A Cabinet minister for the province of Alberta and the premier’s chief of staff have stepped down after travelling internationally over the Christmas holidays despite COVID-19 restrictions, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said on Monday.
Kenney, leader of the United Conservative Party (UCP), said on social media he has accepted the resignation of Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard and asked his chief of staff Jamie Huckabay to step down.
Last week, Ontario’s Finance Minister Rod Phillips resigned after public outrage over a Caribbean vacation he took in December.
“I have listened to Albertans who are sending a clear message that they want real consequences for these actions,” Kenney said in his statement. “By travelling abroad over the holidays, these individuals demonstrated extremely poor judgment.”
Five other UCP members of Alberta’s legislative assembly have also been demoted for travelling abroad over the holidays, violating coronavirus travel warnings issued by federal and provincial governments.
Allard, who was appointed to the cabinet position in August, was in Hawaii last month on a family vacation while Huckabay travelled to the United Kingdom where a new variant of COVID-19 is sweeping the country.
As of Jan. 3, Canada had reported 601,663 COVID-19 cases, up 6,578 on the day, and 15,865 deaths, up 41 on the day. There are 14,555 active cases of COVID-19 in the western province of Alberta and more than 900 people in hospital, according to the latest update. 29dk2902l