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

Board of Education hires independent consultant to review SD82 reassignments

Review will not change recent decisions but will gather input, says board chair

Prince Rupert marine business adds second catamaran to its fleet

100-passenger Aurora was launched this year for the Rio Tinto Kemano tunnel project

Terrace-area gold project shows strong promise

Juggernaut Exploration hopes this year’s drilling will follow last year’s exceptional program

New protocol will better assist victims of sexual assault

Victims of sexual assault are set to benefit from the completion of… Continue reading

School district remains firm on reassignments

Community calling for halt of decision

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Family frustrated Terrace dad with advanced cancer must wait weeks for treatment

‘We can see his health declining every day,’ daughter says

Most Read