Premier Jason Kenney has removed Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn from the UCP caucus.
According to social media posts by Kenney, the premier said Rehn has made no meaningful effort to work in his constituency, or properly represent his hard-working constituents.
The most important job of an MLA is to represent his or her constituents.
I have made the decision to remove Pat Rehn from the UCP Caucus, effective immediately.
MLA Rehn will sit as an independent MLA. He will not be permitted to run for a future UCP nomination.
My statement: pic.twitter.com/tZePgrSoE3
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) January 14, 2021
“I have repeatedly asked Mr. Rehn to be more present in his constituency. He has ignored calls from me, UCP caucus leadership, and his constituents to do so,” Kenny posted.
“I have made the decision to remove Pat Rehn from the UCP Caucus, effective immediately. MLA Rehn will sit as an independent MLA. He will not be permitted to run for a future UCP nomination.”
He said that he and Alberta government ministers will meet with Lesser Slake Lake constituents in the coming weeks to ensure that they have direct access to their government, and to help them address important local issues.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Kenney to immediately bring forward recall legislation so voters have the ability to recall Rehn.
“Kenney kicked Rehn out of caucus, but it should be up to his constituents whether he stays in the legislature or gets sent packing,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Alberta Director. “The premier has done all he can and now it should be up to the people to decide whether Rehn should continue to collect his six-figure MLA paycheque.”
The annual MLA salary is $120,936. MLAs also receive $16,548 through a retirement investment payment along with other expenses and benefits.
Slave Lake town council previously published an open letter calling for Rehn to resign as the region’s MLA.
Kenney promised recall legislation when he was campaigning in 2019. The province’s Democratic Accountability Committee recommended a 40 per cent signature threshold to trigger a recall by-election. The CTF has recommended the province set the threshold at 25 per cent of votes cast in the last election.
“Local politicians and constituents shouldn’t have to resort to backroom political brokering or rely on media coverage to hold their MLA accountable,” said Terrazzano. “That’s why we need recall legislation that works for Albertans and let’s us hold politicians accountable.”