Election signs targeted

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Damage and mischief to St. Albert elections signs has continued with two candidates being targeted.

Council candidates Jan Butler and Ufuoma Odebala-Fregene have both had their signs targeted. Odebala-Fregene has had her signs repeatedly pushed over. Signs with false messages were attached to Butler’s signs.

Starting on Tuesday Oct. 10, Butler noticed small yellow signs popping up under her election signs.

Butler said that several of her large signs were targeted by a resident, who placed a small sign that said “Landrex development” directly underneath her sign with an upward pointing arrow.

Butler previously worked for Landrex, but has not worked for the company in six years.

Overall Butler said that she took down around 18 signs that were put up on primarily Giroux Road, St. Albert Trail and Boudreau Road. Butler said that her campaign team was spending a lot of time taking down the erroneous signs.

“It was like a cat and mouse game. We were absolutely going in circles,” Butler said.

Butler’s team decided to stake out the locations where the signs were being put up. Linda Hennigar was captured on video putting up the signs. Butler said she saw Hennigar’s  vehicle at another location.

Butler said Hennigar has been targeting her since the election started. Butler said that she had never seen her before and has never spoken to her. Butler’s team was able to identify Hennigar after speaking with members of the community.

A screenshot sent to the Gazette showed a Facebook post, allegedly made by Hennigar. In the post Hennigar admits to putting up the signs. The post has since been deleted.

“I am dead against developers being involved in elections whether financing candidates, thereby buying votes, or having a connection with a development company. I see RED FLAGS and that prompted me to do something in order to let people know. Jan Butler was involved with Landrex. I think people should know so I did let them know….. with my little Landrex signs. I put some out near Butler signs. People now have some facts to base their decision on,” read the post.

Butler said Hennigar started making comments on social media that Butler was the sister of Landrex CEO Larry Andrews. Butler is not related to Andrews.

Butler said that she is frustrated by “the constant badgering and putting false information out there.”

Hennigar could not be reached for comment.

Ufuoma Odebala-Fregene

Council candidate Ufuoma Odebala-Fregene has also been the target of sign mischief. A YouTube video posted by her son, Sisan Fregene details how her signs have been repeatedly pushed over and destroyed.

Fregene said that his mom’s signs were the only ones being pushed over and destroyed while all the other signs in the area were still standing.

The video said at first they were using sandbags to keep the signs stable but somebody removed the sandbags and pushed the sign over. Then the team hammered stakes into the ground but troublemakers lifted the signs out of the ground and pushed them over.

“They must have put full force into destroying my mom’s sign,” Fregene said.

Fregene said that multiple signs were uprooted and toppled. One sign had both of the legs snapped off and the sign was ripped.

“This was very intentional,” Fregene said. “We are being targeted.”

Odebala-Fregene has also been the target of racist comments on her social media posts.

Odebala-Fregene was not available for comment.

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Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.