Grimshaw mayor defends town's reputation after image of hooded person posted to social media
A man is seen outside a Grimshaw, Alta. store wearing a white hood (Supplied)
EDMONTON -- The town of Grimshaw's mayor is defending his town's reputation after a photo of a person wearing a white hood surfaced on social media.
In the photo, a man was wearing what looked like a white hood with eye holes and a pointed top, similar to ones worn by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
Alberta Mounties say one complaint was made about the incident.
Mayor Bob Regal said he was disheartened by the reaction to the image posted on Friday.
"In no way shape or form does the town of Grimshaw, or its residents, find that kind of situation appropriate," said Regal.
"Nor do we condone or the insinuation that the community is racist based on the comments of a few people."
Regal has lived in the town for 40 years and is in his second stint as mayor after serving on council 25 years.
Opposition NDP leader Rachel Notley called the incident "vile and disgusting," adding, "Hate has no place in our province. We must do everything we can to root out and call out racism in order to combat it in every one of its forms."
Regal rejected the idea that the individual pictured was necessarily making a racist statement.
"Everybody is automatically jumping to that worst case scenario and I don't think that's the route to go," said Regal.
He said he does not know the person's identity.
"No one has talked to the gentleman."
RCMP are investigating the incident, however they have not yet determined if it is a hate crime.
Grimshaw is located about 500 kilometres northwest of Edmonton and has a population of about 2,700, according to its mayor.
With files from The Canadian Press