Advertisement

Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt back in Wildrose caucus after suspension

Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt has been reinstated to caucus four days after being suspended over an unacceptable social media comment.
Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt has been reinstated to caucus four days after being suspended over an unacceptable social media comment. Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Four days after he was suspended from the Wildrose caucus over an “unacceptable social media comment,” Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt has been reinstated.

The Wildrose caucus voted Tuesday to lift Fildebrandt’s suspension, effective immediately.

“There is a clear commitment from Derek to address caucus’ concerns to be accountable for his track record on social media and to take steps to fix it. Derek has fully accepted caucus’ concerns and criteria,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

“Derek is an important member of our Wildrose team and we all expect him to have a bright future within our organization. Along with our entire Wildrose team and the broader conservative family, we look forward to Derek joining us once again to work on building a united conservative alternative that invites and attracts Albertans from all backgrounds who believe in smaller government, strong families and safe communities.”

Story continues below advertisement

Fildebrandt, MLA for Strathmore-Brooks, said he is pleased to rejoin his colleagues and “move forward together.”

“We have important work to do in holding the NDP government to account and standing up for Alberta. We should move forward together as a unified caucus and party behind the leadership of Brian Jean, with a focus on serving Albertans.”

The finance critic was suspended late Friday night after he applauded a reader comment on his Facebook page that mocked the sexuality of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is openly gay.

READ MORE: Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt suspended from Wildrose caucus over ‘unacceptable’ social media comment

Hours later, Fildebrandt took to Twitter to apologize for the comment, saying he misread the original comment.

On Monday, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said Fildebrandt could be back in the caucus as early as the next few days. Jean said the MLA would first need to make some changes to how he communicates on social media.

The Wildrose said Fildebrandt agreed to a plan to better handle social media, which including hiring a social media manager to handle public interactions.

Last Thursday, Fildebrandt was criticized for slamming Ontario’s high debt and spending while Wynne was a guest in the Alberta legislature.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Ontario premier calls Alberta opposition ‘out of step’ after being ridiculed in legislature

Jean maintained Fildebrandt’s suspension had nothing to do with his criticism of Wynne.

With files from The Canadian Press.