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Parkland County Hoping for More Help From Province in Coal Phase-Out.

As coal continues to be phased out in the province in the coming years, one community heavily dependent on the industry is reaching out to the government for more support in dealing with the fallout.

Parkland County launched a campaign called Keep Parkland Growing, asking residents and businesses to share how the phase-out will hurt them. The hope is to attract the attention of the provincial government so more can be done to prepare families for the aftermath when jobs in the coal industry are lost.

Mayor of Parkland County, Rod Shaigec on the campaign’s significance.

Shaigec has been meeting with the province since the phase-out was announced in 2015 and has spoken with Deron Bilous, the Minister of Economic Development and Trade on the issue, but feels results have been less than satisfying.

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Rumours of Whitecourt Jr. A Relocation Persist

According to a source in the Alberta Junior Hockey League League, a number of communities have reached out to inquire about possible relocation of the Junior A Whitecourt Wolverines.

In a text message exchange, Stark said a number of the promises made to ownership six years ago still haven’t been fulfilled by the Town of Whitecourt. Stark has grown frustrated by his continued financial support of the team only to have his contributions overlooked by Whitecourt officials. Stark and his society purchased the scoreboard and sound system currently being used at the Scott Safety Centre for the Wolverines. Stark allows for other recreational groups to use the items but calls the refusal on the town to step up financially and match what he’s provided embarrassing.

Asked if the Wolverines will still be in Whitecourt (or sold) when the 2018 season opens if nothing changes, Stark wouldn’t lean one way or the other. He continued to state his unhappiness with the local Junior A team being the only one in the league without their own dressing room.

Stark is expected to provide more details when he returns to Canada at the end of the month.

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