The pandemic has halted international travel for Saskatchewan government MPs, but after an 18-month layover, the government is back in the air, with eight trips in the past five months and more underway, according to the Prime Minister Scott Moe.
The government publicly discloses travel costs for MPs every six months and recently posted the costs until April 1, 2022.
From October 31, 2021 to April 1, 2022, the government spent $134,590 on four international trips.
Prime Minister Scott Moe’s first international trip in two years took him to the UK and Germany from March 26 to April 1. The total cost was $60,836.
Other international trips in the past five months:
- Minister Bronwyn Eyre: Houston, Texas – $1,322.
- Minister Jeremy Harrison: London, UK – $32,491.
- Minister Jeremy Harrison: Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE – $28,571.
Since April 1, the government has sent four MPs on international trips and these costs have not yet been posted:
- MP Terry Dennis: Berlin, Germany (April 10-13).
- Minister Jeremy Harrison: India (April 25-28).
- Minister Gene Makowsky: Mexico.
- Prime Minister Scott Moe: Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (May 7-11).
During the last full period of international travel, from October 2019 to March 2020, the government spent $210,685 on six trips. Moe’s trip to Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong accounted for more than half at $116,869.
There were no international trips from April 2020 to November 2021.
Last week, after returning from the United Arab Emirates, Moe said the provincial government would travel even more than in the past.
“We are going to take care of ourselves as a province. That’s why we have the eight international trade offices and that’s why we’re going to have an increasing level of engagement from the political side of government in the months ahead.
The government opened a trade office in India last year and recently opened its office in the United Arab Emirates. It plans to open an office in Mexico City later this year.
“Our new office can be a catalyst for growth that will benefit both Saskatchewan and the UK” – Premier Scott Moe
@Premier ScottMoethe honorable @RalphGoodale and General Agent RanissahSamah opened the Saskatchewan Trade and Investment Office in the UK. @CanadianUK pic.twitter.com/4y2VyPLxw0
Moe said international trade missions and trade offices are poised to “commit on behalf of Saskatchewan industry, jobs and opportunity as the federal government has pulled out of this space. lately”.
Moe said individual missions do not yield an immediate return on investment, but overall the growth in the value of exports and investments in the provinces shows their value.
He pointed to record exports worth $37 billion in goods in 2021, including $17.3 billion in agricultural and food products.
Moe also said the $14 billion in private investment in Saskatchewan “is a testament to the success of this commitment.”
Moe on an “intense” trip to the United Arab Emirates
Moe described the trade mission to the United Arab Emirates as “quick and very intense”.
“It was an agriculture-focused trip. About 30% of Canadian exports to [U.A.E.] comes from Saskatchewan.”
Moe said almost all of these exports are agricultural products.
Moe said a major nuclear power plant in the UAE is half-completed and there is “a big opportunity for them to buy uranium from the province of Saskatchewan.”
He also said the province has signed a memorandum of understanding with the country’s energy minister ‘specific to work on a small modular reactor. [nuclear] technology, hydrogen technology and other opportunities to reduce our emissions profile and provide energy and electricity. »
Carbon capture, use and storage play a vital role in Saskatchewan’s economy and our province is home to the world’s first fully integrated CCUS project which has captured over four million tonnes of CO2 to date.
Moe said the province will participate in the next two United Nations climate change conferences, COP27 and COP28, to be held in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, over the next two years.
He said the government had sent officials to COP26 in Glasgow, but expected “much fuller engagement” from global industry and energy over the next two conferences.
He said the Saskatchewan government will promote “thermal extraction, carbon capture and storage, and enhanced oil recovery” at upcoming COP conferences.