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NDP questions why out-of-province companies are using COP28 pavilion Sask. is spending $765K on

A rendering shows what the Saskatchewan pavilion will look like at the COP28 meeting in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Province of Saskatchewan - image credit)
A rendering shows what the Saskatchewan pavilion will look like at the COP28 meeting in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Province of Saskatchewan - image credit)

The Saskatchewan NDP is continuing its criticism of Premier Scott Moe's overseas trip to a climate conference, questioning both its price tag and the list of delegates who will be using the space the province is paying for at the conference.

Over 55 companies will be involved in 51 events happening at the Saskatchewan pavilion during the COP28 United Nation climate change conference, which began on Thursday and will be attended by Moe and a delegation of Saskatchewan-based businesses, the province said in a Thursday news release.

list of companies and organizations that will be using the Saskatchewan pavilion space at the conference was discussed Friday by the Opposition NDP.

It shows many of the groups using the space are not Saskatchewan-based, including companies and organizations like Ontario Power Generation, the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the Alberta-headquarted energy company Enbridge and Bennett Jones, a Toronto-based law firm.

Officials from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Colombia will use the Saskatchewan pavilion's meeting room, the list shows.

Saskatchewan-based companies listed to use the pavilion include Black Fox Distillery, Hebert Grain Ventures, Mosaic, Cameco and Nutrien.

The Saskatchewan government spent $765,000 on the pavilion space alone — a figure the NDP expects to climb when other expenses for the trip are factored in.

"I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in this economy who thinks $765,000 for a small room or two small rooms and some chairs is a great deal," NDP environment critic Jared Clarke said at a press conference on Thursday.

Moe has maintained that the trip is an opportunity to tell Saskatchewan's "story" on the global stage.

"The sole focus of all things in our pavilion is going to be a one-stop shop of what we are doing in Saskatchewan and what we are doing in Canada," Moe said at a Thursday news conference.

A rendering shows what the Saskatchewan pavilion meeting room looks like. Officials from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Colombia and more will use the meeting room.
A rendering shows what the Saskatchewan pavilion meeting room looks like. Officials from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Colombia and more will use the meeting room.

A rendering shows what the Saskatchewan pavilion meeting room will look like. (Province of Saskatchewan)

The province says during the first week of the conference, the Saskatchewan pavilion will focus on energy sustainability. In the second week, the theme is sustainable agriculture and food systems.

Moe added that he will be part of a panel along with Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and former British Columbia premier Christy Clark at the event.

But NDP MLA Aleana Young questioned why the Saskatchewan pavilion is being used by out-of-province delegates.

"Saskatchewan pavilion out-of-province businesses and organizations will outnumber Saskatchewan nearly two-to-one," she said.

"How does the University of Guelph help sell Saskatchewan businesses in our own pavilion?"

The climate conference started on Thursday and ends on Dec. 12.