Alberta Politics

edmonton tory candidate posing for photos at police service media conference.

Steven Young Edmonton Police Service
PC candidate Steven Young on the Edmonton Journal website.

Staff Sergeant Steven Young was the face of the Edmonton Police Service at a media conference held yesterday announcing the police service’s new advertising campaign.

Mr. Young also happens to be the nominated Progressive Conservative Party candidate in Edmonton-Riverview, a position that should make many Edmontonians question the wisdom of the police service communications department for allowing him to pose for photographers at the media conference.

Riverview has been represented by Liberal MLA Kevin Taft since 2001. With Dr. Taft not seeking re-election, Mr. Young is expected to be in a tough race with Liberal candidate Arif Khan.

12 replies on “edmonton tory candidate posing for photos at police service media conference.”

What is with people like him and the two school principals who are nominated PC candidates. Surely the demands of campaigning and if elected, the followup requirements, will end up with their occupations and/or the quality of their political requirements suffering. Surely there will be conflicts of interest that are not in the best interest of Albertans.

I find this criticism to be a bridge too far. If Mr. Young’s regular duties are public enagement for EPS, his (eventual) candidacy should not disrupt this. Were the election under way – it would be a different story; and most public servants take a leave of absence for a campaign.

And then there’s the Tory candidate in Highwood who continues as Associate Publisher of the Okotoks Western Wheel. He has said he won’t step down until the writ is dropped. The Canadian Association of Journalists has explored the question of journalists running for political office (talk show hosts are not journalists, by the way) in a research paper and says it’s bad for democracy, for the newspaper and for the journalist in the long run.

Seriously? I read the article. The caption identifies him by name and rank. Where is there any mention of his candidacy? How is this a boon to his campaign? Unless you’re a political junkie with far too much time on your hands, it’s unlikely you’ll ever notice the picture, or read the caption. He’s a cop doing his job. Get over it.

By your logic, Dave, I guess that the good folks on the Hinton Town Council should have prevented Glenn Taylor from being photographed performing his official duties in the several months he was Mayor, leader of the Alberta Party and the nominated AP candidate in West Yellowhead?

Yeah, I don’t agree with Dave on this one. There’s no real conspiracy here. As Bob said, unless you’re a political junkie, you won’t even realize he’s a candidate.

Most ordinary public servants can barely afford the unpaid leave that a campaign requires. What are you asking people in this position to do Dave? It’s already hard enough to find quality candidates. This kind of griping will just lead to harsher rules for public servants who wish to run, further diminishing the pool of likely candidates.

Thanks for the comments. I’m not suggesting that candidates shouldn’t be allowed to work while nominated. 

What I am suggesting is that nominated election candidates who work for public institutions, like the Edmonton Police Service, probably shouldn’t be put in a position where they are the public face of that organization on the eve of an election.

As far as I am aware, Mr Young is a police officer, not a media spokesperson. Someone in the EPS Communications Department probably should have had better judgement when deciding which police officers would be present at the media conference.

As a candidate for a different party, I actually have no problem with this. People who run for office have jobs. Now, the journalist is different – you’re a candidate and making decisions at a paper? The paper should have something to say about that. But I agree with Neal and others – a)nobody will actually put it together, and b)if this is his file as a cop then he has every right to work on it, including doing media around it.

I dunno, I do wonder to what extent these same employers would tolerate NDP or Liberal candidates working for them or appearing at official press conferences.

Hi Dave,

In my role as the Staff Sergeant in the Edmonton Police Service I have developed and overseeing the implementing this warrant program. Through promotion of the initiative I have not mentioned my political campaign, in fact it was decided to put Staff Sergeant Regan James as the primary spokes person and he presented the at the press conference.

The only person who has politicized this police program is Daveberta.

The photo was taken after the conference at the end of the day because The Journal did not obtain a photo at the press conference, Staff Sergeant James was not available so I held the poster for the photographer.

By way of comparison I see Sue Huff is front and center on the Art & Life Section of the Journal promoting herself and linking her campaign to her role with the Shadow Theatre – Good for her!

It lets the public know who she is and what she stands for, and it will certainly give her name recognition and let the voters make and informed choice.

Let’s be clear – the Edmonton Police Service has not endorsed my campaign, I have not asked to and they should not offer.

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Young

Dave, if you thought that it was improper, you should get a look at Mr. Young’s campaign website photos. Under the “Newsroom – photos” link on his campaign website, he has a photo of himself, in his capacity as police officer, with the caption “Steve Young rescuing a suicidal woman from the High Level Bridge”. I was quite appalled that Mr. Young is trying to use this tragic event for his political gain. I also note that the poor woman’s face is visible – I wonder how she feels about being a poster child for Mr. Young’s political career.

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