Trevor Tessier, Director of Primary Health Care with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, has announced his intention to run in the upcoming by-election for Weyburn City Council. Formerly a resident of Arcola, Tessier and his family moved to Weyburn two years ago, and he is looking to incorporate his distinct perspective into City Council.

"I see City Council as a very noble way to support the community, and that's something that I'd like to do," said Tessier.   

He stated his intention to run after the announcement of the resignation of long-time Councillor, Dick Michel, was made at the March 27th regular meeting of Weyburn City Council.

Tessier said that a number of the Weyburn City Councillors, specifically Dick Michel, have inspired him to run for city council. "I was on the airport committee with him, and I saw how he led and how he got to know the people and got out there to meet everyone. That inspired me to really think about how can I be a part of Weyburn in a more influential way."

When he looked at the City of Weyburn, Tessier asked himself, "Why me and why right now?"

"One of the things I think is really important in city council is perspective. I don't think right now we have that perspective of a new family who's moved to Weyburn, or of someone who is working through the immigration process with their spouse or family. I don't think we have that perspective of someone who's new to the community and who's only just been here a short time, and realizing what is that difference when people from the rural towns around Weyburn are moving here. How do we incorporate that into a city as a whole, so that Weyburn is seen as more of a hub than other cities around?"

As the current Vice-Chair of Southeast College, Tessier said he would like to see Weyburn and the southeast be more of a hub for people.

"Currently, my wife is registered in a nursing program and she's having to go to Regina to take that program. How do we make more things available at home here in Weyburn?"

Tessier said that there are new immigrants who are deciding to choose Weyburn as a place to start a small business and bring their family here.

"I was just at a speech last night with a group of Muslims, Hindus, and people celebrating Christianity. It was a group of people from India who've really made Weyburn a community here and they feel welcomed and they feel supported, but they're together and they have that group."

 "I think that's one part, I think the second part is just like myself, coming from those rural communities, you know, I loved living in Arcola. But when you look at what you have for facilities here and shopping and such, it's important as you grow your family to be in a city where you can be here for the rest of your life."

Tessier said that as a result of speaking with people in the community of Weyburn, he has three core ideas that he came away with for Weyburn to improve upon. 

"Supporting our volunteer and community-based organizations. That's the bedrock of our community, of people who are putting in their time to improve it because they want to see it get better. And I think we have a place to play in that as Weyburn has grown as a city, so then we can support those organizations."

"The second piece is supporting small businesses. Small businesses in Weyburn grow into larger businesses, and from what I saw on the city website, there's a lot of support for large organizations. You know, you get some renovation improvement for small businesses, but where is that tangible help that you can provide those small businesses to get them going, and that includes both in the city and the R.M." 

"The third one and it's probably the most important one, is making Weyburn the most welcoming community we can. I've moved to other communities and as soon as we got there, we got a welcome package. It had gift cards, you knew where the businesses were, you knew the community groups, you knew where to go, and you knew where those places were. I think there's a way forward where we can make Weyburn more welcoming with some of those things like incentive packages, the inclusion of groups and also being inclusive to everyone who's decided to call Weyburn home." 

Tessier said that if you look at the data of people living in Weyburn, there are a lot of people leaving at the age of 35.

"They're choosing not to have their family here long-term, but I think that's an incorrect decision. I think there's a lot more that's offered here, and I think Weyburn has the potential for being one of the best communities for some of those folks raising their families."

Tessier said that he has talked with a number of individuals already, and he plans to speak with many more in the coming days through door-to-door campaigning, and also making himself available through social media, to hopefully help with perspective.

"Make sure you get out there and vote. For myself, I'll be going around meeting people, and if there's a community event or something you're aware of where you would like me to come and listen, I'll be reaching out. But if you want to reach out, feel free."

Tessier added that he wanted to make a special mention to Dick Michel. "When I was on the airport committee, he ran a tight meeting. He got everyone's perspective and he's well known for going street to street looking at where we can improve our sidewalks. I think that's something to aspire to always: how do we encourage that amongst more people in Weyburn and more people on council, to listen to the people and advocate for them?"

The by-election will be held on May 31st at the Weyburn Credit Union Spark Centre.