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Doug Griffiths to present findings at town hall sessions

Estevan residents are encouraged to come to the Estevan Economic Development Town Hall this week to hear about a strategic plan draft. 
Doug Griffiths
Doug Griffiths

ESTEVAN - Local residents are encouraged to attend the Estevan Economic Development Town Hall this week, where a strategic plan draft will be released. 

The sessions will be Aug. 12 at the Days Inn’s Taylorton Room at 8 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. The first two sessions are scheduled to last an hour each, and preregistration is required to attend both by emailing No registration is required for the evening event.  

This will be an opportunity for people to see the areas of the plan of improvement, which include business development, quality of life and downtown revitalization.  

Doug Griffiths from 13 Ways, who has been contracted out by the city to help with economic development efforts, said the strategic plan is based on the feedback they received, work with city council, meetings with administration and their own assessment of Estevan and its challenges and opportunities. 

“Our strategic plan is very concise. It comes down to two pages. It’s the way we do things. Most strategic plans are very, very long, and they’re full of dreamy, vague statements, and ours are very tactical in nature,” said Griffiths, who will be here with Heather Thomson, a consumer behaviour expert who works closely with Griffiths.

He’ll be looking to explain what they’ve done and the information in the document.

The next step is to take that strategic plan and create a marketing strategy for the community to attract new people, families and businesses, and make sure they’re helping Estevan get ready for growth.  

“We’ll be going through the background, how we got here, the challenges Estevan has, the opportunities that we see in communities around North America, where we think Estevan’s opportunities are, and then move into the strategic plan about what we think the municipality and the community need to do moving forward.” 

The initial plan was to have the one evening open house, but the other sessions were created so other people can attend in the morning or the noon hour. But the evening session is usually the one that attracts the most people, so it will be longer because more questions will be asked.  

Griffiths said there are a couple of important things people should think about. One, it’s not going to be a solution on how to bring back conventional coal, because that’s beyond the control of the City of Estevan. 

“This is not a question of undoing anything or preventing something from happening. This is about what Estevan can do going forward to grow, which means we’ll be talking about new economic opportunities.” 

But they’ll also be talking about quality of life, downtown redesign and building on the energy that already exists. 

The pandemic has made it difficult to meet people, so they have been doing interviews via Zoom or over the phone. He has talked to young people and business owners, organizations and groups like the Estevan Chamber of Commerce. They did have in-person interviews when in Estevan in November.  

Griffiths is excited for people to come and hear the story and see what the plan is and what they have. He also looks forward to hearing their ideas.

“The most exciting part of this is getting to work and moving forward with implementing the plan. So this is the chance to come and hear,” he said.