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Just Transition Task Force

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (Framework) was developed to meet Canada’s emissions reduction targets, grow the economy, and build resilience for a changing climate. However, this Framework will have an impact on communities and workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia that rely on coal-fired electrical generation for their economic base. The Government of Canada recognizes that there needs to be a just transition in our move towards cleaner energy sources so that these communities do not bear the full weight of our broader environmental goals. As such, Budget 2018 saw the announcement of $35 million over five years to assist coal affected communities and workers. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) have been asked to deliver these supports and to work with our federal and provincial partners to assist communities.

Initially, WD worked with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to support ECCC’s Just Transition Task Force (JTTF), a group of non-government labour, environmental and community authorities tasked with developing recommendations on mitigating the impacts the transition will have on communities and workers. WD produced a handbook of Alberta and Saskatchewan coal communities, featuring economic, educational and population dynamics to assist both the JTTF and WD in understanding the underlying drivers of these communities. The JTTF recommendations, due December 2018, will form a strong backbone to the work that WD will undertake over the next five years.

Alberta and Saskatchewan face unique challenges regarding the scope of the impacts and WD has worked hard to develop flexible, tailored approaches based on strong partnership with the communities involved. Building trust and starting from a place of community knowledge has allowed WD to overcome some initial community concerns about the impact the move to a low carbon economy may have.

In order to continue to build strong projects WD will adapt to the changing economic environments. Some of the concepts WD will work with include:

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