The decision by Regina’s Executive Committee to possibly ban fossil fuel companies from advertising with the city has already drawn a lot of backlash.
The motion that passed 7-4 would see fossil fuel companies put into a list of banned advertisements along with tobacco, cannabis, pornography, and firearms companies.
Mayor Sandra Masters, who voted against the motion, says she decided to so in part because it was a walk-on motion, secondly, because it would affect a lot of Regina workers.
“I think the City of Regina owes due respect to thousands of employees who work in oil and gas,” said Masters. “Not to mention that mining, oil, and gas in our province is a massive contributor to our economy, and are good corporate citizens, are responsible and generous.”
She says to pull away from the exact companies that are funding research into green technology, would not be a good move for the city’s plan of being carbon neutral by 2050.
The decision drew the ire of Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe who deemed it “absurd” and threatened to pull out future Crown Corporation sponsorships.
While the backlash has been quick, Masters says she’s not shocked by it, adding Regina is too big of a place to fly under the radar.
“I think that when we have 25 percent of the province’s population located in our city, to think that we might not catch the attention of the province is naïve,” said Masters. “I don’t have to agree with everybody on everything, but again, we will move Regina forward by building relationships, and finding common ground and common initiatives to move forward.”
Masters says motions like this are the reason she doesn’t like walk-on motions as they lack the proper time and consideration needed to debate them properly.
“Sometimes we think in a moment of passion for a specific issue, that we’re doing the right thing, and again without proper consideration, you can get caught up in that,” said Masters. “But we should always pause to reflect on implications, and whether or not our intentions match the hope for outcomes.”
She hopes when council gets to debate the subject again, councilors will have considered everything before making their decision.
Regina City Council is set to meet again on January 27th.