Opinion: Oil Company Advertising (Community Support Edition)

Mosaic Stadium in Regina, SK.

By Brian Crossman

You know, I had a pretty damn good opinion piece just about done. “In the can” I think is what actual journalists say. Which I am most decidedly not. So I’ll go with “damn near finished”.

Anyway, the Regina City Council, in its infinite wisdom, decided they wanted to put forth a motion to ban advertising by oil and gas companies at city facilities. So I wanted to express my disappointment with a whole new article.

Oil and gas companies. Energy companies. You know the ones. Those businesses that provide a plethora (take that journalists!) of advantages essential to survival on the prairies. How about that heat that keeps you warm on those -30°C winter days. Or the fuel that gives you the ability to travel safely and efficiently across vast expanses of roadways. The tax revenues to support your education and health care. The pavement needed for parking lots, highways, runways, and that street in front of your house.

One of the “arguments” presented by Council against oil and gas advertising was, “Well, we don’t allow tobacco advertising anymore!” Fair enough. Smoking is bad. Very bad. But tobacco is legal, and has many regulations regarding its sale, age of users, and so on. My question to the people lumping it in with energy is; when is the last time you used your smokes to go pick up groceries? Or haul food across Canada? Or heat your home in -30°C? I’ve never smoked, but I’m pretty sure if tobacco vanished tomorrow, society would survive. (Some serious withdrawal for many I’m sure) but we would survive. It is not a fair comparison.

Do these jackwagons (Thanks Brad Wall!) realize how much money is donated by energy producers? Who do you think helps fund STARS Air Ambulance? That’s a pretty handy service. How about the buildings and community centres that rely on donations from taxpayers, wealthy people, and of course businesses, many of which are energy companies? Just because these people were elected to City Council doesn’t necessarily mean they are smarter than the rest of us. It means they got elected. Big deal.

The energy sector contributes to many non-profits, including STARS Air Ambulance.

Here’s the thing. Sometime a long way into the future, these energy companies won’t exist in the same way, if at all. So why don’t we all embrace their generosity to help keep the wonderful facilities operating and in good condition. Like STARS, hospitals, parks, recreation facilities, and one of my personal favorites, Mosaic Stadium. Crescent Point Energy has invested a lot of money in that wonderful building. SaskPower has contributed to nearly everything that happens in our province. Mosaic itself uses a massive amount of natural gas to refine potash.

The absurdity of modern “cancel culture” and “virtue signaling” groups is getting a little old. For the most part, these people are outnumbered. The vast majority of us just want to make the best use of our resources for the betterment of all. The “outrage” at some of the most normal things in our lives is astounding.

Just as I was completing this rant, I discovered Regina City Council came to their senses. The proposal was scrapped, at least for now. I am very happy to hear this. This means we will renew our Roughrider season tickets. I would really hate to cancel them, and quit spending my hard-earned money in Regina. On things like meals, hotels, gasoline, groceries, and of course Rider swag. Many of my friends, colleagues, and of course myself, spend a lot of cash during the football season, and would hate to stop. But we all can and we all will. We do not believe in cancel culture, but if this is the game they wish to play, we’ll lace up and meet them on the field.

To close off my little “stomp my feet and cry until I get my way” piece, I would like to say that the vast majority of Canadians are okay with energy companies supporting local venues. Energy companies want to be a part of the communities that they do business in. So how about this “social justice warriors”? Lighten up a bit. Enjoy the benefits of natural gas, petroleum, and all the products they create. We are doing better every year in regards to solving the problems of the future. Punishing energy companies and those of us who use the facilities they support doesn’t do anything to resolve your issues. Do your part; manage your own lives in a sustainable way, educate yourselves, and work toward productive solutions. We’ll do the same, and nobody has to be outraged. We can all meet up at Mosaic Stadium and be outraged at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers instead.

See you at the game. Section 116, row 11, near the Rider bench.

Brian Crossman looks after field supervision and sales at Independent Well Servicing. He enjoys football and staying warm with natural gas and coal-fired electricity.