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Sask. spending $238,000 on metro, airport ads in Dubai during COP28 conference

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The latest expense added to Saskatchewan’s tab at the COP28 conference is advertising on the Dubai metro and at the city’s airport – costing the province $238,000.

“It’s about us telling our sustainable story of production of resources here whether that be in the ag[riculture] sector, potash sector, energy sector,” Minister of Trade and Export Development Jeremy Harrison explained.

The ads costs are on top of the $765,000 being spent on a pavilion at the week long climate change conference.

It brings the total cost of the trip to more than $1 million plus travel expenses. Harrison says the investment is necessary.

“It’s a story that Justin Trudeau and Steven Guilbeault and the federal government will not tell on behalf of Saskatchewan,” Harrison claimed.

“If we are not there telling our story, talking about our sustainable resource production, Justin Trudeau won’t be doing it for us.”

The NDP opposition isn’t convinced that the mission is worth the over $1 million dollar price tag.

“I think [this is] another example of the steady drip, drip, drip of disorganization and real lack of transparency that we’re seeing when it comes to this trip,” NDP MLA Aleana Young said.

“It is it is a lot of money – $230,000 is like the average house price in Regina. So to see that just gone in the blink of an eye for a week's worth of ads on the subway in Dubai, I think is a very reasonable thing to ask questions about … especially during a generational affordability crisis."

The government says the quarter million dollars being spent on advertising in Dubai is not a new expense.

The funding will come from the annual $2 million advertising budget of the Ministry of Trade and Export Development.

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