Almost $14 million in federal funds will help communities in southeast Saskatchewan attract business and create jobs for a more sustainable economy
REGINA, SK, Jan. 17, 2022 /CNW/ - 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 in Saskatchewan and across Canada. The Government of Canada is ensuring that this transition is fair for workers and communities with a strong economic connection to coal mining and coal-fired power generation.
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.
Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, 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 projects announced today include:
Town of Coronach received:
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.
Through investments like these, the Government of Canada is strengthening the Prairies by growing a sustainable and clean economy, while bolstering infrastructure and creating new jobs and skills-development opportunities for Saskatchewan's workforce.
"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."
- The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
"The Canada Coal Transition Initiative funding that we have received has provided the Town of Coronach with a major infrastructure project, funds to find employment options for our skilled workforce and it will help us continue the work to mitigate the changes to coal fired power and the potential job losses. With PrairiesCan's funding, and the expertise of the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance, Coronach initiated the South Saskatchewan Ready Regional Economic Partnership including nine communities impacted by the coal phase out. This collaboration and PrairiesCan support will make us more investment ready for new industry, attract residents and develop opportunities for our residents and businesses."
- Catherine MacKay-Wilson, Town of Coronach, Chief Administrative Officer
Today's investment brings the total funding for the just transition of coal-affected communities in Saskatchewan to almost $20 million.
Budget 2018 provided WD with funding to support activities to help coal-affected communities adapt to Canada's transition to a low-carbon economy. WD received $25 million toward community projects in Alberta and Saskatchewan
Budget 2019 announced funding for infrastructure projects in impacted communities. WD received $105 million to develop further infrastructure projects under the Canada Coal Transition Initiative – Infrastructure Fund, in collaboration with Infrastructure Canada.
PrairiesCan is working closely with Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan) Low Carbon Energy Sector, Energy and Environment Policy Division, to provide regular updates on the work undertaken to support impacted communities and workers.
PrairiesCan is actively working with affected communities to identify new economic opportunities and develop economic infrastructure projects to support the transition for Canadians working in the coal industry across Western Canada.
SOURCE Prairies Economic Development Canada
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