Alberta Politics

Soldiers of Odin photos most notable moment in Edmonton-West Henday UCP nomination race

Photo: UCP nomination candidate Nicole Williams (second from the left) with members of the Soliders of Odin at a UCP event on October 5, 2018 (source: Facebook).

United Conservative Party candidates in the new district of Edmonton-West Henday say they had no idea they were posing for photos with members of the anti-immigration group Soldiers of Odin at a party event on October 5, 2018. Members of the vigilante group, who have been described as white nationalists, attended the UCP event in their club uniforms and posed for photos with nomination candidates Nicole Williams, Leila House and Lance Coulter.

Soliders of Odin Leila Houle UCP Edmonton West Henday
Leila Houle (left) and the Soldiers of Odin

The party and two of the nomination candidates quickly denounced the photos, which were shared on social media first by the Soldiers of Odin and then by Progress Alberta. The candidates claimed they had no idea who the black clad group of vigilantes were, despite recent local news coverage and the fact that they appear to have been wearing their branded uniforms with big logos.

Those running for public office are regularly photographed with members of the public. It is part of the job. We were unfortunately not aware of what the abbreviation ‘S.O.O’ stood for when these individuals entered the public venue in which the Constituency Association was holding an event, nor were we aware of this group’s disgusting views,” wrote Houle and Williams in a joint statement posted on Facebook.

Soliders of Odin Lance Coulter UCP Edmonton West Henday
Lance Coulter (right) and a Soldier of Odin.

It would be unfair to claim these nomination candidates share sympathies with the Soldiers of Odin, but a string of recent examples of UCP nomination candidates voicing anti-Muslim views online might be one reason why the group felt comfortable attending the event in their full regalia.

The dramatic rise of right-wing extreme groups across Canada is something to be alarmed about and this incident is not something UCP members should just casually dismiss. As David Climenhaga wrote at, Alberta voters are within their rights to wonder why the UCP keeps attracting far-right fringe groups, some of them quite unsavoury.

UCP members in Edmonton-West Henday vote to choose their candidate on October 22, 2018.

UPDATE: Via Press Progress:

Lance Coulter, one of three United Conservative Party nomination candidates recently photographed partying with a white supremacist hate group, has a history interacting with white nationalist and alt-right content on social media.

Trouble brewing in Calgary-Mountain View

Caylan Ford UCP Calgary Mountain View
Caylan Ford

Nine members of the UCP board of directors in Calgary-Mountain View have filed a formal complaint with party executive director Janice Harrington requesting an investigation into the eligibility of Caylan Ford to seek the party’s nomination in the district.

A copy of the complaint shared with showed the group of directors are requesting the party to investigate whether Ford meets the Alberta residency requirement to seek the nomination.

The complaint claims that Ford was until recently a resident of Ontario and that the party nomination rules require UCP candidates “to have physically lived on Albertan soil for one year before becoming a UCP candidate.”

One of the signatories to the complain and request for investigation is recently withdrawn nomination candidate Dean Brawn, who is the Chief Financial Officer for nomination candidate and former Progressive Conservative MLA Mark Hlady.

Reached by email, Ford responded to the complaint: “The board members who signed this letter were misinformed. They also appear to have misunderstood the UCP’s residency requirements. A good faith mistake, I am sure.

Ford is an international affairs specialist with a background in China and human rights. She has worked as a senior policy advisor with Global Affairs Canada. Ford was a panelist at a 2018 Manning Centre conference discussion about conservative culture in Canada.

Ford, Hlady, Becca Polak and Jeremy Wong are seeking the UCP nomination in this district. A date for the nomination vote has not yet been announced.

4 replies on “Soldiers of Odin photos most notable moment in Edmonton-West Henday UCP nomination race”

Is there really a “dramatic rise in right wing extreme groups?” The evidence cited for this is a Toronto Star ariticle citing research carried out by an Ontario researcher who claims there is a 20-25% jump in these groups from 2015-2018. Is a 25% surge in fringe groups really eveidence of a groundswell? How many members do these groups have? 15? 20? Do they have more members than the Canadian Taxpayer Federation? A rally was held last summer in Ottawa to bring these groups together and less than a 100 showed up. Hardly a success.

The same article claims the RCMP is starting to get concerned. Really? I’m sure the RCMP is not above inflating threats to attract more funding. Just look at their outstanding work in Vancouver a few years ago, busting up an “ISIS cell” and nabbing a couple of methheads.

These white nationalist fringe groups have been around for a long time. What has changed is the media is giving them a lot more attention as a way hyperventilating public opinion.

Yes there has been a surge as well as exposure via increased scrutiny. If a group as small as the CTF can get as much exposure and media attention for its ideas, imagine the threat a violent group treble the size poses. the leaderless resistance model relies on many unconnected small groups working towards general conclusions in their own ways. It was adopted by the far right in the 80s in the US and instruction given via the infamous “Turner Diaries.”
Al Qaeda are a great example of the system in action.
So size means nothing. The number of groups, a will to take direct action, common general goals and a decentralized structure are key.
Remember – the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing people he didn’t exist.

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