Regina police spent nearly double what Saskatoon did monitoring Premier's Dinner protest
Regina police spent $16,177; Saskatoon service spent $8,700
Regina police spent nearly twice as much as Saskatoon police keeping an eye on Premier's dinner protesters this year.
Figures requested by CBC News show that the Saskatoon Police Service spent $8,700 to monitor the April 27 protest outside Brad Wall's Premier's Dinner in Saskatoon.
Things got heated at one point in the evening, with protesters jumping on the hoods of cars and blocking the view of drivers with their signs.
After the event, Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill said officers were caught off guard by the protest.
When the next Premier's Dinner in Regina rolled around on June 1, it came on the heels of the closure of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, and an hours-long sit-in by people who refused to get off the last bus arriving in Saskatoon.
Regina police said they were ready for the protest in their city.
They ultimately spent $16,177 monitoring the event, which turned out to be a relatively subdued affair, aside from one of the protesters crashing Wall's dinner speech.
Cindy Hanson is a spokesperson for Stop the Cuts, a group speaking out against the provincial government's budget cuts. The group organized both protests.
She said the media's coverage of the Saskatoon protest contributed to the bigger police response in Regina.
"The police thanked us for the way we organized it," she said of the Saskatoon protest. "It was only because of that media presence that showed people jumping on cars — that had been pushed by the cars previous to that — that any press came out that changed the narrative completely on the event."
"I would say the media created an impact that wasn't necessary," she added.