Dubai climate change retreat most expensive trip in Saskatchewan History

Moe gov says no cost-of-living relief because “there’s lots of demands on the budget”

REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck put Premier Scott Moe on blast for billing taxpayers for an eye-wateringly expensive climate change retreat in Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates known for its luxury shopping and lively nightlife. The Premier still has yet to depart but the taxpayer-funded climate change retreat is already shaping up to be the most expensive trip in Saskatchewan’s history.

“This is the most expensive photo-op in Saskatchewan’s history by a country mile,” said Beck. “Folks around here can’t even afford a family vacation to Drumheller and the Premier is making them foot the bill for his trip to a climate change retreat in Dubai. This government has been in power for 16 years and they’ve completely lost touch with the struggles of working families.”

The COP28 official website and promotion materials portray the event not as a trade show but as a retreat for “Actionists” focused on promoting “dialogue and awareness about climate action”.

According to a public contract, taxpayers are already on the hook for $765,000 just to secure table #43 in the COP28 event space. The Moe government has not yet disclosed the estimated costs of flights, meals, hotels, government salaries, and other expenses, which could total a million dollars of direct or indirect costs. That means $61,000 per day.

The Moe government has also not disclosed details surrounding its delegation. While the Premier’s office has stated that taxpayer dollars will only be used to cover the expenses of Sask. Party officials, investigative reporting conducted by the Regina LeaderPost shows that the province is footing the bill for the Mayor of Regina in a “roundabout way.”

“Scott Moe and his Ministers have already made three trips to Dubai since last year,” said Jobs Critic Aleana Young. “This government is paying twenty million dollars a year for international offices, one of which is in Dubai. Isn’t cutting down on expensive travel junkets the whole point of having full-time staff living and working in international trade offices?” 

Moe’s Finance Minister has recently stated that no cost-of-living relief is being provided to cash-strapped Saskatchewan families because “there’s lots of demands on the budget”. 

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