Newsletter publisher takes responsibility for Deborah Drever holiday message fiasco

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Controversial MLA Deborah Drever calls identical holiday message an ‘unfortunate error’
Controversial MLA Deborah Drever calls identical holiday message an ‘unfortunate error’ – Jan 2, 2016

CALGARY – Deborah Drever has started the new year by explaining an awkward holiday message to her constituents.

The independent MLA for Calgary-Bow has come under fire on social media for a holiday message that appeared to be identical to a letter posted in NDP MLA Brandy Payne’s community newsletter.

The message reads, in part:

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and had a chance to spend time with friends, family and loved ones.

Recently, our government announced Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan. The plan, based on the advice of the energy industry, experts and real Albertans, puts a price on carbon, phases out coal pollution, and limits pollution from the oil sands.

On Saturday, the community newsletter publication released the following statement acknowledging that they made the mistake and apologized.

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“Community Newsletter Publisher, Mind’s Design Studio, apologizes for the MLA message error in the January 2016 issue of the Broadcaster.  This was completely an oversight on the design and editing ends.  We did not intentionally insert another MLA’s message in lieu of Deborah’s message. Sorry for any confusion this has caused.  Again, our sincere apologies,” Bobbie-Jo Bergner wrote, owner of Mind’s Design Studio. 

Before the statement from the publication came out, Lori Williams, a political analyst with Mount Royal University said the publishing gaffe is embarrassing, but not particularly surprising.

“She was ejected from the NDP caucus because of inappropriate behaviour, but she has voted with the NDP and still communicates with NDP members.”

Drever offered an explanation for the error on her Facebook page on Friday;

“It has come to my attention that the company responsible for getting my monthly letter out to the constituency communities has mistakenly published another member’s letter under my name. My team has been unable to contact the publisher due to the holiday. But will be following up with them on Monday morning. This is an unfortunate error, but I appreciate your understanding.

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

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In response to a request for comment by Global News, Drever added;

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The holiday message published under my name was not one that I wrote. Neither my staff nor I submitted the newsletter update that ran under my name, nor were we given a proof to approve. All I can assume is that it is a mistake on the publisher’s end. My staff was unable to reach anyone today. On Monday we will be requesting a retraction from the publisher.

Drever was elected as an NDP MLA in the 2015 provincial election but was booted from the party after a series of controversial Facebook posts from her past were made public.

Premier Rachel Notley said she would review the suspension in the coming year and make a decision on whether to allow Drever back into the NDP caucus.

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