BREAKING: Premier Kenney demotes (Fires) UCP legislators and staffers that travelled over Christmas
Public frustration seems to have boiled over into direct action from the Kenney government in Alberta. A series of high-profile resignations have been handed out to several MLAs and party staffers that chose to travel over Christmas despite both the provincial and federal governments having told Canadians to stay home.
Among those that have been stacked are Tracy Allard, Alberta's Municipal Affairs Minister, who recently travelled to Hawaii. The premier’s chief of staff, Jamie Huckabay, was also fired earlier today for having travelled to the UK.
Jeremy Nixon, who also vacationed in Hawaii, has been relieved of duties as a Parliamentary Secretary, as has Jason Stephan for having travelled to Arizona.
MLA Tanya Fir, who posted a Facebook video in Carburg Park on Christmas (despite being nowhere near her riding during the holidays), has also lost her Legislature committee responsibilities. Tany Yao and Pat Rehn, who both travelled to Mexico, will also lose their respective responsibilities.
Kenney announced their resignations on Facebook today.
"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," he stated. "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. 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. [...] By travelling abroad over the holidays, these individuals demonstrated extremely poor judgment."
According to the post, incumbent Transportation Minister Ric McIver will now serve as interim Minister of Municipal Affairs, and Principal Secretary Larry Kaumeyer will take on the role of Kenney's interim Chief of Staff.