New Alberta government ousts lawmaker after offensive photo post

Fri May 22, 2015 4:22pm EDT
 
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Alberta's newly elected government suspended one of its rookie legislators on Friday after offensive pictures she posted on social media before being elected emerged.

Sociology student Deborah Drever, 26, was elected for the New Democratic Party in the May 5 election that ended 44 years of Progressive Conservative rule in the province. She will now sit as an independent in Alberta's legislature.

Drever had already gained notoriety after posting photos on her Facebook account showing her posing beside a marijuana-themed shirt and another showing a manicured hand giving the middle finger to the Canadian flag. Last week, another picture had Drever staging a photo of herself being sexually assaulted with a bottle for a heavy metal band's album cover.

While NDP Premier-elect Rachel Notley assigned Drever to work on violence against women issues after those shots emerged, she pushed Drever out of caucus on Friday after a photo of outgoing premier Jim Prentice and interim Conservative leader Ric McIver captioned "Gay Boyz" was posted on Drever's Instagram account.

"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," Notley said in a statement.

The expulsion is no threat to the New Democrats majority in the Alberta legislature. They now control 53 of 87 seats.

Drever could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Reporting by Scott Haggett. Editing by Andre Grenon)

 
Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley speaks at her first news conference as Premier elect in Edmonton May 6, 2015.   REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber