Calgary student organizes protest to recall NDP MLA Deborah Drever
Above Watch: More trouble for a newly-elected MLA who’s come under fire for photos being shared on social media. Now a student is holding a protest to get Deborah Drever to resign. Erika Tucker has more.
Warning: This story contains graphic content. Discretion is advised.
CALGARY – A Grade 10 student has organized a political demonstration on Sunday in the hopes that newly-elected NDP MLA Deborah Drever will resign or be recalled.
“My hope is the demonstration will, at the very least, make Deborah Drever realize the seriousness of being an MLA, but would ideally like to see her resign,” said Henry Wise Wood High School student Jesse Robitaille. “She simply does not have the maturity and forethought to be in government.”
Twenty-six-year-old Drever is a sociology student at Mount Royal University who lives with her grandmother, according to a campaign biography that has since been removed—along with her Facebook and Twitter profiles. Drever was elected in Calgary-Bow, beating out Progressive Conservative hopeful Byron Nelson.
Drever recently caused a stir on social media after appearing in a photo on an album cover for Calgary metal band Gatekrashor.
The photo shows her lying on the ground, legs apart, as a man bends over her. He appears to be ready to assault her with a bottle.
“The photo I appeared in was in poor taste, and I apologize for its offensive content,” Drever said in a statement provided to the Calgary Herald by the NDP on Friday.
That photo emerged a week after some of her Facebook photos involving marijuana and a middle finger in front of a Canadian flag made headlines. She issued a statement calling the circulation of those photos “partisan smears.”
Robitaille, who volunteered with the Wildrose Party during the election campaign, says he’s calling for Drever’s resignation because he doesn’t believe she has the “proper skills, nor the proper attitude to govern.”
“It is impressive the NDP found a candidate for each riding, some of whom are great,” wrote Robitaille in an email to Global News. “But many likely did not anticipate a victory.
“When voters elected Deborah Drever, I suspect they were voting for change and Rachel Notley, not for the actual Calgary-Bow candidate.”
Robitaille says based on reaction from residents he’s canvassed, he expects about 75 people to participate in a political demonstration calling for her resignation or recall on Sunday, May 24. He has also created a website with more information on the planned protest.
Some political analysts suggest finding candidates without social media baggage will become increasingly difficult in this age.
Mount Royal University political analyst Duane Bratt doesn’t believe the photos are enough to force an MLA to quit or be disqualified.
“This is a young adult doing a stupid thing (as most young 20-year-olds do). What if she was 50 and this photo cropped up of something she did 30 years ago?” he said in a past interview.
Two of the three online petitions launched to call for Drever’s resignation have since closed. A message on one says the petition gained over 900 signatures in 24 hours and that it would be sent to the NDP party to “voice the issue.”
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