Wildrose leader Brian Jean says the suspension of MLA Derek Fildebrandt happened because the comments Fildebrandt made on social media were inappropriate – not because of comments he made in the Legislature.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since the suspension was announced late Friday evening, Jean says the suspension was because of Fildebrandt’s history on social media. “They have absolutely nothing to do with the comments regarding Kathlene Wynne or the response or the tone itself. This has all to do with the social media event that took place on Friday afternoon and his response to that.”
Jean says Fildebrandt was fully aware of that and that he was under a ban at the time, to not to use Twitter as well. “So these are a series of continual issues in relation to social media. They’re not in relation to the content so much as the ability to not interact with certain discussions.”
The party leader says the suspension also has nothing to do with the line of questions that were made during question period when Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne was present in the gallery. Jean says he was aware of the content of those questions, that pointed out that Ontario has the largest sub-national debt anywhere in the world.
“We asked I think very pointed questions as to why we did not believe that Alberta should follow the same example. I think that’s a reasonable question. I do believe, and I have mentioned this before, that the tone and some of the heckling was inappropriate given that Ms Wynne was in the audience and we regret that tone and we’ve mentioned that and we’ve apologized to Ms. Wynne. Our house leader did and she accepted that apology.”
“They (Ontario) beat California now. and that means the people of Ontario are paying somewhere around $1 billion a month in interest payments. Now that $1 billion doesn’t go for hospitals or teachers or nurses or schools and I think that’s a travesty and I believe that interest payments we should not continue down a rabbit hole. It doesn’t help the people of Alberta because ultimately they will be paying the price for debt and will be paying the price overall.”
Jean says if Fildebrandt agrees to certain terms set forward by caucus, he will be reinstated. (eb)