Online threats not ‘out of the ordinary,’ says Alberta premier

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said she’s aware of threatening comments made against her on social media, but that it’s part of being premier “in almost any day and age.”

“I’m told none of what’s occurred thus far with me is in any way, shape, or form out of the ordinary,” Notley said at a Tuesday press conference. “Politics is politics; people have opinions.”

Insp. Gibson Glavin said RCMP came across “concerning comments on Facebook” and brought them to the attention of the premier’s security detail.

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Alberta NDP spokesperson Cheryl Oates said the comments were on two pages, including an anti-NDP page.

Edmonton police were also informed since the premier’s office is in the city, said Glavin.

“In criminal law and under the section that would generally apply—uttering threats—it’s not enough for someone to issue statements or say things that are uncomfortable for someone to hear or are just of concern or general statements,” said Glavin. “It has to be specific threat to cause death or bodily harm, and it has to be of sufficient detail to work out whether whoever’s conveying the threats could be taken seriously; whether or not they have the capacity to try and carry something out, and the intent—that’s what’s looked at.

“As the premier security detail has advised the premier, there’s been a consensus that there’s not an element of criminality involved here.”

Notley said she’s confident in the ability of her security unit, which monitors social media for such issues.

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