The federal government is announcing projects to help western workers and communities dependent on coal mining to become less reliant on the industry.
Speaking in the Nisku industrial area south of Edmonton Friday morning, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said nine grants for organizations in Alberta and Saskatchewan will support skills training and diversification.
The grants, totalling nearly $4.5 million, are part of a five-year, $35-million Coal Transition Initiative announced in the 2018 budget.
The money will fund four planning, training and research programs in Alberta and five in Saskatchewan.
Nine of Alberta’s 18 coal-fired plants are in Parkland County west of Edmonton and many people in the community have been laid off because of the coal- phase-out plan.
Last year Mayor Rod Shaigec said last year coal-fired plants in the county contributed to about a quarter of the county’s tax revenue as well as about 4,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Federal and provincial regulations will see coal-fired power generation phased out by 2030.
Coal-fired power plants are some of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in Canada.
WATCH: Parkland County near Edmonton fears communities will becoming ghost towns due to plan to shut down coal power plants. Heather Yourex-West filed this report in March 2019.
— More to come…
With files from Phil Heidenreich, Global News