Wildrose leader denounces 'lock her up' chanters at weekend rally
Brian Jean was a speaker at an anti-carbon tax rally at the Alberta legislature Saturday
Wildrose Leader Brian Jean is denouncing those who chanted "lock her up" about Premier Rachel Notley at an anti-carbon tax rally at the legislature on Saturday.
"I denounce the activities that took place at this rally in relation to the chant, and in relation to inappropriate signage," Jean told reporters at the Alberta legislature Monday.
"I don't think there is any place for it in Alberta politics and I wish people who had those desires, to have those chants, or have that signage, would just stay at home."
Jean, Wildrose MLA Don MacIntyre, Edmonton Conservative MP Kerry Diotte and federal Conservative leadership candidate Chris Alexander were speakers at the rally organized by Ezra Levant and his website The Rebel.
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The crowd chanted "lock her up, lock her up" in reference to Notley, while Alexander was speaking on the steps of the Alberta legislature.
Alexander has already been under fire after video showed him nodding and smiling as the crowd chanted. Alexander later said he was uncomfortable with the chant and didn't agree with it.
In another speech, Bernard Hancock, better known as "Bernard the Roughneck," called on people in the crowd to hack the Alberta government's website.
Also, one person was seen with a sign urging the government to keep "gay activists" out of schools.
Jean said he had left by the time the chanting started. As for Hancock's comment, Jean said it made him uncomfortable as he believes in the rule of law.
While Jean distanced himself from the protesters, Conservative MP Kerry Diotte, a former Edmonton Sun columnist, criticized the media for focusing on a small number of people at the rally.
He said no one reported on the "F--- you, Harper" signs carried by protesters when Laureen Harper visited his office during the 2015 election campaign.
"Did the media report on that? No. But yet they report condescendingly on this anti-carbon tax rally and a handful of objectionable signs from individuals who were not part of the rally organization," Diotte wrote.
"I'm ashamed at my [former] fellow media members who are very selective at their coverage of politics. And they should all be ashamed."
Diotte did not address the "lock her up" comments in his post.
Members of Notley's cabinet spoke out against Jean's presence at the rally.
"I think what happened on the weekend is appalling," Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman said Monday.
"He clearly had a role in leading that rally and he should have played a role in putting an end to those remarks at the time."
The term "lock her up" comes from the U.S. presidential campaign after Republican candidate, now president-elect Donald Trump, said he would throw Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in jail for her role in the email scandal.
Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Brian Mason said the Wildrose and their supporters are channelling the rhetoric of Trump and his supporters.
"I think that is disgusting," Mason said. "Albertans don't want to see that kind of politics imported into our province. But it seems that Wildrose supporters are keen to do exactly that and I think that is extremely disturbing."