Advisory Panel on Coal Communities

Consulted with communities and workers affected by the end of coal-fired electricity generation to identify challenges and opportunities.

This engagement has been archived
Status: Completed
Ministry responsible: Economic Development, Trade and Tourism
Completed: 2017

Programs are available to help communities and workers affected by the phase out of coal-fired electricity generation. For more information visit:


Under federal regulations, coal-fired electricity generation will be phased out by 2030 and replaced with renewable and natural gas-fired electricity.

The Advisory Panel on Coal Communities met with workers and community members to hear their challenges and ideas for the long-term economic sustainability of their communities. The panel members:

  • examined the potential effect of the retirements of coal-fired generation plants and associated mining operations on communities and workers
  • identified strategies to support worker transition

These meetings helped the panel fully understand the challenges and opportunities communities and workers face to ensure their recommendations respond to concerns and align with community priorities.


The panel submitted their recommendations on an approach to support affected workers and communities.

The 35 recommendations focus on three areas: workers, communities and First Nations.

The government responded to the recommendations with additional supports for affected workers.

Stakeholder and public engagement

The panel held facilitated discussions with stakeholders and First Nations in communities most affected by the retirements of coal-fired generation facilities and associated mining operations. They met with:

  • municipal leaders
  • First Nations
  • community economic development organizations
  • small businesses
  • affected workers in impacted communities

Albertans and stakeholders shared their feedback through an online survey, which closed May 31.

Input from the community discussions and survey informed the panel's final report.

Telephone town halls

Two telephone town halls were held for community members and workers in the coal communities of Hanna, Forestburg, and Leduc and Parkland Counties on Monday, May 15. A total of 2,238 people participated.

Common themes included:

  • support for workers in terms of training, relocation and new job opportunities
  • consideration of miners when mining operations shut down
  • impacts of the coal phase-out on electricity prices
  • the commitments of companies in the off-coal agreements
  • the role and responsibility of the federal government; renewable energy options
  • carbon capture and storage
  • the future of workers' family farms after losing their electricity or mining jobs
  • the sharing of the panel’s report with the public

Coal community visits

Elected officials visited coal communities to meet with workers and community members. These visits complemented the panel's visits and set the stage for the Alberta government to receive the panel's recommendations.

Coal community meeting handout

Panel members

The panellists have decades of combined experience working with government and stakeholders to address industry transition in response to economic and sector-based changes.

  • Ritu Khullar, Justice, Court of King's Bench of Alberta
  • Ken Delaney
  • Kerry A. Jothen