Lac La Biche RCMP haven't ruled out a hate-crime investigation as they look into vandalism to a Rachel Notley political road sign on the outskirts of the Lac La Biche hamlet.
A Nazi swastika symbol was painted over Notley's face on one side of the sign, along with some vulgar language. Devil horns and a tail were also added to the image of Alberta's current premier, and leader of the provincial New Democratic Party.
The sign is located just west of the Lac La Biche hamlet near the Evangelical Free Church.
"It has been reported and we are investigating. Charges that come to mind are mischief — (and) given the fact that there is a swastika on it, it may be considered a hate crime and investigated as such," Lac La Biche RCMP Corp. Roxanne Genereaux told the POST last Friday afternoon.
The vandalism was first noticed by a passing motorist early Friday morning. The Alberta NDP part was contacted for comment by the POST on Friday, but no one from the organization has returned calls or emails.
Local NDP candidate Jane Stroud and a party volunteer were in the Lac La Biche community to campaign and clean up the sign on Saturday. While here, they repaired other signs she says have been vandalized.
"The campaign is going well. However, we have had many of our NDP signs run over and damaged. I just hope the people who are doing this realize that they are also leaving deep ruts on municipal property. There will be a cost to the municipality to repair this damage." she said, explaining that some of the damaged signs were lying in tracks of ripped up grass on boulevards. "This is an act of vandalism."
The form of spray-painted vandalism on the large Notley sign on Highway 55 took it to a disturbing next level, she said.
"The swastika is a universal symbol of hate, meant to instill fear and intimidation," Stroud said, disappointed that anyone would show such blatant disrespect to the sign, the community and the democratic process. " Please also think of the example that you are giving to our children."