Moe said he has few details of a potential meeting as the province continues to work out logistics.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe speaks to media following the presentation of the Saskatchewan budget on Wednesday.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe speaks to media following the presentation of the Saskatchewan budget on Wednesday. Photo by Liam Richards /The Canadian Press

Premier Scott Moe says he hopes he can meet with Ukrainian refugees as part of his trip to Europe to promote Saskatchewan trade and investment.

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Moe told reporters on Thursday he has few details on a potential meeting because the province is still working out logistics.

“One piece that is still in motion that we are working on is to actually engage with a number of Ukrainian refugees that have found their way to various parts of Europe,” Moe said.

The possible meeting comes as Saskatchewan looks to bring in Ukrainian refugees as nearly 3.7 million of them have fled their country following Russia’s invasion. It’s estimated 6.5 million have been displaced within the country.

Moe has said previously the province is willing to spend what it takes to support Ukrainian immigrants and refugees. 

The province has estimated it can realistically handle thousands of new immigrants from the country.

“We are really starting to really set up the plan on how we are going to open up pathways into Saskatchewan,” Moe said. “We have no limit on the number that we’re willing take, either on a temporary basis or a more permanent basis.”

The possible meeting with refugees recently became a new addition to Moe’s itinerary.

The trip, which was scheduled before the war, will see him fly to London on Saturday to officially open Saskatchewan’s new Trade and Investment Office in the United Kingdom.

He will also meet with government officials and business leaders to discuss a number of topics. This includes a meeting with investors in Frankfurt, Germany, and potash company K+S. He returns on April 1.

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A Ukrainian child looks out of a car at the Romanian-Ukrainian border Isaccea-Orlivka on March 24.
A Ukrainian child looks out of a car at the Romanian-Ukrainian border Isaccea-Orlivka on March 24. Photo by DANIEL MIHAILESCU /AFP via Getty Images

Moe said the new U.K. office will “play an even more critical role” as supply chains continue to be disrupted across Europe because of the conflict.

Russia’s actions have demonstrated that Saskatchewan can be a place that can provide sustainable and ethical goods, he said.

He said this includes having a serious discussion about energy and food security in Canada and North America.

“The Russian invasion in Ukraine should really precipitate a very serious conversation,” he said. “And yes, it’s focused on the sustainability of the natural resources that we are producing and who we’re providing those resources to.”

With the federal government looking to boost oil exports to alleviate tight global supply, Moe added the province can play a role in that.

“One of the quickest ways for that to happen is to very quickly put this administration of this (carbon) tax through to Saskatchewan and allow us to work directly with industries to increase environmental sustainability of those industries but also some of our energy security,” he said.

Moe said there are opportunities in supplying Europe with minerals, agri-food products, potash and uranium.

He also wants to promote Saskatchewan as a top destination for investment. Moe said the province can show its expertise to European farmers on how to grow more food, manage scarce water resources and maintain livestock.

“The original part of the plan was to be on the ground in that investment environment,” said Moe, who didn’t provide details on the price-tag of the trip.

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He said Saskatchewan can demonstrate new technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through carbon capture, utilization and storage.

“We do need to do better by the environment, and Saskatchewan is totally committed to that conversation and the subsequent action that is required,” he said.

During his trip, Moe will attend the signing of an academic partnership agreement between Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Global University Systems Canada, which aims to advance post-secondary education between the province and the U.K.

He also intends to promote Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization’s work on vaccines and related products.

jsimes@postmedia.com

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