Former Alberta finance minister Robin Campbell new president of coal association

Former Alberta finance minister Robin Campbell has been hired as the new president of the Coal Association of Canada.

EDMONTON — Former Alberta finance minister Robin Campbell has been hired as the new president of the Coal Association of Canada.

Campbell, who represented the constituency of West Yellowhead, was defeated in the May 5 provincial election.

During his career in provincial politics, Campbell also served in the portfolios of aboriginal relations and environment and sustainable resource development.

Association chairman John Schadan says Campbell has a working knowledge of the coal industry from when he worked for the United Mine Workers of America.

Campbell replaces Ann Marie Hann, who Schadan says has resigned to pursue other career opportunities.

Schadan says Campbell understands the issues and challenges facing the coal industry and is well positioned to be an effective voice in promoting the business across Canada.

“He operates with high integrity and is a man of his word and certainly cares about the environment a lot, just as we do,” Schadan said Thursday. “That well-roundedness is what appealed to us.”

Campbell will be a good advocate for the thousands of people who work in the coal business, Schadan said.

Canada’s coal export market, consisting mostly of steel-makers, has seen prices fall from more than US$300 a tonne in 2011 to less than US$90 a tonne this quarter.

The association has said that while coal exports are struggling, domestic thermal coal production is doing better because of long-term supply contracts with power-plant companies.

Campbell’s appointment becomes effective Monday.

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