EDMONTON — A Conservative member of the Alberta legislature who was booted from caucus over his fight on behalf of seniors in his constituency is kicking back.
Guy Boutilier said Sunday he stands by his criticism of the government over funding delays for the long-term care facility in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo and is not happy at his ouster from caucus after 12 years on the job, including cabinet posts in both environment and international relations.
“My wife and I and our two-year-old were obviously very disappointed and shocked,” Boutilier said in an interview. “I’ve always found Ed Stelmach to be a fair man. But I asked to meet with him and he refused. I also asked to meet with caucus and he refused.”
Stelmach told him he had been briefed on the situation and there was no need to meet, Boutilier explained, adding he always thought that in a democracy, one gets to face one’s accuser.
“I’m a reasonable person and I have always found Ed Stelmach to be a reasonable person. And he can demonstrate this week to Albertans that he’s reasonable by first, meeting with me, and second, by allowing me to meet with our caucus.”
Paul Stanway, a spokesman for Stelmach, confirmed Boutilier got the heave-ho on Friday.
“It was clear to the premier that the MLA is not prepared to support government policy,” Stanway said Saturday. The tussle erupted last week when Boutilier spoke out in e-mails to constituents and then in media interviews against a government decision to delay building the seniors’ home, which had been approved 18 months before.