Government of Canada supports Just Transition from coal-generated power in Saskatchewan and Alberta

News release

$5.8 million for communities in Saskatchewan and Alberta to attract business, create jobs

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, September 25, 2020 – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Transitioning from coal-fired power is an important step to protect our climate and create a more sustainable economy. Such a change has to be done in a just and fair way for Canadians affected by the move away from coal. Through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), the Government of Canada is investing to strengthen communities affected by coal transition, enabling their residents to pursue meaningful careers and enjoy a high qualify of life for generations to come. 

Federal support helps communities in southeast Saskatchewan and Alberta’s Cactus Corridor region attract investment, expand local businesses and create jobs

 As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to support affected workers and their communities, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada today announced $5.8 million in funding to support 12 economic development, training and career support initiatives in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

 The funding comes from the Canada Coal Transition Initiative (CCTI), and includes:

  • Over $1 million to the City of Estevan for feasibility studies and marketing activities, including economic assessments of a carbon capture natural gas facility and short line rail;
  • $960,000 to projects led by the Town of Coronach to enhance main street areas and create a marketing strategy for communities in the Deep South Regional Partnership;
  • Nearly $1.5 million to the Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation to identify economic development opportunities and promote investment readiness in the region around Hanna and Youngstown Alberta;
  • $800,000 to Southeast College to establish a heavy equipment operator training program at its Estevan campus; and
  • $677,880 to the United Mineworkers of America Local 7606 to establish a transition centre for coal workers in the Estevan and Coronach region.

Budget 2018 earmarked $35 million over five years for the CCTI to support skills development and economic diversification activities to help workers and communities adapt to Canada's transition to a low-carbon economy.


“Making the transition away from coal and towards cleaner energy is necessary. It is good for our health, our environment, and our economy. However, helping coal workers and coal communities must be the priority in this transition. The Government of Canada will continue to support western Canadians who are affected by the phase out of coal, ensuring that they have the resources they need to build stronger, resilient communities and create new opportunities.”

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, MP for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“Saskatchewan and Alberta’s coal workers, their families, and their communities are at the heart of the Government of Canada’s commitment for a just and fair transition to cleaner energy and a cleaner economy. These initiatives will enable new business opportunities that create well-paying, sustainable jobs.”

- Terry Duguid, MP for Winnipeg South, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada) and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency)

This coal transition funding from the federal government is appreciated. The funding will be used at the direction of the Economic Development Board through their strategic plan to help diversify and make economic opportunities for Estevan and area. With the approaching closures of units 4 and 5 at the Boundary Dam Power station, it is critical that we look at diversification and all opportunities for our community. We will continue to encourage the pursuit of carbon capture and other technologies, which will allow us to produce green energy moving forward.”

- Roy Ludwig, Mayor, City of Estevan

“The Canada Coal Transition Initiative grant has been, and will continue to be, a valuable resource for our region. We anticipate a number of tangible outcomes that will help our region diversify and expand our economy in very difficult times, and we’d like to thank the federal government for its continued support. We’d also like to recognize the WD staff who have been an excellent partner in assisting us through the CCTI grant process; their guidance and support have been key in moving our initiatives forward.”

- Brett Richards, President, Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation

Quick facts

  • In February 2018, the Government of Canada announced amendments to regulations to phase out traditional coal-fired electricity generation by 2030.

  • WD received $25 million in Budget 2018 to establish the CCTI, which helps impacted communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan transition their economies away from coal-fired electricity generation. Through this program, WD’s investments support capacity-building, entrepreneurship support, business start-up and expansion, and supply chain development.

  • Budget 2019 announced a further $105 million for WD to help address infrastructure needs in coal-affected communities.

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Alexander Cohen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Rhonda Laing
Director, Policy, Planning and External Relations
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Media Relations
Western Economic Diversification Canada

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