Calgary

Calgary NDP MLA leaves caucus, opts to sit as Independent

Backbencher Karen McPherson says in a statement posted on Facebook that the province's politics are becoming too polarized and middle ground is being lost.

Karen McPherson said province's politics are becoming too polarized, middle ground is being lost

Calgary-Mackay-Nose Hill MLA Karen McPherson has left the NDP caucus to sit as an Independent. (Bob Hawkesworth)

An Alberta member of the legislature from Calgary says she is leaving the caucus of the governing NDP and will sit as an Independent.

Backbencher Karen McPherson says in a statement posted on Facebook that the province's politics are becoming too polarized and middle ground is being lost.

She says Alberta is changing quickly and its politics need to reflect that shift.

McPherson, who represents Calgary-Mackay-Nose Hill, says Albertans need political choices that inspire them, not scare them.

She says health care and education — the two largest items in the provincial budget — are being adequately managed, but they need, in her words, to be transformed.

She also says there's no clear path to reducing Alberta's deficit.

"Our world is becoming increasingly polarized with pressures of left & right politics. I don't reflect either of those options," McPherson tweeted Wednesday.

Former UCP MLAs now sitting as Independents

Two other MLAs are also sitting as Independents after leaving the new United Conservative Party caucus.

Calgary MLA Rick Fraser left in September over what he said was a fractious leadership race that showed the newly merged right-wing party will continue down the road of divisive politics.

Former finance critic Derek Fildebrandt resigned from the United Conservative caucus in August after questions arose over his expenses and it was revealed he rented out his taxpayer-subsidized apartment.

And MLA Richard Starke refused to join the new party when the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose merged in the summer. He continues to sit as a PC in the house.

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