Calgary, Alberta | Tue, January 5, 2021 | 11:57 am
Eight Canadian politicians resigned or were demoted on Monday after traveling internationally on Christmas holidays, despite calls from government officials to avoid non-essential trips during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conservative MP David Sweet resigned as chair of the House of Commons Ethics Committee after he traveled to the United States to address the “property issue” but stayed on for leisure, Federal Opposition Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole said in a statement.
In the western province of Alberta, Prime Minister Jason Kenney said on social media that he accepted the resignation of Minister of Municipal Affairs Tracy Allard and asked his Chief of Staff Jamie Huckabay to step down after traveling to Hawaii and the United Kingdom.
“I have listened to Albertans who are sending a clear message that they want real consequences for these actions,” Kenney said. “By traveling abroad on holidays, these individuals have shown extremely poor judgment.
“Pictures on social media showed a large banner reading ‘Welcome Home, Aloha Allard’ hung outside Allard’s constituency office in Grand Prairie. Local media reported that angry voters had put it there. Five other Alberta legislature members of the ruling United Conservative Party have been demoted to travel abroad on holidays, violating coronavirus travel warnings issued by the fede.
Scott Moe, Saskatchewan’s prime minister, said in a statement that he accepted the resignation of Highway Minister Joe Hargrave, who had visited California. Hargrave’s claim that he had traveled to finalize a home sale was questioned by the opposition party.
Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips resigned last week after a public outcry about a Caribbean vacation he had taken in December. As of January 3, Canada reported 601,663 cases of COVID-19, up from 6,578 on the day, and 15,865 deaths, up from 41 on the day. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spent Christmas at home with his family on holidays, and no federal cabinet ministers had traveled either, a government official said.