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MLA Rowswell issues statement on politicians travelling during pandemic

Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright MLA Garth Rowswell has issued a statement in regards to the reports of several of his UCP colleagues travelling overseas during the holidays.

In a Facebook post, Rowswell says he hasn’t travelled internationally since the summer of 2019, his last trip to another province was in January 2020 and the last time he gathered with family was on Thanksgiving 2020.

He says many Albertans have made great sacrifices under the COVID-19 restrictions and cancelling their traditional family gatherings. He calls it a flawed decision that MLAs made to travel overseas during the holidays.

“Although they broke no laws and complied with all health protocols applicable to the travel, as part of the collective who instituted the measures it was incumbent upon them to recognize the duty they had to set an example and hold themselves to a higher standard.”

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Rowswell says members of the UCP Caucus will work hard to re-earn the trust of Albertans.

“It is clear that many are angered by these lapses of judgement and that the UCP Caucus will need to work hard to re-establish the high level of trust that is required between a government and an electorate.”

Grande Prairie MLA and former Minister of Municipal Affairs Tracy Allard stepped down from her minister position on January 4 after it was reported she traveled to Hawaii in December. A total of six MLAs, including Allard, and Premier Jason Kenney’s Chief of Staff travelled internationally over the holiday, despite federal and provincial health guidelines discouraging it.

MLA Jeremy Nixon resigned as Parliamentary Secretary for Civil Society and MLA Jason Stephan stepped down from the Treasury Board.

MLAs Tanya Fir, Pat Rehn, and Tany Yao were stripped of their Legislature committee responsibilities, and Kenney asked his Chief of Staff Jamie Huckabay to step down.

My Statement Regarding Overseas Travel during the Christmas and New Year Break

The recent episode of certain UCP…

Posted by Garth Rowswell on Thursday, January 7, 2021

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