Advertisement

Alberta sets up fund to help communities during coal phase-out transition

Steam billows from the Sheerness coal fired generating station near Hanna, Alta., Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016.
Steam billows from the Sheerness coal fired generating station near Hanna, Alta., Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The province has set up a new grant program for communities looking to boost business as Alberta moves away from coal.

READ MORE: ‘We’re going to lose 200 full-time, well-paying jobs’: impact of coal phase-out on Hanna, Alta.

The Coal Community Transition Fund is open to municipalities and First Nations affected as Alberta phases out coal-fired electricity by 2030 to focus on renewables and natural gas.

Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous says the government wants to ensure these communities thrive through the transition.

“Residents in our communities have concerns about the transition away from coal,” Rod Shaigec, mayor of Parkland County, said.

“They also have ideas on how we can mitigate the impacts on workers and diversify our economy to create new employment opportunities for affected workers. We are working to address those concerns and support their ideas. This funding means we can make those ideas a reality in various economic sectors of opportunity.”

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: TransAlta to phase out coal power years ahead of Alberta’s deadline 

The coal-mining town of Hanna, northeast of Calgary, has already received $450,000 through the program to work on economic diversification.

READ MORE: Alberta NDP government announces $450K grant to help Hanna amid coal phase-out 

The application deadline for the coal transition fund is the end of November.

A provincial advisory panel is also expected to report back this fall on ways to create new jobs and retrain workers during the coal phase-out.