Alberta Premier Jason Kenney faces resignation calls after refusing to discipline party members and workers who have taken leave.
As winter spread through Canada and the number of cases of coronavirus increased, over the Christmas holidays, officials asked people to stay home. But a number of federal or provincial politicians admitted to taking vacations outside the country, causing uproar across the country and increasing concerns that their actions would weaken trust in the battle against the pandemic in Canada. Last week, after taking a hidden Caribbean vacation on St. Barts and attempting to cover his tracks on social media, Ontario’s finance minister resigned. Canadian politician faked Twitter messages to conceal Caribbean vacationRead moreSince then, however, more national and provincial lawmakers have admitted to breaching travel advisories.In Alberta – the province with the highest rate of active coronavirus cases – at least eight members of the ruling United Conservative Party (UCP) and senior aides have admitted to traveling abroad. After a family trip to Hawaii, Tracy Allard, minister of community affairs and a key figure responsible for bringing the Covid 19 vaccine to the province, is facing calls for her resignation. Allard has since apologised for the outing, but angry residents hung a plastic lei outside the door of her constituency office over the weekend with a sign reading, “Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has so far resisted punishing party members or employees for the trips, telling reporters that there is “no health policy order or legal obstacle” banning the holiday, although the government advises Albe.” Do they think traveling is OK? Don’t they think the rules are worth following,” she said. “It’s not a matter of one person using bad judgement.
At the federal level, after attending memorial services for family members or visiting sick relatives, two Liberal parliamentary secretaries – Kamal Khera and Sameer Zuberi – resigned their positions. After travelling to Greece to visit her ailing grandmother without informing the leader of her caucus, Jagmeet Singh, NDP MP Niki Ashton resigned from her position as shadow critic in Parliament. “But even compassionate travel can send the wrong message when residents during the pandemic have made personal sacrifices, Turnbull said, “There are individuals who live near family members who were unable to be with them when they died.
It was one of the most agonizing, miserable aspects of this pandemic to be apart from each other,’ she said. “For many, it feels like politicians are breaking that rule – but we can’t. “While the federal government warns that after the Christmas and New Year holidays, an increase in new cases is possible, Turnbull cautioned that long-term political consequences might occur. “Holding elected office is a privileged position. You hold that office, but you don’t own it. That office is associated with democracy … And you have to be really, really careful because your actions could have lasting consequences.”