January 8, 2016 12:48 pm
Updated: January 8, 2016 9:54 pm

NDP officially welcomes Deborah Drever back into caucus

WATCH ABOVE: Calgary-Bow MLA Deborah Drever was officially welcomed back to the NDP caucus Friday. As David Boushy reports, the party says Drever has proven she deserves a second chance.


CALGARY – The provincial government announced Friday Calgary-Bow MLA Deborah Drever will be rejoining the NDP.

“I ran as a New Democrat, I was elected as a New Democrat and I am pleased to be rejoining the NDP caucus today,” she said Friday afternoon in Calgary.

Drever received strong applause from her NDP caucus members as Brian Mason announced Friday she would rejoin them.

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Drever was elected as a New Democrat but was suspended from the NDP caucus two weeks later after a series of embarrassing images and quotes from her past appeared online, including  homophobic slurs. She apologized for what she said was a flippant attempt at humour that backfired.

TIMELINE: A look at Deborah Drever’s time in office

Mason explained Premier Rachel Notley asked Drever to do a number of things, including working with and establishing relationships with women’s organizations, before coming back. He said Drever has done some great work in that time. Notley called her Thursday to invite her to rejoin the NDP.

Mason said Drever’s “crowning achievement” was her private member’s bill.

In the last legislative session Drever, 27, successfully shepherded through a private member’s bill to help spouses break rental leases if they need to flee domestic violence.

“I am delighted to do that work… and continue the conversation” on domestic violence, gender inequality and social injustice, Drever said.

WATCH: Alberta Government House Leader Brian Mason and Calgary-Bow MLA Deborah Drever announce Drever’s return to the Alberta NDP Caucus.

Asked about lessons could be learned from this experience, Mason said: “What you put on the internet can come back to haunt you years later.” He added that, if social media existed when he was in high school, he likely wouldn’t “be here,” in a political capacity.

“It was always our intention to help Deborah succeed,” Mason said.

– With files from Tom Vernon and The Canadian Press

WATCH: Global News’ ongoing coverage of Drever’s controversial time serving as MLA for Calgary-Bow

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