As Canada pursues a net-zero carbon emissions future, the Government of Canada, through Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) is investing in communities affected by the transition from coal-generated power. Transitioning to a low-carbon economy is a necessary step to protect the climate and create a more sustainable economy across Canada.

Since 2018, PrairiesCan, formerly Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), has been working with communities in southeast Saskatchewan to target funding investments that build on regional strengths and encourage innovation. Support is being provided to local and municipal governments, community organizations, and local educational institutions to assist communities, enabling residents to pursue their careers and continue to enjoy a high qualify of life for generations to come. To date, over $6 million has been invested in Saskatchewan communities.

Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, recently announced additional funding of $13,698,946 for 11 projects in Saskatchewan. These funds are being provided under the Canada Coal Transition Initiative (CCTI) and Canada Coal Transition Initiative – Infrastructure Fund (CCTI-IF), delivered through PrairiesCan in collaboration with Infrastructure Canada.

“The Government of Canada recognizes that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. This funding, along with locally-led innovation and leadership, will ensure that workers and communities connected to the coal economy continue to have pathways and access to new opportunities. Our Government will continue to support Canadians affected by the phase-out of coal, helping to build stronger, resilient communities,” said Vandal.

Dan Vandal

Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

The projects announced on January 17 include:

  • Town of Coronach received:
    • $5,889,765 to replace waterlines and repair roads and sidewalks in Coronach’s main business district
    • $213,000 to hire a manager to establish the Coronach Business Hub in partnership with Conexus Credit Union
    • $556,000 in additional funds for an existing project to support Coronach and region coal transition initiatives
    • $65,000 in additional funds for an existing project to develop an economic analysis for tourism, agri-food and energy developments in Coronach
  • Town of Bengough received $261,900 to upgrade the campground to expand the tourism opportunities at Bengough Regional Park.
  • Rural Municipality of Coalfields received $3,022,011 to upgrade and pave a section of Primary Grid Road 605.
  • City of Estevan received $165,000 to produce a downtown area conceptual design plan and host public consultations.
  • Town of Rockglen received $2,140,000 to replace water and sewer infrastructure, as well as re-surface streets and build a retaining wall in the Town’s central business district.
  • Sunrise Community Futures Development Corporation received $361,270 to assist businesses in southeast Saskatchewan to create eCommerce platforms and strategies.
  • Town of Willow Bunch received $75,000 to complete a municipal building assessment for potential business use.
  • Rural Municipality of Willow Bunch received $950,000 to install water and sewer lines to and within the Jean Louis Legare Regional Park.

These investments bring the total funding for the just transition of coal-affected communities in Saskatchewan to almost $20 million.

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Featured image credit: Shutterstock.

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