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

This BC Hydro map shows some of the power outages across Northern BC. Many were caused by high winds. (BC Hydro Website)
Power out across much of Northern BC

BC Hydro anticipates some may be without power overnight

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

The food hub survey showed that over 61 per cent respondents were looking to expand their business. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
RDBN’s food hub survey highlights producers’ needs

The project team to set up further discussion sessions with producers this year

Marianne and Peter Giesbrecht of the Vanderhoof Tim Horton’s donated $4306 to the St. John Hospital Auxiliary Society. “The funds were raised through the efforts of the 2020 Tim Horton’s ‘Smile Cookie’ campaign and graciously donated to the St. John Auxiliary towards the purchase of Panda IRES (baby warmer) for the hospital. What a great way to finish of 2020!” as stated in a social media post by the hospital auxiliary group. (St. John Hospital Auxiliary Society/Facebook)
Vanderhoof Tim Horton’s donates to St. John Hospital Auxiliary Society

Marianne and Peter Giesbrecht of the Vanderhoof Tim Horton’s donated $4306 to… Continue reading

File photo
Ongoing petition for an accessible homeless shelter in Vanderhoof

The petition is addressed to Mayor Gerry Thiessen

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

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.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

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

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

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

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Vancouver Island paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Most Read