Reinstated Wildrose MLA returns to the Alberta legislature
Derek Fildebrandt remains party's finance critic, says he supports leader Brian Jean
Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt returned to the Alberta legislature on Thursday, for the first time since he was reinstated earlier this week.
Kicked out of the caucus last week over a response to a Facebook post, Fildebrandt told reporters his suspension was a "family dispute" he is working to repair.
"There's always going to be hurt feelings," he said. "I'm sitting down with people, talking one on one, face to face. And I think at the end of the day, we're all going to come out of this stronger as a caucus and ready to go forward."
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Fildebrandt dismissed rumours the dispute was a result of a power struggle with Brian Jean for the leadership of the Wildrose Party.
He said he supports Jean as leader and is not interested in leading the party. Jean was in Fort McMurray on Thursday. The party said Fildebrandt will join Jean at a fundraiser in Edmonton on Thursday night.
Fildebrandt said he remains the party's finance critic, despite media reports that suggested he had lost the coveted post. He acknowledged there were some discussions prior to the end of his suspension
Fildebrandt said he was glad to get help with social media, the condition that was released by the party.
"I'm actually quite pleased I'm getting a social-media manager moving forward," he said, adding it would be good to have help with the high volume of posts he receives from constituents. "And perhaps, like Don Cherry, a 30-second delay before hitting send."
Fildebrandt said he stands by the questions he asked Premier Rachel Notley last Thursday while her Ontario counterpart Kathleen Wynne watched from the legislature gallery.
He said he could have asked the questions more respectfully, had he known in advance Wynne was going to be there. He said he walked into the house too late to change his questions.