An NDP MLA who worked with people with developmental disabilities prior to her election has been removed as the deputy chair of the premier’s advisory council on disability issues.
St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud said she received the news Wednesday morning during a call from an assistant deputy minister from Community and Social Services. The decision to revoke her three-year appointment to the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities was made by a cabinet order-in-council.
“I was a little surprised at the speed at which I was tossed off the premier’s council, ” Renaud said Wednesday. “Dissenting voices on groups that give advice doesn’t seem to be something that the new premier values.”
A spokesperson for the premier’s office said the new MLA vice-chair will be a member of the government caucus as it was under the NDP.
“When Ms. Renaud was appointed to the council, she was a member of the governing caucus,” Christine Myatt said in an email to CBC News.
“We expect that the NDP would have made the same decision in our position.”
Myatt said the timeline for announcing Renaud’s replacement has not yet been determined.
The decision comes four weeks after Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party unseated the NDP government in the provincial election.
Renaud was the executive director of the LoSeCa Foundation in St. Albert for 15 years prior to her election in 2015. The non-profit provides supports for adults with developmental disabilities and Renaud felt she had a lot to bring to the council.
Renaud was roughly a year into her three-year appointment to the council. There are 13 other members on the council which provide advice to the premier and government ministries.
Renaud suspects her criticism of Kenney on Twitter may have been a factor.
She was also named the NDP opposition critic for community and social services on Monday.