Getting the Municipal Coal Transition Assistance Program going is among the priorities for Angud Singh, the city's new economic development officer.

"We know that the coal transition is obviously going to create a loss of jobs or a shift of jobs," said Singh. "So in the spirit of backing that up and maintaining the integrity of the program, candidates have to prove that they're creating jobs and retaining jobs and there's a net benefit to the economy. And I think that is the spirit of what we're trying to do."

Singh, who moved to southeast Saskatchewan from the Greater Toronto Area, said he's also focusing on driving more immigration, helping new small businesses in the area, and creating and retaining more jobs. He said the oil and gas industry is not as pressing.

"Right now oil and gas is not the main focus. It's looking at carbon capture to a certain degree, but it's also looking at the shift of coal to lithium, to graphite, and exploring other uses for what was predominantly a coal driven industry," said Singh, who lives in Benson.

He added that he senses Estevan is ready to change.

"I think the city wants to make things happen, I feel a spirit of positivity and a desire to actually do things and walk the walk," said Singh. "It's a gritty attitude...a get your hands dirty gritty attitude, and I think that's something I can do and bring."