The Atlas Coal Mine and the Canadian Badlands Passion Play will each receive a portion of the $6.2 million committed Monday by the federal government through the Community Adjustment Fund.
The formal announcement of an injection of funding to Canadian Badlands occurred on Monday, September 21 at the Canadian Badlands Passion Play Site. Political leaders from many municipalities throughout the Canadian Badlands, as well as operators and other stakeholders were in attendance as MP for the Crowfoot Constituency Kevin Sorenson made the announcement.
“Our government, through the Community Adjustment Fund, is proud to support rural Alberta communities and provide them with opportunities for economic growth,” said Sorenson, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “We are putting Canada’s Economic Action Plan to work by protecting and creating jobs, supporting the local tourism industry, and enabling communities to strengthen their foundation for long-term success.”
Under the newly formed “Canadian Badlands Tourism Development Centre,” a single application was submitted to the Community Adjustment Fund for 23 different projects on behalf of 19 rural Alberta communities. Canadian Badlands Ltd. has since received the green light to make improvements to existing, as well as creating new, tourism-based infrastructure.
“This money is going to do so much for our smaller, single-industry communities,” said Cindy Amos, executive director for Canadian Badlands. “The funding will put people to work, increase tourism capacity, attract small to medium size business to rural communities and stabilize rural populations. This is a real boost to the local economy as well as to our ever-expanding tourism industry here in the Canadian Badlands.”
Locally the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site will share a portion of the funds. Chair of the Atlas Coal Mine Historical Society Gerhard Schwarz said the funds would go towards the Site’s fundraising to complete Tunnel Vision. He says Sorenson has been an unwavering supporter of the Atlas Coal Mine.
The Canadian Badlands Passion Play is also a recipient of a slice of the pie. Passion Play board chair Wilf Golbeck says the funds will help upgrade the heating system at the lodge, as well as expand hiking trails and extend the Roman Road.
Treasurer of Canadian Badlands, Doug Jones, says this funding goes towards smaller infrastructure projects. This announcement follows on the heels of another contribution to Canadian Badlands from the provincial government just weeks ago.
“What makes this good is the funds we received from the provincial government was more on the training side,” said Jones. “This is for infrastructure. This is going to build on the ground capacity.”
Canadian Badlands Ltd. is a not for profit organization, which seeks to make the 90,000 square km region into Canada’s next iconic tourism destination.
The Community Adjustment Fund is a federal program to mitigate the impacts of the economic downturn by encouraging job creation in affected communities.
Other communities that will receive funds through the Canadian Badlands application are the MD of Acadia, the Village of Acme, the Village of Beiseker, the Town of Bow Island, the Brooks Aqueduct, the Village of Coutts, the Village of Foremost, the Town of Irricana, Kneehill County, the Town of Milk River, the Town of Oyen, the Village of Rosemary, Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions, the Village of Stirling, the County of Warner and the Village of Warner.