As the days get shorter and we head into fall, I hope everyone had a great summer. I want to give a short update on some changes at the Sheerness Generating Station and our communications with the Federal and Provincial governments regarding some programs they have for coal affected communities.
Earlier this year the Alberta United Conservative Party eliminated the Provincial Carbon Emissions Levy (Carbon Tax). While this is great for us as consumers, it hasn’t changed the future plan for the Sheerness Generating Station. ATCO Power has sold their coal fired generating stations including Sheerness. The company that has purchased the facilities is called Heartland Generation. The new company is planning to convert Sheerness to have the ability to operate on natural gas as well as coal. Heartland Generation will retain the current staff without cutbacks. We look forward to working with Heartland Generation once the sale has been finalized.
The Federal Government announced $35 million over 5 years for coal affected communities across Canada; with $25 million of that allocated to Saskatchewan and Alberta. The Town of Hanna and Special Areas have been in communication with the Federal Government as to how this funding can benefit our region. We will keep you updated on the progress of these talks.
The Town and Special Areas have had conversations with the Provincial Government in regard to what their future support for our communities will be, however they have not committed to anything as they are reviewing the finances. We will see if there are any allocations in the budget this fall.
Mayor, Town of Hanna