Can­di­date ousted for de­fend­ing Soldiers of Odin meet­ing

The party said his ‘seemly sym­pa­thetic’ view of the group was not ac­cept­able

StarMetro Edmonton - - EDMONTON - KIERAN LEAV­ITT

Lance Coul­ter, who was a United Con­ser­va­tive Party nom­i­na­tion can­di­date for Ed­mon­ton-West Hen­day, has been dis­qual­i­fied from run­ning as a con­tes­tant fol­low­ing his com­ments de­fend­ing a meet­ing with the Soldiers of Odin.

“We strongly dis­agree with your seem­ingly sym­pa­thetic assess­ment of Soldiers of Odin and are frankly dis­turbed with your cav­a­lier at­ti­tude taken to a hate group at­tend­ing a United Con­ser­va­tive Party (UCP) event. This in­ci­dent has re­sulted in rep­u­ta­tional harm to our party and its many mem­bers,” a let­ter to Coul­ter from the UCP nom­i­na­tions com­mit­tee said.

The let­ter was sent Thurs­day af­ter Coul­ter ap­peared at a UCP event Wed­nes­day night and told re­porters that he knew who the group was when he was pho­tographed with them on Oct. 5.

His fel­low nom­i­nee can­di­dates, Leila Houle and Ni­cole Wil­liams, were also pho­tographed with the Soldiers of Odin at the con­stituency event, but said they weren’t aware of what the group stood for at the time. Both Houle and Wil­liams are In­dige­nous and UCP Leader Ja­son Ken­ney said the Soldiers of Odin and the Al­berta In­de­pen­dence Party crashed the event to tar­get the two can­di­dates.

“We are also ex­tremely dis­turbed to learn that you were know­ingly aware that mem­bers of a con­tro­ver­sial group ac­cused of hate were at a UCP event, yet did not at­tempt to no­tify mem­bers of the con­stituency as­so­ci­a­tion im­me­di­ately in or­der to pro­tect the party’s rep­u­ta­tion,” the let­ter to Coul­ter said.

“What’s more, you de­clined to note your prior aware­ness to the party when the mat­ter was raised with you on Sun­day, thus fur­ther com­pound­ing the harm. It seems that you were know­ingly de­cep­tive on this im­por­tant point.”

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For­mer United Con­ser­va­tive Party can­di­date Lance Coul­ter, right, told re­porters that he knew who Soldiers of Odin were when he posed with them on Oct. 5.

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