Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and her government are making some political hay over a photo that popped up over the weekend of a trio of Edmonton area UCP candidates with a racist group.
The trio were at an Edmonton pub when they were approached by the "Sons of Odin," who are considered a racist group, and took photos with the candidates who then posted them to social media.
Notley says it shows a pattern of behaviour from the UCP.
"Over the last number of months, there have been at least eight cases where UCP candidates seeking nominations, have espoused racist or homophobic views. In six of those cases, the UCP allowed those candidates to stand for nomination."
Organizers of the the "UCP Pub Night" claim the group "crashed" the evening at the request of the right wing, Alberta Independence Party.
UCP leader, Jason Kenney, responded on Twitter that the views of these groups don't align with his party.
Notley says a twitter post isn't enough.
Although she was quick to say she doesn't believe Kenney himself is a racist, he says he needs to show more leadership and take a stronger stand against those she says in his party do hold those views.
The three candidates, Edmonton-West Henday UCP nomination candidate Nicole Williams, as well as fellow nomination candidates Leila Houle and Lance Coulter all released statements saying they didn't know who the group was, and they in no way agree with or support any of the views of this group or other similar groups.
The UCP Edmonton West Henday United Conservative Party Association issued a release on Sunday, October 7.
"While hosting an event in a public establishment, a number of members of ‘Soldiers of Odin’ entered the pub. We have since learned that this group was brought to the pub by an ‘organizer’ of the fringe ‘Alberta Independence Party’ – presumably in an attempt to cause problems.
Unfortunately, our UCP constituency association was not immediately aware of what the abbreviation ‘S.O.O.’ stood for. To be clear: Soldiers of Odin and their hateful views are not welcome in our organization. Had I had known what ‘S.O.O.’ stood for, I would have requested that pub management have them removed from the establishment.
The UCP Edmonton-West Henday Constituency Association is a diverse group, and I am confident that my fellow members also denounce these despicable views."
UCP Edmonton-West Henday Constituency Association