Edmonton

Wildrose lifts suspension of MLA Derek Fildebrandt

The party said in a news release that the decision was made by a majority of Wildrose MLAs after he committed to change his use of social media.

Outspoken MLA Derek Fildebrandt to hire a social media manager to manage his accounts

Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt was suspended from the caucus Friday night. (CBC)

Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek Fildebrandt is back in the Wildrose caucus.

The party said in a news release that the decision was made by a majority of Wildrose MLAs after Fildebrandt committed to change his use of social media.

That includes hiring someone to manage his social media accounts. The salary will come from Fildebrandt's existing constituency budget. 

The party said the conditions for his return reported by some media outlets Monday "were not accurate."  

Fildebrandt and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean were not in the legislature Tuesday. Jean is in Fort McMurray awaiting the return of his constituents who were forced to leave by the wildfire. 

"I think we see a party that's in a bit of disarray," Premier Rachel Notley said at a news conference in Calgary. "I think the foundation of it goes back to a decision they made last week that showed that they're really not ready to engage in a national conversation on behalf of Albertans."

Fildebrandt was suspended from the caucus on Friday night over how he responded to a Facebook post about Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

The comment from a constituent referred to Wynne, who is gay,  as "Mr. Wynne or whatever the hell she identifies as."

Fildebrandt responded, "Proud to have constituents like you!" He later tweeted several apologies, saying he had misread the post.

At a news conference Monday, Jean said the Facebook incident was the latest of several missteps on social media. He wouldn't specify the nature of the previous incidents.

Some details about the suspension are in question as the Speaker's office was never notified. 

Samantha Johnston, press secretary for Jean, said in an email that the suspension was an internal caucus matter rather than one of a legislative nature. 

She said the Speaker wouldn't need to be notified if Fildebrandt accepted the conditions laid out for him.