In an effort to transition the local economy away from coal, nine communities in southern Saskatchewan including Coronach, Bengough and Rockglen are banding together to create a plan that will spur development.
As Ottawa starts to phase-out coal-fired electricity by 2030, it means both the Westmoreland Mining and Poplar River power station will shut down which is a major part of Coronach’s economy and the economy of those involved in the group “South Saskatchewan Ready”
Managing Director Sean Wallace says they already have a plan that he calls ambitious in nature going.
The group has identified 45 projects based on resources in the region and local strengths. The projects are broken down into four areas which are agriculture, mining, green energy and tourism
Wallace says the region has what is needed in those four areas and they have to start marketing that to investors whether they be big or small and that people need to be aware of it.
“Rural communities don’t really talk about what they are really good at. The communities and the people in those communities are often very, very humble and don’t talk about themselves as much as they should. “Wallace said. “We have about eight or nine years before the plant is scheduled to close and that is enough time to get industry in that will compensate for the losses that will happen when the plants close.
Wallace adds they are working with border towns in Montana to develop some opportunities that will prove to be sustainable for the communities involved.
Coronach is about 200 kilometers south of Regina.