'Lock her up' reflects 'ugly edge' in politics: Premier Rachel Notley

Premier Rachel Notley said Tuesday she believes "Lock her up" chants directed at her during a recent anti-carbon tax rally do not represent the beliefs of a majority of Canadians and Albertans.

Chant heard at Edmonton rally 'goes against the heart of Canadian values'

Premier Rachel Notley speaks for the first time on 'Lock her up'

6 years ago
Duration 0:46
Premier Rachel Notley said the 'Lock her up' chant started at a Saturday anti-carbon tax rally likely represents a small group of "extreme alt-right" people.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Tuesday she believes "Lock her up" chants directed at her during a weekend anti-carbon tax rally in Edmonton don't represent the beliefs of a majority of Canadians or Albertans.

"I think that there's a bit of an ugly edge to politics that's developing," Notley told CBC News in Vancouver.

"But I still believe that — as a Canadian — that this is a very small minority of people."

The premier's comments mark the first time she has spoken out on the weekend incident.

Notley said the chant likely came from an "extreme alt-right, right-wing" group, and that the chant "goes against the heart of Canadian values."

"I'm confident that most citizens reject that kind of politics," she told CBC News in Vancouver.

"Most Albertans and most Canadians understand why democratically-elected politicians should be able to do their job without the kinds of threats that were embedded in that particular chant."

Crowd chants 'Lock her up' about Rachel Notley at a rally at the Alberta legislature on Saturday

6 years ago
Duration 0:40
Ralliers chanted 'lock her up' about Premier Rachel Notley during a speech by Chris Alexander at the Alberta legislature on Saturday.

The chant was started by the crowd at an anti-carbon tax rally on Saturday while federal Conservative leadership candidate Chris Alexander was speaking against the carbon tax.

The chant was directed at Notley. the same words were used at political rallies in the U.S. presidential election. Crowds chanted the phrase in reference to Hillary Clinton.

Notley said the group behind the chant heard Saturday is likely small. "Across the political spectrum, most politicians and most Canadians understand why that was an offensive chant," she said.

Alexander didn't try to stop the chant but has since condemned the incident, saying he was "mortified."

Notley refused to comment on specific politicians, but said all politicians — elected or not — who speak at rallies should know what they are getting into.

"I think that people who choose to speak at rallies where they know full well that those groups are going to be there, those are the choices they make as politicians," she said. "It's not one that I would have made."

Rebates will soften tax blow

One of the concerns of the crowd at the rally was that their voices weren't being heard.

"Regardless of how the NDP were voted in, they were voted in to represent the people of Alberta," Chris Glassford, a rally attendee told CBC News Saturday. "They're not doing that. They're representing themselves."

But Notley said she thinks Albertans should warm up to the carbon tax once they realize they can qualify for rebates.

She said any household earning a combined $90,000 a year or less is entitled to a full rebate to soften the transition to another tax. "I think a lot of folks still don't know that," she said.

"A few folks are getting riled up by opposition members, but once it comes into play, they'll see that it actually is a tremendous opportunity for them to make better choices."