How much longer will fallout the Soldiers of Odin invitation continue to plague the United Conservative Party?
On October 13, the UCP nomination candidate who was kicked off the ballot by party officials on October 11 for posing for selfies with the unsavoury visitors at a constituency association beer night now alleges he was disqualified for refusing to lie.
In a social media post, Lance Coulter also accused his two former competitors to represent the UCP in the Edmonton-West Henday Riding of lying about the invitation to members of the Soldiers of Odin anti-immigrant vigilante group.
The Soldiers of Odin turned up at the event the previous weekend in their biker-style colours with their organization’s name emblazoned on their jackets, hats and T-shirts.
“My appeal to be reinstated as a nomination contestant for Edmonton-West Henday has been denied and I was not given the chance to speak to the board,” Mr. Coulter said in a short post on his campaign Facebook page, which was deleted on October 15.
“I condemn racism in the strongest terms,” he wrote, but continued: “I was disqualified because I refused to lie when the party asked me to, unlike the other two candidates.”
Mr. Coulter did not respond to queries yesterday about the form the party’s request took, whether it was implicit or explicit, and who made it.
Whatever happened, unlike nomination candidates Leila Houle and Nicole Williams, who made a joint social media statement saying they had no idea who the Soldiers of Odin were or what they represented, the former aide to Edmonton Griesbach MP Kerry Diotte told media he not only knew who the Soldiers of Odin were but that they were coming to the event.
To make maters worse for the would-be candidate, this contradicted a statement by UCP Leader Jason Kenney that the guests had “crashed” the party, although evidence soon surfaced that not only had they been invited, they had RSVP’d.
After that, UCP Executive Director Janet Harrington sent Mr. Coulter a letter saying he was out of the race.
UCP members in Edmonton-West Henday will vote to choose between Ms. Houle and Ms. Williams on October 22.
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