If you are one of the many Albertans who is feeling like a chump because you decided to adhere to public health recommendations to stay home, not travel and celebrate the holiday with only those who live in your household – well you’re not alone. There is justified indignation sweeping across this province with word several politicians and senior staff in the UCP government chose to demonstrate a complete lack of public responsibility by jetting off for Christmas vacations abroad.
“Yes, Minister Allard, I accept your resignation” - These are the words we should have heard from Premier Jason Kenney when news first broke last week that Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard flew off to Hawaii for Christmas. This is the only response Kenney should have uttered in response to this flagrant display of self-entitlement from within his own caucus.
Allard uttered a ridiculous apology suggesting that she really should have known better. Well, duh! Kenney responded in like form, with an equally ridiculous statement that since there was no travel ban in place, his people didn’t exactly break any rules. An incredibly disappointing position from the Premier.
We are at no loss for words when it comes to describing this situation but most of them can’t be printed here. Let’s just say we are likely speaking for many when we say we are embarrassed by this province’s leadership in the face of a pandemic that continues to kill people.
Included with Allard in the list of pandemic jetsetters are MLA Jeremy Nixon, MLA Tanya Fir, MLA Pat Rehn, MLA Tany Yao, MLA Jason Stephan, Conservative MP Ron Liepert, along with two provincial government press secretaries and Kenney’s own Chief of Staff Jaime Huckabay – these are just the ones that we know about at press time. At any point, did Kenney say: ‘Hey, Jaime, if you fly off to London you are going to make me look like a real tool’ - apparently not.
Conspiracy theorists and herd immunity believers have long been referring to those among us who adhere to public health protocols as sheep. Well, today, many of us are feeling pretty much like sheep. We chose to forego spending Christmas with friends and family, isolated ourselves in our homes, did what we were told was best for us and for the good of the community.
We chose to do what we thought was the responsible thing. Now we’re just pissed off.