ED­MON­TON

Turfed NDP MLA won’t run again

StarMetro Edmonton - - NEWS - KIERAN LEAVITT Get the full story at thes­tar.com/ed­mon­ton

But a po­lit­i­cal ex­pert says she’s ‘hope­lessly naive’ about the role of back­benchers

On her way out the door, turfed NDP MLA Robyn Luff has taken a scorched earth pol­icy and is mak­ing al­le­ga­tions about the Al­berta gov­ern­ment, which range from fun­da­men­tal demo­cratic in­frac­tions to the si­lenc­ing of sex­ual im­pro­pri­ety al­le­ga­tions.

On Mon­day, Luff, who rep­re­sents Cal­gary-East, sent a let­ter to me­dia say­ing she’d be tem­po­rar­ily not sit­ting in the leg­is­la­ture as a way to protest what she called the “cul­ture of fear” in the gov­ern­ment cau­cus and bul­ly­ing that she says si­lenced her.

Luff said she couldn’t rep­re­sent her con­stituents be­cause ques­tions and state­ments made in the leg­is­la­ture were tightly con­trolled by party lead­er­ship.

In two pre­pared state­ments sent to the me­dia, Luff made se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions against the gov­ern­ment cau­cus, in­clud­ing that they were mut­ing mem­bers’ voices in the leg­is­la­ture, cov­er­ing up sex­ual im­pro­pri­ety al­le­ga­tions and con­trol­ling the party too much. She also said that

democ­racy is un­der threat, with the premier’s of­fice hav­ing too much con­trol and the cau­cus be­ing whipped to vote cer­tain ways too often. How­ever, po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tists say most of the con­cerns raised by Luff sur­round­ing the demo­cratic process are com­pletely nor­mal parts of Canada’s par­lia­men­tary sys­tem.

The gov­ern­ment cau­cus de­nied all the al­le­ga­tions, and

party MLAs met on Mon­day night, where they de­cided to kick Luff out of cau­cus, say­ing in a state­ment they had “lost con­fi­dence in her abil­ity to par­tic­i­pate as a pro­duc­tive and trust­wor­thy mem­ber of the gov­ern­ment cau­cus.”

On Tues­day, Luff put out an­other state­ment with widerang­ing al­le­ga­tions and said she was done with pol­i­tics.

“I want to make it clear that

I will not be join­ing any other party in the leg­is­la­ture,” Luff said, adding she won’t be run­ning in the next pro­vin­cial elec­tion ei­ther.

Luff said the party si­lenced her when she wanted to bring for­ward is­sues for her con­stituents re­volv­ing around rent con­trol, ed­u­ca­tion and con­cerns over the car­bon levy.

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Robyn Luff says she has felt bul­lied by NDP lead­er­ship and can't prop­erly rep­re­sent her con­stituents.

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