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

Northwest Wave Riders return from Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

This was the first time in 25 years that northern B.C. teams competed

Feds approve $4M for Tahltan protected and conserved areas

Well defined stewardship will help nation reduce uncertainties for resource partners

BC Parks student rangers complete several northwest B.C. conservation projects

This was the first time the summer program operated out of Terrace

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read