Deborah Drever, the rookie Alberta legislature member who was suspended from the NDP caucus last week by Premier Rachel Notley, has apologized for a "problematic" photo posted to her Instagram account, but says she won't quit her job.
In a post to Facebook Tuesday, Drever said she has "taken much time to think and reflect on the events of the past few weeks,"
Drever was suspended after a picture began taken from her Instagram account began circulating on social media.
The photo showed former Premier Jim Prentice and former cabinet minister Ric McIver, with Drever's comment, "Gay boyz," beneath.
— Calgary Sun (@calgarysun) May 22, 2015
"My flippant attempt at humour backfired and I sincerely apologize to my constituents and to all Albertans for that," said Drever.
"I want to stress in the strongest possible terms that my comment was never intended to convey an insult to LGBTQI people. I also want to make it perfectly clear that I know now that my intent doesn't matter. When it comes to discriminatory language or actions, intent is irrelevant when it causes harm to another person or persons."
Drever, a 26-year-old student at Mount Royal University, said she posted the photo almost a year before she decided to run in the May 5 election.
Her suspension came just days after Notley, who appeared ready to forgive her, spoke with Drever about several other controversial photos that had surfaced in previous weeks. Notley gave her homework, saying it was up to Drever to come up with a plan to educate people about violence against women.
One photo showed Drever Being restrained against a fence by several men, pretending to be assaulted with a bottle for a garage band album cover.
A Facebook photo showed Drever at age 19 and in dark glasses, hamming it up beside a marijuana T-shirt.
Still another showed a disembodied hand, not Drever's, giving the middle finger to the Canadian flag.
In her apology, Drever said she will stay on as an independent member of legislature for Calgary-Bow, and holds hope Premier Notley will one day invite her back into the folds of the NDP caucus.
"I know that I have a tremendous opportunity to serve as a role model for young people and I plan to do just that. In the coming weeks, I am focused on meeting with constituents and with equal rights organizations."
Notley will review Drever's status with the NDP party after a year.