‘Disturbing’ election lawn sign under investigation
An election lawn sign in Mill Woods, depicting Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Edmonton Mill Woods Liberal candidate Amarjeet Sohi with crosshairs on their foreheads, is being looked into by Edmonton police.
Police said Thursday morning they had not received a formal complaint about the election sign, which also read: “Save our country. Vote out these A$$wipes,” in the Mill Woods riding. However, a police spokesman said the Hate Crime and Violent Extremism Unit and Integrated National Security Enforcement Team are looking into the matter, and that by Thursday afternoon police had paid a visit to the property.
“Such a behaviour does not belong in my city – a city that has been home to me for 35 years. I’ve been door knocking since 2004, and my wife has been with me from day one. We have never experienced this kind of violent expression of hatred,” Sohi said in an interview after a photo of the sign was shared online.
“This is a disturbing message, but it’s also very rare. We all should take notice and condemn them, but I also want to make sure that people understand how embracing, welcoming and peaceful our city is.”
There are security protocols with the RCMP for matters involving the prime minister and cabinet ministers, and those protocols are being followed, a spokeswoman for Sohi’s campaign said in a written statement.
“Our campaign has not been in touch with the police, nor have we filed a complaint,” said Alana Kiteley.
An election sign for the riding’s Conservative Party candidate, Tim Uppal, a former federal minister under Stephen Harper, was also displayed on the lawn but removed by Thursday afternoon. Sohi won the tightly contested riding in 2015 by only 92 votes.
“Threats of political violence have no place in our democracy. I’ve instructed my campaign to remove our sign from this property,” Uppal wrote in a tweet Thursday morning.
By Thursday afternoon, the crosshair sign had been altered to include the words “target your vote,” but to Sohi, that did not change his view of the sign, or lessen the intimidating effect that it might have had.
“I would be more concerned if this act, or demonstration of violence and hatred, discourages Edmontonians from openly expressing their political views and support for diverse political parties. We as a society are better off when people feel free — when we can agree to disagree with each other and still be respectful,” he said.
Edmonton police detectives are seen investigating a home in Mill Woods that displayed two election signs depicting Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Liberal candidate Amarjeet Sohi with crosshairs on their foreheads on Thursday.