Following widespread public outcry in Alberta, several UCP MLAs, including the Secretary of State for Local Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, have resigned or been demoted to international travel over the holidays

Tracy Allard resigned as Secretary of Community Affairs after a vacation in Hawaii despite provincial guidelines requiring all Albertans to avoid non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Prime Minister Jason Kenney also asked Jamie Huckabay, who was visiting the UK over the holidays, to resign as his chief of staff. Kenney said in a Facebook post on Monday that he had accepted both resignations

“Albertans have the right to expect that people in positions of public trust will be subject to higher standards of behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kenney

“Millions of Albertans have made real sacrifices in the past 10 months to protect one another. They are right to be angry at senior executives who take vacations outside the country”

Albertans have the right to expect that people in positions of public trust during COVID-19 are subject to higher standards of behavior. Over the weekend, I’ve listened to Albertans send a clear message that they want real ramifications for these actions / uAw0DI0N67

Kenney first said Friday that he would not sanction members of his government who wanted to leave the province during the Christmas vacation, as he had not previously issued a clear policy stating that they must stay home

But the province had already advised all Albertans to “avoid unnecessary travel outside Canada until further notice”

“Last Friday, I took responsibility for not being clear enough with members of the government committee and others in leadership positions that they shouldn’t travel overseas,” said Kenney on Monday

“Over the weekend I listened to the Albertans sending a clear message that they want real consequences for these actions”

Kenney said he also accepts the resignation of MLA Jeremy Nixon, who traveled to Hawaii in December, as Parliamentary Secretary for Civil Society, along with MLA Jason Stephan, who was visiting Arizona, from the Treasury Board

Together with the MLAs Tanya Fir, Pat Rehn and Tany Yao, they have lost their responsibility for the legislative committee

Fir traveled to Las Vegas in December to visit her sister, while Rehn posted a photo on his public Facebook page in December 24 that appeared to have been taken in Mexico. Rehn apologized on Facebook for having a ” previously planned family outing “had taken”

“These people showed extremely poor judgment with traveling abroad on vacation,” said Kenney, who has admitted that he heard about Allard’s trips in December 29 before being asked to return to Alberta immediately. p>
Kenney said she went on the trip on December 19 and returned home last Thursday with the premier also confirming that Huckabay had traveled to the UK and returned to Canada via the United States

Ric McIver, Secretary of Transportation, will serve as Interim Secretary of State for Local Affairs while Larry Kaumeyer will serve as Kenney’s Interim Chief of Staff

“He has tried to evade his responsibility,” Hoffman said. “He tried to suggest that there are some fine print that is making his ministers, MLAs, and policy makers fly away on their tropical vacations

“I have never seen such widespread and intense public anger in Alberta in my life – everyone knows this is a fundamental breach of trust between the Albertans of their government”

This is three days late If this had happened on Friday it would have limited (not fixed) the political damage but not now https: // tco / 47hMiTmxlC

Hoffman appeared at a virtual press conference Monday afternoon along with a group of Albertans – many of whom had recently lost members of their own families – who expressed their frustration with UCP politicians and staff leaving the country over the holidays had

Lorraine Valestuk from Calgary remembered sleeping in a mask so she could be close to her mother, who died in a hospice on New Years Eve. Valestuk’s father also died in mid-November

“We don’t have a funeral for dad and mom,” she said. “We know it’s irresponsible to collect numbers right now

Valestuk said the UCP government “broke our trust. She noticed Allard explained to the public last week that her Hawaii trip was a 17-year family tradition

“We would have liked to continue the millennia-old human tradition of gathering in a supportive community of friends and family to grieve our father, but these are not normal times and we have to do hard things because they are the right ones Things to do ”

Lindsey Witzel said she and her parents couldn’t say goodbye to their grandfather, who died of COVID-19 on Christmas Eve in a nursing home in Winnipeg

“My family was heartbroken. We didn’t travel east to comfort my grandmother or be with the family during this time of grief. We didn’t do that because it was the right thing. It was the hardest part what I ever had to do ”

She described how she couldn’t even hug her father, who also lives in Calgary, after her loss. Instead, they only saw each other over Zoom at Christmas

“When I found out that (Kenney’s) MLAs and staff were traveling around the world while my family was isolated at home, I was more than disappointed. I was angry. I’m still so angry

“I wonder who these politicians think they are and how the Prime Minister could possibly justify the actions when so many of us Albertans have sacrificed so much”

Hoffman urged Kenney to provide a full report on which UCP MLAs went overseas and when

So far it has been confirmed that nine senior UCP government officials traveled overseas in December

“It’s the height of arrogance and hypocrisy,” Hoffman said. “This is a government that believes it is beyond the rules”

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Tracy Allard

World News – CA – Allard resigns from cabinet, Kenney’s chief of staff resigns after international trips