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

Dallas Lajimodiere is wanted by the Abbotsford Police Department.
Man wanted by Abbotsford Police domestic violence unit

Dallas Lajimodiere has three arrest warrants, including for assault with a weapon

Russell Jonathon George Gurney was last seen in Chilliwack in mid-December. (RCMP photo)
RCMP ask for help to find missing Abbotsford man last seen in Chilliwack

Police and family are concerned for the well-being of Russell Jonathon George Gurney

Grade 6 students at Eugene Reimer Middle School have been participating in the Equity Backpack Project. (Submitted photo)
Equity Backpack Project in Abbotsford addresses inclusion and anti-racism

Grade 6 teacher Nerlap Sidhu says she wants students to develop ‘strong sense of self’

The UFV Cascades women’s basketball program has announced the signing of Langley’s Esther Allison and Edmonton’s Charley Arnold for 2021. (UFV Cascades photo)
Langley’s Allison, Edmonton’s Arnold signed by UFV Cascades

Women’s basketball program adds pair of recruits for 2021, reporting to Abbotsford later this year

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Ralliers gather in front of the Cityviews Village apartment building in Maple Ridge to protest attempts to evict low-income tenants by the building owner. (Ronan O’Doherty - The News)
Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Protest held in front of Cityviews Village on 223 St. Tuesday to rally against low-income evictions

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

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Most Read