Coronavirus Canada Updates: Alberta MLAs who travelled during COVID-19 pandemic lose ministry portfolios

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: 81 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths in Manitoba on Friday
Coronavirus Canada Updates: 81 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths in Manitoba on Friday

Premier Jason Kenney announced Monday that six Alberta MLAs and a high-level UCP staff member who took part in non-essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic have been reprimanded.

The six MLAs who travelled out of the country have either resigned from or lost their ministerial or cabinet committee roles. The premier’s chief of staff was asked 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,” Kenney said in a statement on his Facebook page.

“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.”

“I have also accepted the resignation 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,” Kenney added.

The UCP has come under heavy fire over the past several days after Kenney did not discipline those in his party who left Canada, despite advice from both the provincial and the federal government to avoid non-essential travel amid the pandemic.

On Friday, Kenney said he was issuing a new “clear directive” to government officials, including support staff like press secretaries, not to travel internationally.

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