Notley accepts apology from MLA Deborah Drever over ‘offensive’ photos

Rachel Notley
Alberta premier-designate Rachel Notley speaks to the media in Edmonton on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amber Bracken

CALGARY – Premier-designate Rachel Notley says she’s accepted a “very genuine apology” from NDP MLA Deborah Drever, who’s been at the centre of online controversy after photos of the young woman circulated on social media.

“I spoke with her about it today and indicated to her that I thought the images she was part of were highly inappropriate,” said Notley. “She agreed with me and she offered her very genuine apology and I’ve accepted that apology.”

Drever appeared in a photo on an album cover for Calgary metal band Gatekrashor, which 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.

READ MORE: New MLA in Facebook controversy apologizes for ‘offensive’ album cover

“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.

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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.”

Deborah Drever
Newly-elected NDP MLA Deborah Drever is being criticized for photos posted in 2010 on her personal Facebook page. Facebook

Notley said she’s also asked Drever to present a plan to reach out to groups that work with vulnerable young women in an effort to expand education on the issue of violence against women.

“[The plan will] ensure her commitment to fight violence against women and our government’s commitment to fight violence against women,” said Notley. “She’s agreed to do that and I’m looking forward to that plan.”

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.

READ MORE: Petitions call for NDP MLA to resign in wake of pot T-shirt, Canada flag flip off posts