CORONACH — As several local governments in south Saskatchewan eye an economic future without coal, a veteran of the industry is looking back on its history, uncertain what type of future development in the area is sustainable.
“I have no problem with wind- and sun-power. But if the wind don’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, I don’t know what you’re going to do — put a crank on it?” scoffs 93-year-old Harold Siggelkow.
The longtime Coronach resident owned the local mine on the southeast side of town for two years, 1946 and 1947. He kept working in the industry several years thereafter, in Crowsnest Pass, Alta. and at the Coronach-area’s Poplar River power plant, which uses coal from nearby surface strip-mining, in the 1970s.
Siggelkow spoke with the Regina Leader-Post as several local governments in the area have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to pursue joint economic development that doesn’t rely on coal mining. The federal government has ordered all coal-fired power plants in the country to be shut down by 2030.
The signatories to the MOU include Coronach, Bengough, Rockglen and Willow Bunch, along with the rural municipalities in the area: Happy Valley No. 10, Hart Butte No. 11, Poplar Valley No. 12, Bengough No. 40 and Willow Bunch No. 42.