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Calgary-East MLA Robyn Luff returns to legislature, ending boycott

Calgary-East MLA Robyn Luff returned to her seat in the legislature Wednesday for the first time since she was kicked out of the NDP caucus two weeks ago.

Former member of NDP caucus boycotted legislature after alleging bullying and intimidation

Calgary-East MLA Robyn Luff spoke to reporters on her way into the Alberta legislature Wednesday. (CBC)

Calgary-East MLA Robyn Luff returned to her seat in the legislature Wednesday for the first time since she was kicked out of the NDP caucus two weeks ago.

Luff, who will now sit as an independent, was expected to ask her first question on Thursday.

She met with Speaker Bob Wanner earlier on Wednesday, where she asked that the legislature create a consistent, third-party process to deal with complaints of harassment and bullying among MLAs and staff, instead of relying on caucuses to investigate. 

"He asked that I put my concerns in a letter, and so I'm going to do that," she said. "And that's where we'll go moving forward."

Luff had been boycotting the legislature over what she called bullying and a culture of fear and intimidation created by the NDP leadership.

The MLA also alleged that everything that happened within the legislative assembly was scripted, and that impeded backbench MLAs from properly representing their constituents.

She was removed from the NDP caucus hours after she went public with her concerns on Nov. 5.

Though Luff's allegations were echoed by Alberta Party MLA Karen McPherson, who left the NDP caucus in October 2017, Premier Rachel Notley dismissed the concerns as being "without foundation."

She suggested Luff was uncomfortable with standard practices of parliamentary party discipline.

Notley later revealed that two NDP MLAs had been investigated for inappropriate behaviour since 2015.

The complaints were resolved after independent third-party investigations, the premier said, and the names of the two members will not be released.

Notley said the investigators concluded the complaints could be resolved through education.