Application status: Closed Nov 30, 2017. Successful proponents announced March 15, 2018.
Ministry responsible: Economic Development and Trade

Overview

Funding under the Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program was allocated to assist Alberta communities affected by the coal-phase out through the Coal Community Transition Fund (CCTF).

Municipalities and First Nations affected by the phase-out of coal in Alberta's electricity system could apply for grant funding through the CCTF to support economic development initiatives that enable the transition away from economic reliance on coal-fired electricity generation.

Eligible entities could apply for projects that:

  • build economic development capacity
  • strengthen approaches to improve economic conditions
  • aid municipal transition towards long-term economic stability

CCTF funding parameters:

  • grant funding will be provided up front so projects can start immediately
  • matching funding is not required
  • approved funding amounts may be lower than the amount requested
  • applicants have a maximum of 2 years from the date they receive funding to spend it

Only one application per eligible entity was accepted. An applicant could either submit a collaborative regional application or their own application. Regionally collaborative applications were given priority.

Successful projects

Applicant Total Funding
Battle River Region (includes Village of Halkirk, Village of Forestburg,
Town of Castor, Town of Coronation, Flagstaff County,
County of Paintearth No. 18)
$1,750,000
Leduc County $250,000
Paul First Nation $250,000
Special Areas No. 2 $420,000
Spruce Grove $255,000
Stony Plain $250,000
Town of Grande Cache $325,000
Town of Hanna $455,775
Town of Thorsby $245,000
Village of Wabamun $347,000
Village of Warburg $375,000
Village of Youngstown $76,800
Total $4,999,575

Eligible activities

Projects had to align with one or more of the following program objectives to be eligible:

  1. Identify social and economic impacts of the proposed project in the community or region, such as:
  • development of social and economic impact studies
  • gap analysis and regional economic and social asset mapping
  • sector and industry analysis to identify emerging opportunities at the community or regional level
  1. Develop and support community transition planning towards long-term economic sustainability, such as:
  • development of economic, strategic and/or regional transition plans
  • establishment of a task force or committee responsible for transition planning
  • facilitation of stakeholder consultations and/or community surveys
  • identification of opportunities for economic diversification
  1. Implement economic strategies that improve the local business environment and/or increase investment retention and attraction, such as:
  • investment attraction and promotion initiatives including marketing programs, trade shows and lead generation
  • business coaching and training for businesses in communities that lack these resources

The examples listed above are not an exhaustive list of initiatives that an applicant could undertake. Additionally, undertaking one of the above examples did not guarantee the applicant funding.

Ineligible project costs

The CCTF does not support costs related to:

  • travel and accommodation expenses of any kind
  • hospitality and entertainment costs (food, alcohol)
  • gifts, contests, prizes, awards, trophies, plaques
  • contingency and miscellaneous costs
  • legal fees, taxes, audit, insurance
  • membership fees
  • sponsorship
  • land acquisition
  • funding for wages or remuneration that exceeds 18 months
  • expenses and costs for studies already incurred
  • major infrastructure
  • projects that may duplicate existing provincial or federal economic development initiatives in the community or region applying for funding
  • non-arm’s length transactions (payments to an affiliated organization, payments to Directors/Board Members or their families)
  • debt reduction
  • lobbying or advocacy activities
  • expenses related to preparation of funding applications, committee planning meetings
  • fundraising and similar activities not related directly to the project
  • retroactive funding for costs that have already been incurred prior to application submission
  • expenses occurred in the formation of a new community or regional economic development organization

The list of ineligible project costs is subject to change to respond to the Government of Alberta’s priorities.

Proposal criteria

Proposals from eligible municipalities were evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

CCTF program guidelines (PDF, 109 KB)

Application process

The application period closed Nov 30, 2017.

Additional information

Important notes

  • Grant funding not used or accounted for in accordance with the approved eligible budget is repayable by the recipient to the Government of Alberta.
  • The grant recipient is required to notify the program administrator if the project cannot be completed. If this happens, the applicant may be required to repay to the Government of Alberta a portion or all of the grant amount. The amount of funding to be repaid will be at the discretion of the program administrator according to defined approval authority.
  • If the actual project costs are less than the approved budget, the applicant has two options:
    • submit a written request to expand the scope of the project, and if approved, apply the unexpended funds to this purpose
    • send a cheque made payable to the Government of Alberta for the remaining unexpended funds once the final amount has been confirmed by the program administrator

Recognition

Projects funded through the program are required to acknowledge Government of Alberta support for the initiative. The Government of Alberta also reserves the right to make a joint public announcement on any project funded by the program. For coordination of announcements and to receive appropriate communications materials, please contact the program administrator at cares.program@gov.ab.ca.

Freedom of Information and Privacy (FOIP)

The FOIP Act applies to any information that is provided to the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. This information may be disclosed in response to an access request under the FOIP Act, subject to any applicable exceptions to disclosure under the Act. The personal information that is provided on the grant application form will be used for the purpose of administering the CCTF. It is collected under the authority of section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and is protected by the privacy provisions of the Act. Questions regarding FOIP can be directed to the program administrator.