The federal government is announcing projects to help western workers and communities dependent on coal mining to become less reliant on the industry.

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says nine grants for organizations in Alberta and Saskatchewan will support skills training and diversification.

"We know that climate change is impacting in different ways and impacting different communities,” Sohi said. “And there are communities who are sacrificing who are being impacted. It is fundamental responsibility of the government to support those workers and families and we are showing that commitment today."

The grants, totaling nearly $4.5 million, are part of a five-year, $35-million Coal Transition Initiative announced in the 2018 budget.

Alberta will get $3.2 million, and Saskatchewan will receive $1.2 million to split between Moose Jaw, Cornach and Estevan.

The Mayor of Estevan says the loss of coal will have a big impact, and he thinks dark days are ahead.

“You're looking at probably 100 coal mining jobs. Probably 50 to 60 SPC jobs and then if you look at the spin off it could be well over 250 or more jobs,” Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig said.

The money will fund four planning, training and research programs in Alberta and five in Saskatchewan.

"Coronach is a resilient community. We migrated into an industrial town 40 years ago when the mine and power plant opened and now we must reinvent ourselves again," the town of Coronach said in a statement.

Federal and provincial regulations will see coal-fired power generation phased out by 2030.

Coal-fired power plants are some of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in Canada.

With files from the Canadian Press.