After a weekend of reports that Alberta politicians took part in non-essential trips during the holidays amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Edmonton Mayor issued a statement Monday

Don Iveson posted a reply on Twitter with the foreword: “As the mayor of the hardest-hit city in Alberta, I am concerned that some will use these developments as an excuse to disregard public health rules, if only out of frustration

“But we must continue to take this pandemic seriously in order to limit the spread and save lives””

By Sunday, Global News had confirmed that six MLAs had traveled. Three senior UCP officials were also leaving Canada

“Many Edmontonians are rightly angry at reports that some politicians and officials are not necessarily traveling during this difficult phase of the pandemic,” Iveson said in his statement

“I want to make it clear that COVID-19 is still a clear and present threat to Edmonton people, lives are at risk and the health system continues to be under tremendous pressure. Each of us must continue to take this pandemic seriously to keep it from spreading.” to limit, save lives, and minimize economic disruption

“Like most of you, I stayed home this holiday season. I didn’t meet up with friends or family and followed AHS public health guidelines

“I commend the Edmontonians who did the same – your sacrifice and diligence have changed the number of cases. Thank you for your guidance and civic thinking,” said Iveson

“These limitations were hard to take. It has been especially difficult for vulnerable people in our community and for businesses that are struggling. Let us do our part to reduce the pressures we face by using our energies focus on smoothing the curve so we can all be back with our friends and family soon ”

The UCP has come under heavy fire in recent days after Prime Minister Jason Kenney failed to discipline those in his party who left Canada, despite advising both the province and the federal government to avoid unnecessary travel amid the pandemic avoid

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Kenney said at a press conference on Friday that he had instead given government officials, including support staff such as press officers, a new “clear instruction” not to travel internationally

Tany Yao, who represents Fort McMurray – Wood Buffalo riding, is currently in Mexico and cannot be reached, UCP confirmed Jason Stephan, the MLA for Red Deer-South, visited Arizona; Jeremy Nixon, MLA for Calgary-Klein, and Tracy Allard, the minister for local affairs, both visited HawaiiPat Rehn, the MLA for Lesser Slave Lake, also visited Mexico Tanya Fir, MLA for Calgary-Peigan, traveled to Las Vegas

Three high-ranking employees also left the country: The Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Jamie Huckabay, visited the UKMichael Forian and Eliza Snider, both spokesmen for the party’s ministers, also went abroad

On Monday the Prime Minister announced that the six MLAs involved had been stripped of their ministerial or committee duties, and Huckabay was asked to resign, which he did

Iveson said the city’s work on community affairs has never been more important than it is now

“I want to assure the Edmontonians that a change of minister does not mean we will slow down our efforts to make sure our city has the tools it needs to weather and recover successfully from this pandemic” said the mayor

“No Alberta local council should tolerate an interruption in our ongoing vital work with the Alberta government

“I am anxious to guide the Interim Minister on our pressing issues such as ending chronic homelessness in Edmonton and diversifying and strengthening our metropolitan economy through bolder regional cooperation. I look forward to meeting with Minister McIver – himself a former city councilor – to work together on these many important issues and in responding to pandemics, ”said Iveson

Several other Edmonton councilors confirmed to the Mayor that they had not traveled, including Ben Hendersen, Bev Esslinger, Aaron Paquette, Jon Dziadyk, Tim Cartmell, Mo Banga, Michael Walters, Scott McKeen and Sarah Hamilton

“The bending of these rules by people in positions of power sends a terrible message to the rest of Alberta,” said Dr Shazma Mithani said Monday

“It shows that they reject the rules, trivialize them, that they do not consider it important to follow the spirit of the rules

“You are supposed to be an example to the rest of the province. If the Albertans see ministers traveling every day, their first answer might be,” Why don’t I just have a few people in my house? ” Do I really have to wear this mask? Do I really have to stay home if I have a little tickle in my throat? “

“My main concern – from a public health perspective with this rule bend – is to send a message to the rest of Alberta that these rules are not important”

Mithani is currently working in the emergency rooms at Royal Alexandra Hospital and Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, she fears that this non-essential journey will lead to more COVID-19 transmission and further pressure on the healthcare system

“To hear that I, my colleagues and colleagues from the Albertans have sacrificed so much during the holidays and in the months before – staying home, not seeing family members, not traveling, following the public health guidelines obey – and then turn around and hear that these politicians and employees in positions of power are bending those rules is a big slap in the face, “she said

“The public health guidelines at the federal and state levels have been clear for several months. These traveling politicians and staff did not obey the rules

Global News Edmonton

World News – CA – Edmonton’s Mayor’s trip affecting politicians will result in others breaking public health rules