Kenney orders MLAs not to leave Canada unless on government business after minister's vacation


Alberta Premier Jason Kenney took responsibility for not being clear about travel rules for members of the legislative assembly after news of Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard's Hawaii vacation was revealed. He also ordered Friday that MLAs should not leave the country unless it's for government business.

Allard is now home in Grande Prairie, according to Kenney. He said she was still working and participating in calls while she was on vacation with her family. 

He said he wouldn't be sanctioning Allard or others in government who travelled, as they did not break the law, and he said he was not clear with staff about whether or not they should be travelling.

Any United Conservative Party government officials who were abroad during the holidays are now back or on their way back to Alberta, Kenney said. He said he's confident they have all complied with any quarantine or legal requirements everyone must follow if they travel. 

"I immediately contacted the minister and asked her to return to Alberta, which she did," Kenney said at a news conference Friday. He said he became aware Allard was in Hawaii on Tuesday.

"Nevertheless, I recognize that those of us in positions of public trust must maintain a higher standard in our personal conduct than is expected of the folks in the general population."

CBC News has confirmed that Calgary-Klein MLA Jeremy Nixon was also in Hawaii over the holidays. It is not clear when he left or whether he has returned.

A spokesperson for Alberta Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon, who is Nixon's brother, said he did not travel — that "Minister Nixon has been enjoying the holidays at home with his family."

Calgary-Peigan MLA Tanya Fir said on social media Friday night that she had recently been to the United States visiting her sister. In a Facebook post, she said that she has since returned and will abide by the new travel directive.

"I sincerely apologize for this situation wholeheartedly," Fir said.

The premier's press secretary, Christine Myatt, confirmed Fir was in Las Vegas.