Deborah Drever

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Deborah Drever
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Calgary-Bow
In office
May 5, 2015 – April 16, 2019
Preceded byAlana DeLong
Succeeded byDemetrios Nicolaides
Personal details
Born (1988-08-15) August 15, 1988 (age 30)
Calgary, Alberta
Political partyAlberta New Democratic Party (2015, 2016–)
Other political
Independent (2015)
ResidenceCalgary, Alberta
Alma materMount Royal University
Occupationstudent, politician

Deborah Drever (born August 15, 1988) is a Canadian politician who was elected in the 2015 general election to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the electoral district of Calgary-Bow.[1] A sociology student at Mount Royal University in Calgary, she defeated Progressive Conservative challenger Byron Nelson in the May 5, 2015, election in a riding that had historically elected Conservative candidates.[1][2][3]

She was elected as a member of the Alberta New Democratic Party, but was sworn in as an independent MLA after being barred from the caucus because of a controversy about her social media activities prior to her candidacy. In 2016, she was readmitted to the NDP caucus.[4]

Deborah Drever ran for re-election in the 2019 Alberta general election, but was defeated by Demetrios Nicolaides of the United Conservative Party, as the UCP gained back all but a handful of seats they had lost in the Calgary area in 2015.

Political career[edit]

Social Media Controversy[edit]

Immediately after the 2015 election, Drever was criticized on social media after pictures from her Facebook page were circulated that showed somebody giving the finger to the Canadian flag and Drever posing with a "Magic Weed" (marijuana) tee-shirt.[5][6] The pictures were later removed from her Facebook account.[5] On May 15, 2015, Drever again attracted controversy when it was discovered that she posed in an assault scene for a music album cover. The image raised concerns among some observers who saw it as promoting sexual violence against women.[7] Petitions were started[8] and a protest was organized,[9] asking Drever to resign.

On May 20, 2015, Premier-designate Rachel Notley announced that she had directed Drever, as a result of the media attention, to create a plan to improve education on violence against women, particularly outreach to groups working with vulnerable young women.[10] Two days later, the NDP announced that Drever had been suspended from caucus after a homophobic remark was found posted from Drever’s Instagram account. Notley said that she would review Drever's status within a year.[11]

Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence[edit]

Drever wrote a private member’s bill designed to protect victims of domestic violence by allowing them to break leases and move out of their rental accommodations early. Her bill was unanimously approved by the legislature in the fall of 2015 and won her accolades from both sides of the legislative assembly. In January 2016, after Premier Notley decided that Drever had exceeded the criteria given to her in order to be readmitted into the government caucus, she was allowed to rejoin the NDP caucus.[4]

Electoral history[edit]

2015 general election[edit]

Alberta general election, 2015: Calgary-Bow
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Deborah Drever 5,669 34.5
Progressive Conservative Byron Nelson 5,419 33.0
Wildrose Trevor Grover 3,752 22.8
Liberal Matt Gaiser 682 4.2
Alberta Party Jonathon Himann 459 2.8
Green David Reid 448 2.7
Total valid votes 16,429 100.0
Rejected, spoiled and declined 122
Turnout 16,551 51.7
Eligible voters 31,990
Source: Elections Alberta[12]

Alberta general election, 2019: Calgary-Bow
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Conservative Demetrios Nicolaides 13,987 55.9% +0.1%
New Democratic Deborah Drever 8,548 34.2% -0.3%
Alberta Party Paul Godard 1,774 7.1% +4.3%
Liberal Daniel Ejumabone 320 1.3% -2.9%
Green Marion Westoll 233 0.9% -1.8%
Freedom Conservative Regina Shakirova 161 0.6% New
Total valid votes 25,023
Rejected, spoiled and declined 149
Eligible voters 38,041
Turnout 25,172 66.0% +14.3
United Conservative gain from New Democratic Swing +0.2
"2019 Provincial General Election Results". Elections Alberta. Retrieved April 30, 2019.