A local pastor and community leader is among the first-time candidates for Estevan city council in the upcoming civic election.
Geoff Thiessen, who is the senior pastor at the Estevan Church of God, views city council as his latest way to make a difference and speak with the people of Estevan.
“Everybody wants a voice, and I think it’s an opportunity where you can hear what people have to say, and have an opportunity to have dialogue about it,” said Thiessen.
He says he has taken an interest in what’s happening in the community, and he’s heard what people like and don’t like about the city.
“I do know from experience that if you want to be a part of change and a part of development, sometimes these roles give you that opportunity to be in a position to do that,” he said.
Thiessen believes council has done as well as they can navigating through the current challenges, with the eventual retirement of Units 4 and 5 at Boundary Dam, and the global pandemic that hit Saskatchewan in March.
He’s not running on any particular platforms or issues in the community, although he recognizes there are challenges facing Estevan. Rather, Thiessen is running to be someone who will listen to what residents have to say, and then bring those ideas forward.
“I think one of the things that I really want to emphasize is the aspect of honesty and integrity. I think those things are important, because really what’s happening is when you run for a political office, you’re basically asking people to trust you and make tough decisions sometimes,” said Thiessen.
If council is listening to the people, then there can be a broader context when decisions are made.
This marks the first time that Thiessen has run for a public office. If he is elected, it will be a steep learning curve, but also an opportunity to grow in different areas.
“I just love our city and I love the opportunities that are presented to us,” he said.
Thiessen believes his work and his community involvements have allowed him to get to know the community well. Since arriving in Estevan more than eight years ago, he and his family have never felt a connection to a community like they do in Estevan; not only have they set up roots here, his family members have found jobs in the Energy City, and have decided to stay here.
“We have lots of things to navigate through, and I think there’s … the potential to see some neat things happen,” said Thiessen.