Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks at the Rideau Club in Ottawa on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Alberta has recorded its first death from COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
FILE – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks at the Rideau Club in Ottawa on Thursday, March 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks at the Rideau Club in Ottawa on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Alberta has recorded its first death from COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick FILE – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks at the Rideau Club in Ottawa on Thursday, March 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

7 Alberta cabinet ministers, MLAs, staff resign after holiday travels: Kenney

Alberta premier had faced criticism for not making moves sooner

The hammer has dropped on members of the Alberta government caucus and staff who recently travelled abroad during the COVID-19 crisis.

Premier Jason Kenney, in a Facebook post, says he has accepted the resignation of Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard and he has asked his chief of staff Jamie Huckabay to step down.

Other backbench members of his United Conservative caucus who travelled to sunnier climes over the holidays have been stripped of responsibilities.

Jeremy Nixon is no longer parliamentary secretary for civil society and Jason Stephan is out at Treasury Board.

Tanya Fir, Pat Rehn and Tany Yao have also lost their legislature committee responsibilities.

Kenney says he has listened to anger from the public in recent days and acted.

“By travelling abroad over the holidays, these individuals demonstrated extremely poor judgment,” Kenney wrote Monday.

“Albertans have every right to expect that people in positions of public trust be held to a higher standard of conduct during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Millions of Albertans have made real sacrifices over the past 10 months to help keep each other safe. They are right to be angry about people in positions of leadership vacationing outside of the country.”

Kenney made the decision three days after he announced he would not sanction them because what they were doing was legal. However, it was unseemly, given the government was asking Albertans to avoid travel and social gatherings due to COVID-19.

“Last Friday, I took responsibility for not having been clear enough with members of the government caucus and others in positions of leadership that they should not travel abroad. Over the weekend, I have listened to Albertans who are sending a clear message that they want real consequences for these actions.”

Allard was part of Kenney’s COVID-19 pandemic steering committee.

She went with her husband and daughter to Hawaii over Christmas as part of what she called an annual family tradition. She has been mocked on social media as “Aloha Allard” and, on the weekend, angry constituents redecorated the outside of her Grande Prairie constituency office with leis and other Hawaiian accents.

Transportation Minister Ric McIver will handle Allards’ portfolio on an interim basis, Kenney said, and his principal secretary, Larry Kaumeyer, will serve as chief of staff for now.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

AlbertaCoronavirusUCPunited conservative party

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Cartoonist Rob Kernachan.
Kernachan’s cartoon flashback 2008

Carbon footprint reference still pertinent today

It’s been a busy time despite the pandemic since Stephanie Ballantyne took over as president of the Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce, with several initiatives in the works. (Photo by Emily Weeks)
Chamber president brings abundant experiences into prominent position

Ballantyne’s background lends itself perfectly to focus for restructuring, advancements

HISTORICAL MOMENT
The Chemainus Red Cross ladies received many orders during the Second World War years to create dressings, sterilize them and ship them overseas. The Victoria Lumber & Manufacturing Co. offered the use of a building to the Red Cross where dressings were made. This is from the Red Cross’ appeal in 1939. (Photo courtesy Chemainus Valley Museum)
Historical Moment Jan. 21

Red Cross appeal 1939

Carol Hodgins with some of the abundant clothing she carries in Little Angels Children’s Boutique. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Island search concludes with children’s clothing store opening in Chemainus

Little Angels will look unique and fashionable in stylish brands

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Most Read