When the news is generally not great, one has to take the good news when you can, and see the positive impact that such good news can have for the community.
For Weyburn and area, the lockdown and restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic caused a slowdown in the local economy as it has throughout the province, country and around the world.
Now, however, there is a glimmer of light as the end of the tunnel is in sight. The first and second phase of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan has now been implemented, and many retail outlets and services have been able to reopen, along with facilities like golf courses and boat launches.
Campgrounds and parks will reopen on June 1, and provincial officials will then set the dates for the next phase once they see how the first two have gone in terms of new cases of COVID-19.
Meantime, in addition to businesses able to restart, there are some signs of economic activity that Weyburn area residents ought to take note of.
Prairie Sky Co-op recently began construction for their new Home Centre on their land by the Crossroads outlet at the intersection of Highways 13 and 39.
In addition, a group of local partners is behind the startup of earth-moving for the Weyburn Industrial Transload facility just southwest of Weyburn, within sight of South Hill.
This new facility will see new rail tracks built which will tie in to the CP Rail main line, giving customers access to anywhere in North America and to any ocean port.
As this facility is built up in the coming years, it could provide real economic opportunity for businesses in the region, for the transport of commodities like aggregate, fertilizer and scrap steel (as a few examples).
These projects are in addition to the ongoing major construction project of the Legacy Park Elementary School and Weyburn Recreation and Culture Centre on Fifth Street.
In agriculture, seeding is well underway throughout the region, which involves producers, fuel and input suppliers, and implement dealers.
All of this comes as the economy in the southeast area has slumped, particularly for the oil and gas industry, so the timing couldn’t be better as the dollars being spent for these endeavours will go into the economy of Weyburn and area.
We need this activity at this time, probably more so than at any other time, because a two-month lockdown is not healthy for any economy. As we begin to emerge from the restrictions in a gradual way, the economy too needs to restart in a gradual way, and this is a perfect way to do it for the Weyburn area.