Alberta's NDP government is getting some love from the largest workers group in the province over its plans to phase out coal fired power generation.
Gil McGowan is president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, which is happy to see the government take its advice and do a study to determine the effects of the move and how best to help affected workers make the transition to another job.
"We are actually going to encourage them to spend a little bit more because the budget they set aside ($160,000), we think, is too modest for the job," he told 99.5 Drum FM. "We're talking about 18 power generation units in five different plants across the province and there are about 4,000 people who work at these plants or the associated coal mines."
McGowan says there are a number of things the government has to know before it shuts down the coal fired power generation industry.
"Who's working in the industry, how old are they, what are their demographics: are they young, are they close to retirement because they'll have different things that they'll need from government in terms of transition."
Those include things like transition allowances, retraining and new job opportunities.
"While a lot of people are frustrated with the New Democrats, the reality is that this trend away from coal fired power was happening long before they got elected," noted McGowan. "At least they're talking about providing transition support for the affected workers whereas the previous goverments had not."
A committee will visit each of the affected communities in coming months. It is to report back to the government in October.