It's been a busy week for Estevan's Mayor Roy Ludwig and his City Council, now returned from the annual 4 day Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association Convention in Regina.
One of the highlights of the event was the first presentation from new Premier Scott Moe, a part of his time there that stood out to Ludwig as well.
"He did very well. I guess the word that really stuck was 'collaboration', so we're hoping that we will have good collaboration, good discussion, good communication flow before this next provincial budget. With the last one, we were negatively impacted in a big way, so we're hoping we can have a dialogue to avoid that type of situation moving forward in this next one."
"We're being told that the communication and dialogue will take place, so we're happy to hear that. Hopefully, by having that neccesary communication, we can avoid any huge pitfalls," he added.
Moe's speech regarding the budget included signs that revenue sharing will remain lower, however, hints for hope were given that the grants in lieu may not be gone forever.
"We talked to the Finance Minister about that, as well as other ministers, and they are going to have the dialogue. Nothing is cemented in stone yet, but they are willing to have the discussion to see what they can do to help alleviate some of those concerns," said Ludwig.
"I think, overall, it was more positive communication, as far as the fact that the province is willing to listen, they're willing to have that neccesary communication moving forward. Which, unfortunately with the last budget, simply wasn't there."
While nothing extraordinary came out of the bearpit session for Estevan's delegation, the Mayor stated that many good questions were raised, and he made note of the Premier's showing interest in engaging with the community leaders.
The members of Council also split up at different points to take in different presentations on a variety of topics, including crime (and the upcoming legalization of cannabis), environment, highways and infrastructure and health.
"It was very good for information gathering and for networking. It was great that all of Council went, and they were very happy they did go, because it's a good opportunity for learning, and for sharing thoughts with other councillors," Ludwig said.