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Joanne Gui isn’t letting the vandalism of one of her election signs slow her down in her campaign to represent her community in the Alberta legislature.
The Calgary-Edgemont candidate for the Alberta Party said she “just couldn’t believe it” when she saw one of her big signs along a Calgary roadway plastered with graffiti.
“Ch**k” was scrawled on the sign with spray paint, among other things. The sign was left up for several hours before eventually being replaced by a brand new one — and it was left up on purpose.
“I believe we have done the right thing, to stand up,” Gui said on Thursday.
“To be minority women, to stand up against them. I must have done something right for them to feel insulted, for them to hit back on me… I feel strongly that I have done the right thing.”
A City of Calgary graffiti removal crew was sent to the sign on Thursday afternoon and covered up most of the scribbled words before it was taken down.
Gui, who told reporters she “chose to become a Canadian” because of the country’s inclusivity, said she and the party are not sure if the vandalism was targeting her personally or the party as a whole.
“We cannot speculate who did it and what the motive behind it [was], all I can say is: racism,” she said.
“That is blatantly discrimination – whatever they tried to do, it’s not right.
“I couldn’t believe it and I thought, ‘I’m a really strong woman for any kind of a bully,’ and the moment it sunk in, I started crying.
“I got emotional. But I just felt I chose the right team and every single one of them called, texted me, to let me know: I’m part of them. This is not tolerated. Intolerance has no part in this province, in this country.”
Party leader Stephen Mandel called the graffiti “quite sickening.”
“It’s just disgusting to see in this day and age that people would have the audacity, the nerve to do these kinds of things,” Mandel said. “In today’s Alberta, there’s no place for this. All of us in the Alberta Party, I’m sure everybody, condemns these kinds of actions.”
Mandel said the vandalism was “far more than damaging a sign,” adding it was a reflection of whoever did it, not the party.
“We take this personally and so should everybody,” he said. “This is definitely an act of racism.”
Mandel said there would be some kind of investigation into the incident.