UCP rejects Wellwood appeal to run for nomination in Livingstone-Macleod
The woman disqualified from running for the UCP nomination in a southern Alberta riding has lost her appeal of that decision from the party.
Nadine Wellwood, who was hoping to represent the UCP in Livingston-Macleod, was disqualified by the party due to a number of controversial social media posts where she compared vaccine passports to policies imposed by Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, and spread misinformation about COVID-19.
Her appeal was rejected by UCP party officials, prompting her Saturday statement.
"This decision is indeed very disappointing as it was truly my hope that under a new leader, the ‘old party politics would be abandoned," Wellwood said in the statement.
"The insurmountable issue it seems – was my call(s) for justice," she said. "At a time when Jason Kenney and his cabinet ministers were sending pastors to jail, I had called on these individuals to go to jail."
The party confirmed to CTV News that it had rejected Wellwood's appeal, and said she would not be running for the UCP.
Wellwood said she stood by her social media activity.
"I do not regret or apologize for these statements," she wrote. "I believe that everyone is equal under the law; and politicians in particular must be extremely cognizant of the power they are entrusted with. They must be held to the highest standards and held to account for the decisions they make. Instead, these individuals were rewarded with new cabinet positions and have yet to offer an apology for the thousands of lives they have destroyed.
I ask you, what is a fair and just punishment for the policy makers who sent innocent men and women, pastors to jail?"
When she was first rejected, Wellwood suggested it was motivated by a desire for party officials to place a candidate of their preference in different ridings around the province.
"The reasoning given for my disqualification, most are conjecture, or a matter of personal opinion based off of social media posts I had interacted with, as little as a 'like' or a retweet, in the past," said Wellwood in a statement issued earlier in the week.
"Similar disqualifications were conducted under the previous UCP leader, in ridings like Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre or Cardston-Siksika, to ensure a preferred candidate would be selected."
"Of course Ms. Wellwood is saying that's the reason she was disqualified, because of that dissonance," said Mount Royal University political scientist Lori Williams.
"We know a previous board in that constituency resigned in protest against the top-down leadership decisions that were being made in the riding."
REFLECTING FEELINGS OF RURAL CONSERVATIVES
Wellwood said the sentiments expressed in her social media reflected the feelings of conservatives in the riding, and that by rejecting her potential candidacy, the UCP were denying constituents the opportunity to have rural, conservative voices heard.
"The views shared in my tweets including the one(s) mentioned above are strongly held amongst conservatives in this riding and those voices have been denied their opportunity to have their concerns heard in legislature," she said. "People here wanted a strong, principled, and knowledgeable voice that was reflective of their own views, not a cherry-picked party approved candidate that will tow the party line.
"Sadly, rural ridings are and will continue to be overshadowed and undervalued; their votes taken for granted, and their money spent to gain favor in urban centers."