Editorial - Government projects can spur economy

We are in the midst of the most uncertain times in our country and in our world since the end of the Second World War.

No one is exactly sure how to react in what is a double barrel crisis.

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On the one hand we have the overriding concern for our personal health, and the health of those around us in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the other, we have the pressures of finance that are happening by the response to COVID-19, the closing of most non-essential businesses, leaving workers without paycheques as they undertake requested self-isolation at home.

The disease will eventually pass, either by running its natural course, or because our efforts slowed it until better treatments and eventually a vaccine are produced, but the question is when it will finally die down?

And, what happens next?

The economy is going to be in disarray at best as we emerge from isolation, so there needs to be some efforts taken now to prepare an economic plan for post COVID-19.

We are going to need to stimulate our economy and in that respect governments will have to play an important role.

There are always projects which need doing, and while it is not always wise to borrow to undertake projects one might normally hold off on, but there are clearly unusual and extreme times.

It might seem like a good time to put the brakes on spending, but such a course best be studied carefully before veering down that path.

Here in Yorkton we know there is an immediate need for a new public works building, the old one basically abandoned over issues with the building itself.

We know work remains in terms of the reconstruction of parts of Darlington East, parts of Mayhew, and the intersection of the two.

Both projects could be delayed if Council chose to, but in moving forward they create jobs, which translates into income which can be spent post COVID-19 in local businesses trying to rebound.

With that in mind, is it time to forge ahead with the replacement ice surface for the Kinsmen Arena?

Does the City look at helping fund the grandstand retrofit?

Both would again stimulate an economy which will desperately need a shot of adrenaline.

The province needs to look ahead too.

The recently announced dollars to fund a study of what exactly is required in a new hospital in Yorkton is a good thing, but fast-tracking the build would be far better in terms of economic stimulus.

This is not about spending on frivolous builds for the sake of building, but rather playing some catch-up in terms of needed infrastructure through borrowing in order to create jobs and stimulate an economy, locally, provincially and nationally post the biggest crisis faced in 75- years.

© Copyright Yorkton This Week

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