Hanna Climate Change Strategy Taskforce awaiting decisions

The Hanna Climate Change Strategy Taskforce has put forth a Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) application for the action plan process regarding the coal transition and is awaiting the Government of Alberta’s decision.
The project is named Community Action to Create Diversification and includes community engagement in creating action to pursue opportunities for the community.
“The community has brought forward several economic opportunities to myself and the taskforce and we have designed a structure to take these ideas from concept to action”, explains Mayor Chris Warwick from the Town of Hanna.
Over the last one and a half years, the Hanna Climate Change Strategy Taskforce has advocated on the community’s behalf to the Government of Alberta regarding the impacts of the coal transition and the importance of immediate action towards economic diversification.
The Taskforce commissioned Urban Systems in 2016 to conduct an Impact Study and an Asset Mapping & Opportunities Study, which were both completed in 2017.
“Our citizens already know the vital importance of coal power generation in our community from corporate citizenship, community support, to employment.
The Impact Study’s purpose is to bring the Government of Alberta up to speed on these impacts, so they can understand why are citizens are deeply concerned”, describes Jay Slemp, Chair of Palliser Economic Partnership.
The Asset Mapping & Opportunities Study considers industry and consumer trends, community assets, and community values in suggesting opportunities for economic diversification.
“Our message to the Government of Alberta is clear that economic diversification must be a priority for coal-affected communities and rural does matter.
Keep in mind that a 2012 report from The Conference Board of Canada confirmed that Rural Alberta contributes $77.4 billion in economic activity throughout Alberta and Canada”, advises Trisha Sewell, Economic Development Officer for Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation.
“The goal is to have a public consultation by September to bring the community up to speed on the Impact Study, the Asset Mapping and Opportunities Study, and the action plan process.
Once we have confirmation on the CARES application and the findings from the Advisory Panel on Coal Communities report, the Taskforce will be able to provide more information on the path forward,” informs Jordon Christianson, Chair of the Special Areas Board.
The Government of Alberta’s Advisory Panel on Coal Communities visited Hanna in February and the Taskforce clarified that a one-size-fits-all approach will not work for the coal-affected municipalities, since each area has its own unique challenges.
The Advisory Panel’s report is expected to be made public by Fall.
The Hanna Climate Change Strategy Taskforce includes representation from Town of Hanna, Special Areas Board and Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation.
Trisha Sewell, Economic Development Officer

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