Regina City Council scraps fossil fuel ad ban

After a week of intense backlash, Regina City Council decided to remove an amendment proposed at its Executive Committee meeting.

If the motion had been passed it would’ve banned fossil fuel companies from advertising with the city.

Mayor Sandra Masters says while the motion was rescinded, the message of sustainability stays the same.

“My Council colleagues and myself, we have alignment and a shared vision about being renewable, and continuing to work towards that goal,” said Masters. “I’m also really encouraged with industry I was able to contact over the last week, all of them have offered to reach out to come and talk to Council about the initiatives they’re undertaking, and about how we can work together and build those partnerships to maybe move it along a bit faster.”

Twenty-one different delegations addressed Council Wednesday to voice their concerns about the proposed ban, with some of them saying they felt betrayed by the city.

Masters, who voted against the motion originally, says she understands where the concerns and backlash came from.

“People want to know that what they do is respected and valued,” said Masters. “And really, when we talk about sponsorship, we’re talking about relationship building. You’ve heard administration speak to it, you’ve heard other people speak to it, and if you’re trying to build a relationship, to cast judgement, or create something that’s perhaps divisive, is very difficult to build a relationship under those circumstances.”

Masters took time to condemn some of the messages sent to Councillors over the last week, saying some of them threatened violence or harassment, adding it’s completely unacceptable.

She says the backlash served as a bit of a wakeup call, but despite a few horrible comments, she’s happy to see the amount of love people have for their city.

“Six days later, or seven days later, you’re able to take a step back and go, I’ll go back to I’m really proud of the citizens of Regina for stepping forward, regardless of whether they supported or didn’t support it, in terms of having their voice heard.”

Council also decided to remove a motion that would’ve banned political candidates or parties from advertising with the city, deciding to keep the original framework in place.

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