There is a curious lack of respect for our own home-grown expertise. This is a problem that exists throughout Saskatchewan, but in Yorkton it can feel especially pronounced as people simply don’t believe the city is on the cutting edge of anything.
It’s a weird inferiority complex that has infected the whole of rural Saskatchewan and has done so for decades. Even when we believe we’re good, as sometimes happens, there’s a sense that the grass is always greener elsewhere. It’s easy to get this impression that Saskatchewan is the perpetual second fiddle, and the best and brightest generally move on elsewhere to do great things far from home.
It’s not really fair to the people who are in Saskatchewan doing great work.
Take, for example, the environmental services department in the City of Yorkton. They won awards for the design of the water treatment plant years ago, and gained international attention for it. They’re going international again, going to Jordan to help communities their deal with an increase in the need for waste services as they deal with an influx of refugees out of Syria.
If Yorkton is considered on the cutting edge of dealing with waste, we have to recognize the work that environmental services are doing that is getting people to sit up and take notice.
In addition, we also have to sit down and stop looking elsewhere if we’re talking about the best and brightest in the province. We also have to stop assuming that they’re leaving town, because they’re not.
Yorkton should be proud of what is happening here with the city’s government, but also with private industry. We have manufacturers that are making products that people want all over the place. The city’s start as an agricultural community is still on full display and Yorkton’s contribution to the world’s food supply cannot be understated. Yorkton is growing, packaging, and selling food everywhere, and it’s a major driver in the city’s economy.
Yes, that means that the city is basically experts in what goes into and out of a person, and we should be proud of that fact.
It’s actually difficult to write an editorial praising what the city does well, because forgetting things is inevitable and someone is going to point out what is being missed. That’s a good thing. What we need to do is to start bragging about ourselves, get an ego, and point out - with pride - what is going well in the city and what needs to be highlighted when we talk about the good things that our city’s motto promises.
There is a streak of negativity, both in Yorkton and rural Saskatchewan as a whole, and it’s about time we push that into a corner and focus on the positives. Because this city is doing good stuff, as is this province, and instead of getting fixated on the idea that our best and brightest are moving away, they’re still here, doing great work that we might not think about daily, but definitely always benefit from.