Alberta politics started October 31, 2018

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MLA Pat Rehn, one of the MLAs caught travelling out of the country during Christmas, has been kicked out of the UCP caucus by Premier Kenney for not being available repeatedly for his constituents.

An Alberta MLA, chastised for travelling to Mexico over the holidays and publicly criticized for alleged absenteeism in his constituency, has been ousted from Premier Jason Kenney's UCP caucus. 

Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn has been removed from caucus and will be barred from running for the UCP ever again, Kenney announced on Facebook Thursday morning. "I have made the decision to remove Pat Rehn from the UCP caucus, effective immediately," Kenney wrote. "He will not be permitted to run for a future UCP nomination." 

Rehn will now sit as an independent MLA. 

"The most important job of an MLA is to represent his or her constituents," Kenney wrote. "It has become clear that Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn has failed to do so. He has made no meaningful effort to work in his constituency, or properly to represent his hard-working constituents.

"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."  ...

There have been widespread calls for Rehn's resignation. Rehn was one of six UCP MLAs who travelled outside of Canada over the holidays. As punishment, Kenney had previously stripped him of his legislative committee positions.

The travel scandal, however, released a wave of backlash against the rookie MLA. Handmade signs critical of Rehn popped up in High Prairie and Slave Lake. Earlier this month, Slave Lake town council called for Rehn to resign in a scathing public missive that accused him of missing or arriving ill-prepared for meetings and placing his personal business interests over constituency work.  High Prairie town council voted unanimously last week to send a letter to Rehn addressing his lack of presence in the region.