April 4, 2019 4:56 pm
Updated: April 4, 2019 8:18 pm

Vicious vandalism emphasizes how ‘divisive’ Alberta election is getting

March 21: Alberta Party candidates and their leader are in disbelief after someone scrawled racist remarks on one of their election signs. Jill Croteau reports.

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Experts warned us this election campaign would be dirty, and if what’s being scrawled on yard signs and scratched into vehicles is any indication, they were right.

READ MORE: This campaign is going to get dirty – in fact it already has, Danielle Smith says

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Red Deer residents Dirk and Kerstin Heuer woke Wednesday morning to find their vehicle vandalized. It had two flat tires, was urinated on, and had the words “F*** NDP,” “666,” and “F*** You scratched into the side door.

Their lawn sign, displaying support for NDP candidate Barb Miller, was tossed in the bushes.

“I’m disgusted,” Dirk said. “I’m disgusted and I’m disappointed. Disappointed that there is somebody around who really takes these actions.

“First reaction was kind of shock… Do we keep the sign up or not? Of course we said we have to keep the sign up because it would send the wrong message. We don’t want to give the idea that we feel intimidated because this is really a cowardly action.”

“This is not about one party or the other,” Kerstin said. “This is about respect and inclusiveness. We all can say our opinion. This is our right.”

READ MORE: In Alberta and elsewhere, New Democrats have mastered the art of the negative election ad

This is not democracy, Dirk says. He added he feels almost proud to drive the vehicle around. They won’t get it repaired until after the election.

“This just shows everyone how difficult the political climate is right now,” he said.

And, there’s a twist: the couple is from Germany and doesn’t have citizenship, so can’t even vote in Alberta’s April 16 election.

“I am very confused. Is this Alberta strong and free? Or just a bunch of political haters?” Kerstin wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday, sharing photos of the vandalism.

“I would be full of shame if someone voted for me who sneaks around neighbourhoods at night, stabbed political signs, carves F*** NDP on cars and urinates at it.

“Whoever did this, I would rather spray paint my car orange than vote for the party that you support. And… peace be with you.”

(Photos in the gallery below include profanity, which Global News has decided to partially blur).

Several other NDP signs have been vandalized. Along Highway 779, north of the Yellowhead, Oneil Carlier signs with “F*** NDP” and swastikas spray painted on them were photographed. A Rachel Notley sign in Fort Saskatchewan was also spray painted with offensive graffiti, including a swastika.

A vehicle spotted in several locations in central Edmonton this past week is displaying a bright pink sign in the back window that reads: “F*** Kenney.”

A Calgary bus bench had the words: “F*** Jason Kenney” scrawled on it Wednesday.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney’s LGBTQ record becomes hot button issue

In Olds, Alta., Jeryd Gordon said his UCP sign featuring Nathan Cooper was egged and his home and yard spray painted.

Photos show he had signs in his window that read: “Don’t be an idiot… Vote UCP” and “Taxation is theft.” The words “I love NDP” appear to have been written across the window in orange paint.

Gordon also said a letter was left on his windshield that read, in part: “Take down your bulls**t political propaganda. It is offensive and untrue. I you don’t comply, we will have to get our hands dirty. Please reconsider your hateful views. This is more than just an election… We are watching.”

“It’s sad that people can’t handle a difference of opinion and stay civil,” Gordon said.

“The election is obviously very important, and everybody has strong feelings about it, but we can still respect each other’s views and handle ourselves maturely.”

(Photos in the gallery below include profanity, which Global News has decided to partially blur).

Alberta Party candidate Moe Rahall has had one of his election signs vandalized multiple times.

The word “Islam” was written across his forehead. Then, the poster was sliced in half, cutting off the top of his head.

READ MORE: Vandalism of Alberta Party candidate’s sign ‘an act of racism,’ condemned by party

“This is unfortunate but this is one person’s actions… it doesn’t speak to the community,” Rahall said.

“Politics in this province has become so divisive but I do believe the [Castle Downs] community is still strong.”

Michelle Henderson lives in the neighbourhood and cleaned up the graffiti on Rahall’s sign with her kids.

“I am not with the campaign,” she told Global News. “I just want to teach my kids that it’s unacceptable behaviour to vandalize and to be prejudice. And also, that it’s easy to lend a hand and clean it up.

“Some people think political candidates aren’t real people and it’s OK to abuse them, mock them and be prejudice toward them because they’re in the public eye,” Henderson said.

“It’s just ignorance, and solves nothing.”

Alberta Party candidate Moe Rahall has had this election sign in Castle Downs, Edmonton, vandalized several times. April 4, 2019.

Kendra Slugoski, Global News

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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