Jason Kenney speaks to the media at his first convention as leader of the United Conservative Party in Red Deer, Alta., Sunday, May 6, 2018. Alberta’s United Conservatives say hateful views have no place in their party, after photos on social media appeared to show members of an anti-immigrant group at a constituency association pub night. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

UCP rejects hate after Soldiers of Odin pose for pics at party pub night

Leader Jason Kenney tweeted that the party condemns any group that promotes racial prejudice

Alberta’s United Conservatives say hateful views have no place in their party, after photos on social media appeared to show members of an anti-immigrant group at a constituency association pub night.

The photos posted to the Soldiers of Odin Edmonton Facebook page show people wearing hats and other clothing with “S.O.O.” on them, posing with several candidates for the UCP nomination in Edmonton-West Henday.

Terry Howlett, president of the UCP Edmonton-West constituency association, says in a statement that the association was not immediately aware what the abbreviation stood for.

He says if he’d known who they were, he would have requested the pub’s management have them removed.

UCP leader Jason Kenney tweeted that the party condemns any group that promotes racial prejudice, adding it’s disturbing they would seek to tarnish the campaigns of Indigenous UCP candidates.

Leila Houle, who is seeking the UCP nomination in Edmonton-West Henday, says in a Facebook post that she’s “beyond upset,” calling Soldiers of Odin “a violent, racist organization.”

“As an Indigenous woman, I condemn — in the strongest possible way — the SOO, and the violent, racist activity they have been attached to in Edmonton and across Canada,” Houle said in the post Sunday.

“I have spent my entire life fighting prejudice and am painfully aware that this fight is an ongoing one.

“I absolutely reject the SOO and wish to move on from this disturbing event.”

READ MORE: Soldiers of Odin confront supporters of B.C. tent city

Soldiers of Odin is the name of a group founded in Finland in 2015, which has conducted street patrols it says protects residents from a perceived threat posed by migrants.

Canadian chapters of the group first made their presence known in the early part of 2016 by patrolling communities, claiming to protect Canadians from what they characterized as the threat of Islam.

Soldiers of Odin also appeared, along with a group called Worldwide Coalition Against Islam, at a protest at a central Alberta high school last year.

Nicole Williams, another candidate for the Edmonton-West Henday nomination who is Metis, says on Facebook that she would have asked the group to leave if she had known what “S.O.O.” stood for.

“I know now, and I do not share the despicable views of this group,” Williams wrote.

Alberta’s governing New Democrats expressed skepticism about the UCP’s response to the photos in a post on Twitter Sunday evening.

“There’s a pattern of UCP attracting people with racist views. Now they say they ‘unknowingly’ posed for the photos with members of Soldiers of Odin,” the party’s tweet read.

“Was it the hats, vests or shirts they didn’t know about when they put their arms around them?”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Stan Chong, brother to legendary comedian Tommy, dies at age 82

Parksville resident loved family, scuba diving and umpiring

Development, taxes and 222 Corfield discussed at Parksville all candidates meeting

All candidates met on Oct. 11 to answer the public’s questions before the Oct. 20 election

Inspiring Qualicum Beach teacher suddenly passes away

English teacher and counsellor Carol Myhre remembered as ‘source of joy’: superintendent

Qualicum district students to develop experiments that could head into space

Youngsters compete to have designs reach International Space Station

Legal pot price must be ‘competitive’ with black market: Blair

Bill Blair shared final words on journey to legalization ahead of official day Wednesday

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Duncan play faces challenges even before first performance as thieves strike

Thefts hamper Deathtrap days before opening at Mercury Theatre

Most Read