First-time Weyburn council candidate wants to give back to community

Ryan Janke has stepped forward to run as a candidate for Weyburn city council, and while he has never run for office before, this is something he’s thought about doing for a long time.

“It’s something I’ve always been interested in, something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Janke, noting that the concept of giving back to the community is a priority for him in his life and at his job, at the Weyburn Credit Union.

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He pointed out that the Credit Union is often involved in community projects or in supporting groups or organizations, and he’s been involved with those initiatives. Outside of work, Janke is a member of the Young Fellows Club of Weyburn and the Weyburn Oil Show board, and through both his goal is to promote Weyburn as a community at the provincial and national levels.

One of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is an explosion in people having to work from home, which is a situation Weyburn may be able to benefit from. With people working from home, they don’t have to be living in a large urban centre but can work from anywhere.

If Weyburn capitalizes on this, it will bring people and capital to Weyburn, and in turn this would support the small to medium-sized businesses that are here.

“Where better to live than a place with a new school, a new hospital and a new recreation centre, a place constantly being rated as one of the top 10 places to raise a family in all of Canada,” said Janke. “I feel this is an opportunity Weyburn needs to be at the forefront of. I felt this was a wonderful time to step up and be a part of that.”

He was born and raised in Weyburn, and for 32 of his 40 years of life, he has been in Weyburn, and his son is a third-generation student at Haig School.

On the issue of bringing new businesses to Weyburn, Janke said he’s all for doing that, but he feels city council should be doing everything they can to help retain existing businesses, particularly in light of the impact of the pandemic.

“The last thing I’d hate to see is another business shutting their doors in Weyburn,” he said, adding that council “should be doing everything we can” to help existing businesses grow and thrive.

Janke is hoping to bring some new blood and new ideas to the council table, and said in looking at the list of the 13 candidates running for a councillor’s seat, “There’s a lot of old guard on there, and that’s fine, we should definitely have experience on council, but we also need to have youth on there,” adding with a chuckle, “I don’t know if I still have youth at 40 — but I bring that to the table.”

Janke notes he also has a lot of experience with technology and digital transformation, which he would also like to be able to use for the benefit of the city.

“It’s something we need to keep on top of, and I’d like to share that expertise where I can,” he added.

“I am excited to the opportunity to give back to the community I was raised in, in any way I can,” said Janke.