CALGARY – Deborah Drever of Calgary won a seat for the NDP in last spring’s Alberta election. Just over two weeks later, she was suspended from caucus when her past social media gaffes surfaced. Here’s a look at how she came to be suspended:
May 5: Drever, a 26-year-old sociology student who lives with her grandmother, defeats Progressive Conservative Byron Nelson by fewer than 300 votes. Shortly after, pictures from her social media accounts begin circulating that featured her mugging with a pot-leaf T-shirt and raising a middle finger in front of a Canadian flag. “Oh JKJKJKJK Love Canada!” she posted alongside the latter. She explains the photos were her just “being silly.”
May 8: Online petitions are circulating that call for Drever’s removal from office. Incoming premier Rachel Notley says she doesn’t see Drever’s Facebook photos as a big problem for the NDP. “Transition and the challenges that come with transition are what happen when governments change, which is something that happens in normal, healthy democracies.”
May 20: Notley asks Drever to work with vulnerable women’s groups after another photo surfaces of her pretending to be sexually assaulted with a bottle for a garage punk band’s album cover. Notley calls the photo “highly inappropriate” and says Drever has apologized.
May 21: In an interview with The Canadian Press, Drever calls the album photo an inexplicable error of youth. “What happened three years ago, frankly, was a mistake” she says. “I wasn’t aware of the premise of the photo beforehand and I was just asked to do this, and I did it. As soon as that picture was taken, I regretted it.”
May 22: Drever is suspended from caucus and forced to sit as an Independent when an old Instagram photo is circulated of Tory Leader Jim Prentice and one of his cabinet ministers. It features doodles that suggest the two men are gay. A comment from the account “drevfever” says: “Gay boyz.” Notley apologizes for Drever’s homophobic statements “which are completely contrary to the views of our party and our future government.” She says she may review Drever’s status in caucus within a year.
Dec. 8: Alberta legislature unanimously passes a private member’s bill, sponsored by Drever, that allows tenants affected by domestic violence to break a lease early without financial penalty. Shannon Phillips, minister responsible for the status of women, says the new law will help ensure survivors of domestic violence are safe and have the supports they need to maintain their independence.
Jan. 8: Mason and Drever hold a news conference, where Drever is expected to be welcomed back to caucus.
WATCH: Global News’ ongoing coverage of Drever’s controversial time serving as MLA for Calgary-Bow