Mayor Scott ‘Optimistic’ Better Days Ahead For Region

Mayor Don Scott is optimistic the region has seen the worst of 2020.

The municipality held a Facebook live event on Wednesday where Scott expressed his belief the next few months will include more positives than negatives.

Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, the community is dealing with the aftermath of the flood, a downturn in the economy, and a boil water advisory.

Scott says the province starting to reopen the economy is a good sign that things are moving in the right direction.

“There’s going to be more businesses opening back up – we’re here to support businesses, that’s why we did the large tax reduction.”

Back on May 12, Wood Buffalo approved a $168 million decrease in property taxes.

A big chunk of the decrease is for industry who’ve been struggling of late due to lower oil prices.

However, Scott notes the sector is starting to see a little rebound.

“Oil is slowly increasing from where it was, so we’re starting to see an economic recovery, slight. It might take a year or a little bit longer to see a more full on recovery.”

After being under $10 a barrel U.S. in March, WTI prices have been hovering in the low $30 range.

Scott adds when the economy really starts to improve, Wood Buffalo should start to see a rise in jobs.

“We have billion-dollar industries in our backyard, those aren’t going anywhere, so I really see this as a place of opportunity.”

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