NDP call Premier’s Dubai trip ‘not as advertised” after large portion of delegates aren’t from Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan NDP is raising questions about the Government of Saskatchewan’s COP28 delegation after they found that almost half of the delegations aren’t organizations from the province.

Jobs and Economy Critic Aleana Young said after Premier Scott Moe told reporters that the “sole focus” of the $765,000 Saskatchewan booth was to be a “one-stop shop of what we are doing in Saskatchewan. She said that this trip was not as advertised.

“How does the University of Guelph help sell Saskatchewan businesses?” Young questioned. “In our own pavilion, Saskatchewan’s pavilion, out-of-province businesses and organizations will outnumber Saskatchewan nearly two to one. How does footing the bill for a Calgary law firm help sell Saskatchewan’s story to the world? On this list, nearly half are from out-of-province. It’s time for the Premier to be straight with the Saskatchewan people and admit that this trip is not as advertised.”

Young said Moe and his government have not been straight with the Saskatchewan people about the trip.

“At first, this was just quietly signed off through an order in council in mid-October that had emerged. Then the story changed to, well, this is an opportunity to showcase 40 fantastic Saskatchewan businesses and innovators and entrepreneurs. Then, the list comes out, and of the 60 organizations listed, nearly 30 of them aren’t from Saskatchewan.”

Environment Critic Jared Clarke said while telling the province’s story is essential, so is being fiscally responsible.

“I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in this economy who thinks $765,000 for two small rooms and some chairs is a great deal,” he said. “Now, to make matters even worse, we only have this small space for a number of days, and the delegate list reveals that we will be sharing time with the governments of Alberta, Ontario, Newfoundland, Labrador, and their crown corporations.”

Young added that she hopes the government can make some use of the money invested in the trip.

“It can’t just be MOUs. It can’t just be international travel and the tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars footed by the taxpayer. We need to see real results for the Saskatchewan people.”

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