REGINA — A motion that called on Regina to restrict fossil fuel companies from advertising or sponsoring with the city has been withdrawn after city council got an earful from the oil and gas industry and its supporters.
Last week, most of council’s executive committee voted in favour of the motion and faced immediate pushback. Premier Scott Moe called the idea hypocritical and absurd.
On Wednesday, councillors spent hours listening to more than 20 speakers, many of them business leaders and involved in the energy industry, who criticized the motion as a tone-deaf attack on the energy sector.
They suggested the proposed ban was vilifying fossil fuels when the industry employs many who call Regina home.
Some councillors expressed concerns the motion had sown division in the city and damaged some relationships in the community.
A rookie councillor who first brought forward the proposal changed his mind on Wednesday and asked for it to be deleted, which council supported in a final vote.
Coun. Dan LeBlanc said there was not enough support in the community to move ahead with the change.
LeBlanc said he brought forward the motion because Regina aims to become sustainable by 2050 and he felt that didn’t mesh with the goals of fossil fuel companies.
Moe suggested if council adopted the change, his Saskatchewan Party government could redirect millions the city receives from SaskPower and SaskEnergy bills to other municipalities.
He also said he would reconsider future sponsorships by both provincial energy Crowns with the city.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2021
The Canadian Press