Candidate ousted for defending Soldiers of Odin meeting
The party said his ‘seemly sympathetic’ view of the group was not acceptable
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.”
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.