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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

SD8 students can learn more about Métis culture, history, and language by participating in a variety of educational initiatives this month. Photo: Submitted
SD8 celebrates Métis Awareness Month

The district has a number of events planned in November

Numbers indicate positive COVID-19 tests, January through September. Map: BC Centre for Disease Control
Twenty-five cases of COVID-19 reported in Nelson, Castlegar and Trail in 2020

New data from the BC Centre for Disease Control shows numbers of cases per community

Boxers L-R: William Veroni of North Vancouver and Nelson’s Makalu Babott. Photo submitted
Nelson boxers compete in first pandemic match in North Vancouver

Match was conducted with no spectators and streamed to a live audience

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Most Read