My name is Anastasiia, shortly Ana. When I just hit my teens I adopted the rule “Not a day without 20 lines.”
I promised myself to write at least 20 lines about any topic no matter what was happening around me and in my life. Don’t think that I’m actually that dedicated and followed this rule every single day through the years, but I tried to stick to it as much as I could.
At different times of my life I had a chance to experience different fields and style in journalism working for different mass media, which helped me grow professionally. And when I didn’t this rule always kept me writing and improving myself.
And now I launched a new job. Once again, I’m a reporter and I actually get to write, not for “My scribbles” folder on my laptop, but for real people. I’m not sure if there are enough words to describe how I feel. Excited? Definitely. Happy? For sure. Inspired? No doubts. Filled with new ideas? You can’t even imagine how many of them sneak in my head every night and light up every day.
But on top of all these emotions there is a sense of security. I feel more secure. Yes, it’s always a bit worryingly to start at a new place with a new team, new duties, new challenges and so on. I always get them tiny butterflies tickling my stomach when it happens, but it goes away as soon as I dive into work.
At the same time the sense of security – it stays. Is it going to be permanent? Hard to predict, since there are many factors, which may come into play and in the end affect that feeling.
The provincial government has recently published the employment statistics. For five consecutive months Saskatchewan has demonstrated the steady job growth. Year-over-year employment increased by almost 11,000 jobs within one year. Such vital sectors as health care and social services opened 3,700 positions; educational sector went up 3,900 jobs; and the agricultural sector – Saskatchewan’s bread and butter (well at least, one of the them) – gained 5,000 jobs.
Our growth rate was ranked second among other provinces. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Yes and no.
According to the Russian saying you can’t put statistics on your bread. When it comes to not very big communities like the Energy City, statistics become a story about hundreds of thousands, and single episodes are usually not reflected in those vast numbers. And unfortunately, if things don’t change soon, we may witness the Estevan community – strong, ambitious, united, but heavily dependent on the energy sector and international trades – falling out of the provincial statistics and turning into a single tragic episode.
With Units 4 and 5 of the Boundary Dam getting closer and closer to retirement, the carbon tax, introduced by the federal government, coming into effect, global oil crisis and volatile economic relationships with the closest ally – the U.S., led by Donald Trump, the epatage and even more volatile leader, 2019 may turn into a difficult and full of challenges year for Estevan and the surrounding areas.
However, it’s important to remember that so far we remained a part of the provincial statistics with slightly fluctuating unemployment rates, which is on par with the national average. And the fight for the future is not over. The protests opposing the carbon tax and other federal policies keep gaining pace in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Will they gather enough voices to get heard by the government? I guess we will see within several months.
In the meantime, while the producing provinces are fighting for their spot on the federal political agenda, and while cities like Estevan, which had a number of economic ups and downs through its history, try to defend their traditional economic system and their lifestyles, each one of us should keep investing in ourselves and develop our professionalism, thus making the community stronger. Then, if Estevan, along with many other places all over the globe, will end up facing rough times in the near future, the constant self-development will help individuals gain and preserve that sense of security regardless of any shakes the ever-changing world has for us. Trust me, I checked.