Business

Alberta panel to hear from those affected by move away from coal-fired power

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has announced a three-member panel to meet with community, labour and industry leaders in regions affected by the transition away from coal-fired electricity generation.

The panel is to begin discussions this fall with workers most affected by the retirements of coal-fired generation plants and associated mining operations, including those in and around Parkland and Leduc counties, Forestburg and Hanna.

Participants will include municipalities, community economic development organizations, small businesses, affected workers and First Nations.

The panel's goal is to gather information about challenges and opportunities, to share information and resources about current programs and supports and to generate ideas for training and new opportunities.

Labour lawyer Ritu Khullar, Ken Devaney, executive director of the Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress and Kerry Jothen, CEO of Human Capital Strategies, are on the panel.

Alberta Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous says the government wants to see a fair transition that responds to the needs of workers as Alberta moves to cleaner sources of electricity generation, including ending harmful coal emissions.

The Alberta government says there will be no pollution from coal-fired electricity generation by 2030. It says coal-fired plants will be phased out and replaced by renewable energy and natural gas-fired electricity, or by using technology to produce zero pollution.