Battle River Economic Opportunities Committee (BREOC) is pleased to announce that they have successfully been awarded $1.75 million through the Alberta Government’s Coal Communities Transition Fund (CCTF).
This funding is the catalyst needed for implementing transition efforts within the Town of Castor, Town of Coronation, County of Paintearth #18, Flagstaff County, Village of Forestburg, Village of Halkirk, and the Village of Heisler.
Mr. Jon Williams, councillor, Village of Heisler said, “When you lose important economic drivers from within this rural remote region you realize how important it is to build a path forward as soon as possible . . . we need to keep families in this area . . . otherwise, how do we attract others?”
The BREOC team has engaged Urban Systems/Lochaven Consultants to develop a five-year plan to ensure the region successfully moves through its economic uncertainties.
Together the BREOC communities applied to the Government of Alberta for support to implement the first two years of the plan.
This was achieved by building on Urban/Lochaven’s broad expertise, both domestically and internationally, in developing and managing practical transition strategies.
Moving forward through this longterm commitment, this team has committed to continue working together to promote revitalization and renewal, focusing on the region’s future prosperity.
The strategies and tactics have been designed to not only emphasize economic diversification but just as importantly, to facilitate positive social change and adjustment.
The efforts also include working closely with both Westmoreland Mine and Battle River Generation Station to assist and support both enterprises in their desires to continue operating in the region.
Therefore, regional participation and efforts will be key towards the continuation of this positive momentum.
The plan broadly categorized three elements:
1). Capacity Building – Building capacities and ability to successfully implement efforts
2). Impact Mitigation – Introduce and pursue key mitigation issues
3). Development Opportunity Realization – Capitalize on key economic opportunities
Since receiving the Government of Alberta’s support, BREOC has worked hard getting a detailed plan in place, as well as starting key activities such as working with both the Westmoreland Mine and ATCO’s Battle River Generation Station in pursuing future plans and have been developing two physical centres that will offer both employment and business support programs for the all citizens in the region.