Everybody enjoys receiving Christmas gifts.
Regardless of whether the gifts are big or small, or whether they meet a want or a need, a Christmas gift can bring a lot of joy. These are some Christmas gifts that should be delightful for people in the region.
To Estevan City Council: A strong new leader. Estevan will likely have a new mayor at this time next year. The current mayor, Gary St. Onge, has previously stated that this would be his last term. St. Onge has been Estevan's mayor since June of 2005, and for the most part, he has done a good job of steering the city through an exciting but challenging time. The next mayor's top priority should be to do everything possible to ensure Estevan keeps growing.
To Estevan motorists: More street repairs. Next year's budget would be a good start. Portions of Souris Avenue, 13th Avenue, King Street and Third Street are in the budget. Work will also begin on Kensington Avenue near the Estevan Comprehensive School. Favourable weather conditions would assist the completion of these projects. Now if only something could be done about Fifth Street.
To the southeast Saskatchewan meteorologists: Forecasts for dry conditions. Local snowmobile lovers might not enjoy a minimal amount of snow in the winter, but the best news for this region would be three more months of dry conditions. The region needs a chance to dry out.
To those who suffered significant loss from the floods: Continued support from the community, and adequate compensation from the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP). Come on, PDAP, flood victims are still waiting to be compensated.
To the oil industry: Strong prices over the next 12 months. The price of oil has remained buoyant in the last few months despite the European debt crisis. There's no guarantee that the high prices will continue in 2012. Everyone in the southeast region benefits when oil prices are strong, even though we have to pay more at the pumps.
To those who are in the rental market: A quick influx of properties in the next year or two. The lack of affordable properties continues to be Estevan's biggest impediment for growth. A few hundred new rental properties would not only solve most of the housing crunch, but the labour shortage, too.
To the Estevan Bruins: Some positive playoff experiences. The Bruins have a young team this year with only three 20-year-olds. If they can win a playoff round or two, it will be very beneficial to the club over the next two years, when they have the potential to be among the best teams in the league.
To all of our loyal readers: a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hopefully you will have plenty of time with friends and family. Drive safely; enjoy your favourite Christmas meals, and hopefully you won't find any coal in your stockings.