Edmonton

Ousted Calgary NDP MLA wants Notley to put job on line over bullying allegations

Calgary-East MLA Robyn Luff is challenging Premier Rachel Notley and UCP Leader Jason Kenney to put their jobs on the line and resign if an independent investigation finds any of their MLAs have been bullied.

Robyn Luff challenges premier and UCP Leader Jason Kenney to independent inquiry

Calgary-East MLA Robyn Luff is challenging Premier Rachel Notley to put her job on the line over statements that there is no bullying in the NDP caucus. (CBC )

Calgary-East MLA Robyn Luff is challenging Premier Rachel Notley and Official Opposition Leader Jason Kenney to put their jobs on the line and resign if an independent investigation finds any of their MLAs have been bullied.

In a letter released Friday, the former NDP caucus member challenged Notley's statement on Thursday that Luff's allegations of bullying and intimidation had no foundation.

Luff wants Notley to conduct a workplace bullying investigation where all MLAs in the legislature could testify anonymously about their experiences.

"If no NDP MLAs report a culture of fear and intimidation ... then I will resign," Luff wrote.

"And because the premier is so sure and confident that this is not occurring in her caucus, when the independent inquiry is published, and if any foundation for my experience is corroborated, then I'm asking her to agree to resign."

Luff said United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney should also resign if anyone in his caucus reports feeling fear or experiencing bullying.

"Let's let every MLA have an anonymous opportunity to tell their experiences with the protection of an independent third party right now," Luff wrote.

"Rachel Notley and Jason Kenney should welcome this. They are consistently telling the Alberta public that their MLAs have every ability and opportunity to voice their opinions, free of intimidation or threat of consequence. That there is no spectre of bullying in the legislature.

"If they don't welcome this inquiry — then I ask you why?"

The letter is the latest salvo from Luff against Notley and the NDP caucus.

If they don't welcome this inquiry — then I ask you why?- Robyn Luff

Luff shook up the legislature with her first letter Monday, alleging a culture of fear and intimidation within the NDP.

Hours later, the NDP caucus voted to remove her from their ranks. The decision was unanimous but the caucus refused to say how many MLAs were in the room, only that a majority of them were there.

Luff says MLAs have reached out privately to her offering her support. Alberta Party MLA Karen McPherson, who left the NDP caucus in October 2017, corroborated Luff's allegations.

Luff said she was offered a mediator. But the individual was a "20-year NDP insider," she said in her Friday letter.

"To me that's like proposing the Stanley Cup finals be refereed by a longtime member of one of the teams playing," Luff said.

Through with 'bullshit excuses'

Luff ended her letter with a note to her constituents, hoping they will stand with her. She says standing in solidarity against the status quo sends a message to the whole province.

"We deserve better," she wrote.

"And to all those who will immediately ask: 'Who does she think she is?' I say to them: I am the MLA for Calgary East. And I am through with accepting bullshit excuses."

Luff is boycotting the legislative assembly. She plans to take direction from her constituents at on what she should do next.

MLAs are allowed to miss 10 sitting days. If an absence beyond that is not due to illness, bereavement or public duties, MLAs are fined $100 a day.