Regina– If you don’t like the money that comes from energy, try going without it. And by the way, you’re currently accepting a lot of it, which you might soon do without.
That was the message Premier Scott Moe sent to the City of Regina on Jan. 20, after that city’s executive committee passed a recommendation to council (essentially, themselves), to implement a policy restricting advertising for energy companies advertising with the City.
The executive committee’s function is essentially the entire city council hashing out policy before finalizing and voting to implement those policies as a council. It is made up of the entire council.
At question was a recommendation to council for a sponsorship, naming rights and advertising policy. An amendment to that policy was moved by Councillor Dan LeBlanc. As amended, the recommended policy stated, “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 Jan. 20 meeting. That amendment carried 7-4.
Other restrictions include advertising for the sale of tobacco, cannabis, pornography or sexual services, alcohol or other addictive substances aimed at children and youth, armaments and weapons, discrimination by race, religion or sex in employment or advertising practices, or companies or organizations that aren’t in good standing with the city.
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 pipeline pipelayers, large crawler-mounted cranes also known as sidebooms.
Energy is also Saskatchewan’s second largest industry, after agriculture. Saskatchewan is the second largest oil producing province in the country, after Alberta.