Recently Premier Scott Moe made a public statement concerning a motion made by the Regina City Executive Council. The statement in part is as follows:
Moe added that the City of Regina gets approximately $29 million a year from surcharges on SaskPower bills and $4.3 million surcharges on SaskEnergy bills.
“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,” wrote Moe.
Naomi Hunter Leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party (SGP) was contacted for the Party’s thoughts on how Premier Moe’s words were taken by them.
“First, crown corporations like SaskEnergy and SaskPower, are actually independent, publicly owned utilities and not mandated to carry out political threats by the governing party. Scott Moe seems to have forgotten that…,” commented Hunter. She followed the comment up with a press release issued by the SGP. Scott Moe is a Bully!
In an unsurprising turn of events, Premier Moe threatens Regina with loss of funding and operating capital to which it is entitled.
“I think Scott Moe should mind his business, not the oil and gas sector’s”, admonishes Naomi Hunter, leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party. “A leader that goes after our Capital City like that, attempting to subvert its own sovereign democracy, is quite frankly embarrassing. And it’s wrong!”
The Saskatchewan Green Party supports the City of Regina’s management of its own affairs. We further support their executive committee’s decision to prohibit “fossil fuel producers from advertising with the city”, and we stand with the council members who vote in favour.
We feel the Government of Saskatchewan should likewise divest public support from Oil and Gas, and immediately put those funds into renewables. Defunding this primary pollution source is a tool we need to use while facing down the Climate Crisis dead ahead of us.
“I’m confident the people of Saskatchewan want their government to get on the right side of history”, says Hunter. “Our largest trading partner doesn’t even want our carbon anymore. The Keystone XL is dead, investors are scattering and it’s time to move on.”
The following is a statement that can be attributed to the NDP Critic for Municipal Affairs, Matt Love. He offered, “While our approach would not be to limit good employers here in Saskatchewan from advertising, it is shocking that the Premier would use his position to bully another level of government and threaten funding to the citizens of Regina. That is not how we expect different levels of government to work together in this province. We are dealing with a deadly pandemic that has taken dozens of lives in Regina alone. Now is not the time for threats and bluster.”
Should the party holding the political power bully or threaten when they do not agree with a municipal decision? Is this the type of political maneuvers that we taxpayers of the province want to happen, or has Premier Moe overstepped his authority in his threats to cause the Regina City Executive to support ideas that he prefers?
Gary Horseman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Four-Town Journal