Hanna's coal transition continues as the Government of Alberta allocates money towards coal communities outside of the Hanna area.
The community of Hanna received $400,000 from the Alberta Government earlier this year to get community leaders on track to deal with the shutting down of the coal plant within the area. Unfortunately, the community of Hanna didn't receive any money to set up municipal re-training centers for those community members affected by the coal plant shutdown.
"We used our funds to set up some C.A.T.'s, which are Community Action Teams, to get people involved in any community events, activities, or promotions that we could, kind of set up," explained Hanna Council Member, Connie Deadlock, speaking of the $400,000 given to the community by the province.
The Sheerness Power Station in Hanna will be converting into a natural gas plant and the coal mine across the road will shut down. This conversion translates to a loss of nearly 200 jobs. The re-training centers mentioned earlier could have been a resource for those community members trying to educate themselves in another field of work.
Further funding from the Alberta Government will amount to $200,000; only Hanna is not on the list to receive any of it.
"There was some funding announced from the feds(The Government of Canada) for the Battle-River region. That's kind of the direction they've gone because that's a bigger implication for them. It's to make sure that the workers are getting looked after," said Chris Warwick, Mayor of Hanna. "We have, probably, 90 percent of the people who work out in both of the (mining and power) facilities that live in the town of Hanna. It's a bit more of an impact than it is up in the Forestburg region."
Hanna Town Council and staff will be updating the folks that live there with the full details of future plans for Hanna, come November 29, 2018.
"We'll be educating the community on some of the ideas that are out there that are really good ideas, (ideas) someone will need to take leadership on," commented Deadlock.
For now, Hanna will continue to organize and prepare their community for the impending natural gas conversion of the power plant.