advertising ban also includes advertising for the sale of tobacco, cannabis, pornography or sexual services, alcohol or other addictive substances aimed at children and youth, armaments and weapons, or companies or “organizations that aren’t in good standing with the city.”

The Regina ad ban on energy companies came the same day that U.S. President Joe Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline extension that would have carried Canadian oil to the U.S., a move that Premier Moe had called “very disappointing.”

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