Regina's Mayor hoping councillors will 'reconsider' support for proposal to restrict advertising from energy companies
REGINA -- Regina’s Mayor is hoping city councillors will reconsider their decisions to support an Executive Committee motion to restrict energy companies’ ability to advertise with the city.
“When you have one of the largest contributors to our – not just our economy, but a provincial economy – being targeted and likened to pornography, I think its fair to say that we’ve caught the attention of the provincial government in the worst way possible,” Regina Mayor Sandra Masters said, in an interview with CTV Morning Live Regina.
Masters said she received hundreds of emails about the motion.
“[The tone] would be properly described as outrage in disagreement with the motion passed at executive. Of the several hundred I’ve received personally, one would be in favour of the motion.”
The mayor was one of four members of executive council that voted against the motion.
“I think my hope was that based on the feedback from the public that my fellow council colleagues would reconsider,” Masters said.
While loss of support for community events and sponsorships is “concerning,” Masters said she also worried about Regina losing appeal with prospective businesses
“Larger than that is actually the image of our city and our reputation as being friendly to business and friendly to the economy and operating in our city,” Masters said.
The motion will come before city council at its meeting on Jan. 27.
“Executive committee is the place where there are recommendations to send to council, so it is not a final decision,” Masters said.
The motion was brought forward by Ward 6 Councillor Daniel LeBlanc, proposing energy companies be banned from sponsorship and naming rights of city buildings and advertising.
LeBlanc said allowing these sponsorships implies acceptance, at the city level, of what the companies do, which he said contradicts council's moves to make Regina more environmentally sustainable.
“We are concerned about the amount of carbon used in our city, I think it is similarly or more inconsistent for us to have buildings and parks named after fossil fuel corporations than it is to be named after a pack of smokes." LeBlanc said.
The amendment was passed by the committee with a vote of seven to four. If approved by council it would see non-renewable energy-based companies added to a list of companies or organizations that compromise the city's reputation along with tobacco, cannabis, pornography and weapons.
After the motion passed through executive council, Premier Scott Moe threatened to pull funding from the province’s Crown corporations, currently allocated to the City of Regina, if the motion is approved by council.
“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,” Moe wrote in an emailed statement.
“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.”