In 2018 we saw how plummeting oil prices can take a toll on the local economy, making Weyburn’s strong presence in the agriculture industry a tremendous benefit to the Opportunity City.
“We’ve seen the downturn in the oil economy, and we’re not quite out of that yet, just due to the uncertainties here in the market, but we can say without doubt, that the Ag industry has certainly kept this economy afloat,” said Twila Walkeden, Executive Director with the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce and Weyburn Regional Economic Development.
“Certainly, farming and Ag, and the business. The business of farming is certainly the biggest driver in our economy and it’s keeping Saskatchewan going.”
Fluctuations in the oil industry have had many families, individuals, and even businesses, battening down the hatches on spending.
“I think everyone’s tightening their belts, so when you’re looking at the bigger-ticket items or trips, or something like that, that you can do without, or that maybe you can look forward to buying next year, I think most people are doing just that tightening of the belt, maybe just re-thinking maybe some of those bigger purchases,” said Walkeden.
She added, however, some may be tightening the purse strings, it isn't time yet to hit the panic button.
“We’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to this uncertainty with the oil industry and I guess as a community, we just need to understand why,” she explained. “We hear a lot in the media, and we hear about how the oil prices are impacting our economy, and as long as we can understand what we can do to get through this, we’re going to survive.”
While understanding fluctuations in oil and gas may be key to our survival, Weyburn is, indeed, at its core, a farming community.