NDP caucus to bring controversial MLA back on board
Published Friday, January 8, 2016 11:44AM MST
Last Updated Friday, January 8, 2016 6:39PM MST
The NDP government has decided to let bygones be bygones and allow Deborah Drever, an elected MLA caught in a social media controversy, back into the fold.
Drever made headlines back in May 2015, almost overshadowing Rachel Notley’s historic win, when several photos the young woman posted online came to the surface, just days after the election was over.
In one photo, taken when she was 19, showed Drever in dark glasses, posing beside a marijuana t-shirt. Another photo showed a hand, which was reportedly not hers, giving the middle finger to the Canadian flag.
A third photo, taken about three years ago, showed Drever appearing to be assaulted with a bottle. The image was used as the cover photo for a garage band’s album.
It wasn’t until a fourth photo, which depicted speech bubbles over then-Premier Jim Prentice and Ric McIver’s photos sharing a homophobic message, that the NDP government took action.
On May 22, the NDP suspended Drever from caucus, saying that the 26-year-old would sit as an independent and apologized to all Albertans about the incident.
“I apologize to all Albertans for the homophobic statements contained in this image, which are completely contrary to the views of our party and our future government,” she said at the time.
Following her suspension, many citizens began to protest, saying that Drever needed to resign from her position, questioning the rookie MLA’s maturity.
About a week after she was suspended, Drever spoke out and apologized to her constituents and all Albertans for the offending photos in a Facebook post.
“I am also sorry that I was the source of significant distraction from what should have been a time of celebration for Premier Notley and the NDP caucus. I appreciate the Premier’s past advice and will live up to the expectations she has set out for me over the coming months.”
Last month, Drever spearheaded a bill to make it easier for victims of domestic abuse to escape their situation.
The legislation will allow victims to break their leases without penalty if they need to leave in a hurry.
It is unclear on whether or not Drever will play any role in Notley's cabinet.
(With files from CTV Edmonton’s Julia Parrish)