Regina Mayor Sandra Masters is heading to a global climate change conference in the United Arab Emirates after approval from city council, but she isn't sure yet who else from the city will potentially join her.
Masters was asked to participate on the provincial government's delegation to the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which is being held in Dubai from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12.
The delegation is made up of people from eight different institutions, including the University of Regina and Saskatchewan.
In an interview on CBC's The Morning Edition, Masters said the intent of the trip is to advocate for the city, discover new technologies that could be useful on the municipal level and "to show ourselves as a natural and preferred home for climate friendly production of food and fuel and fertilizer and for investment."
Masters added that she is not certain if other officials from the city will be joining her.
"We'll wait and see, but I suspect that what we will want is to make sure we have city representation as well."
She said she suspects other officials will come to "communicate" that Regina is investing in "capture of methane gas to convert to energy or investigating geothermal."
LISTEN | Regina's mayor talks about taking tourism back and heading to Dubai:
The mayor's trip, which is scheduled for Dec. 3 to Dec. 8, is being partially paid for by Economic Development Regina (EDR).
Chris Lane, the CEO of EDR, said the organization receives money from multiple levels of government, but that government funding isn't necessarily paying for this trip because EDR also has other revenue streams.
"It's a bit simplistic to say that, you know, one particular income stream funds a specific activity."
City administration stated at Wednesday's council meeting that "all costs for this trip are 100 per cent covered by the provincial government through a partnership with Economic Development."
According to Lane, the Saskatchewan government purchased an event space/pavilion at the conference for $765,000, but that cost is not a part of what EDR is covering.
Lane estimates EDR's portion of expenditures will be in the $25,000 range.
1 council member opposed
A vote is required in city council whenever a member plans to travel outside of North America on business.
Ward 1 Coun. Cheryl Stadnichuk voted against the mayor's trip to Dubai in a 6-1 vote. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)
At Wednesday's city council meeting, Ward 1 Coun. Cheryl Stadnichuk cast the only vote against the travel approval. She said it wasn't due to the mayor.
"I have no doubt that Mayor Masters would do an excellent job representing our city at this conference," said Stadnichuk.
"I am not going to support it just primarily because I find that our provincial approach on this is contrary to all of the goals of trying to reduce our carbon emissions and having a net zero, net zero energy sources, so that we can actually reduce the change in climate."
Ward 2 Coun. Bob Hawkins was among others who were strongly supportive of the trip.
"I have some experience in this kind of travel. It's hard, hard work. This is not a junket, it's not a vacation, it's a stressful but important job," said Hawkins.
He added that he thought it was important to "reach out to the world" to "export our knowledge, export our products" in an environmentally friendly way.