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Several Alberta politicians resign, get demoted after holiday travel scandal

Last Updated Jan 4, 2021 at 2:11 pm PDT

The Alberta Legislature in Edmonton, Alberta on Friday March 28, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta premier says Tracy Allard has resigned as province's municipal affairs minister over holiday travel scandal

Jason Kenney says he's asked his Chief of Staff, Jamie Huckabay, to step down over the controversy

Several politicians across Canada were caught travelling over the holidays despite urgings to avoid non-essential travel

CALGARY – Following days of public outcry, several United Conservative Party members have stepped down after travelling abroad over the December holidays.

Premier Jason Kenney addressed the controversy on Facebook Monday saying he has accepted the resignation of Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard and has asked his Chief of Staff Jamie Huckabay to step down.

“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,” Alberta’s premier wrote on Monday.

“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 said he 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,” and that he has gotten a clear message from constituents that actions come with consequences.

In addition to Allard and Huckabay, Kenney said he’s also accepted the resignations of MLA Jeremy Nixon as Parliamentary Secretary for Civil Society and MLA Jason Stephan from Treasury Board.

“They as well as MLAs Tanya Fir, Pat Rehn, and Tany Yao have lost their Legislature committee responsibilities,” he wrote, adding the people in question “demonstrated extremely poor judgement” by travelling despite public health guidance to avoid non-essential travel.

These Alberta politicians are just several of more than a dozen Canadian MLAs and MPs who were caught flouting public health guidance to avoid non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid public outcry, Ontario’s finance minister also stepped down after he returned from a two-week trip to St. Barts on Dec. 31.