Candidates looking to become the next leader of the UCP will be expected to come clean on coal.
High River Mayor Craig Snodgrass says the policy just adopted by council piggybacks on the policy from a year ago, which was called the Coal Restriction Policy that said no to any more mines, no to any more exploration and to clean up current sites and they'll be allowed to expire on their own timeline.
"We're just not interested in this mining on the eastern slopes anymore and there's too much risk that comes with it and we're not willing to sacrifice our landscapes and our water supplies for a miniscule number of jobs and a miniscule number of royalties."
He says it's clear coal mining doesn't bring the kind of jobs Alberta politicians talk about and adds, jobs are beside the point.
"I've always said there's no amount of jobs or money that's worth sacrificing the number one resource in this province, which is water and number two are the Alberta landscapes," he says.
Snodgrass says the policy adopted by council spells out what needs to be done including an end to coal exploration, an assessment of the financial security around current mines and a plan for remediation.
He says this will be an election issue next year and the policy has already been sent to the UCP leadership candidates, one of whom is Danielle Smith who lives in High River and has spoken in favour of the coal industry in the past.