BOW VALLEY – Banff-Kananaskis MLA Miranda Rosin visited family in Saskatchewan over the holidays.
MLA Rosin did not respond to multiple interview requests from the Rocky Mountain Outlook, but a statement provided by director of communications for the United Conservative Party Caucus Tim Gerwing stated she had travelled to Saskatchewan over Christmas.
Gerwing indicated that because MLA Rosin lives alone, the current health measures in Alberta and Saskatchewan allowed for her to visit her parents.
Rosin will not be stripped of any responsibilities, including her role as vice-chair of the committee reviewing the Public Health Act, Gerwing said, because she did not travel abroad and followed public health guidelines.
"MLA Rosin lives alone," wrote Gerwing in a statement provided to the Outlook. "Both Alberta and Saskatchewan permitted individuals who live alone to join another household for Christmas.
"MLA Rosin drove to neighbouring Saskatchewan to spend Christmas with her parents.
"Those who had responsibilities removed travelled abroad – not to a neighbouring province with matching policies while following public health guidelines."
A prepared statement issued by MLA Rosin on Jan. 5 stated that she was disappointed in her United Conservative Party colleagues for travelling outside Canada over Christmas.
"I want to assure everyone that I was not one of those who left the country over Christmas season, nor all year," wrote Rosin. "My Christmas holidays were spent painting Christmas crafts, skating outdoors, and playing tabletop curling on the dining room table."
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Several MLAs, including former minister of municipal affairs Tracy Allard, have faced significant criticism for decisions to travel outside the country at the end of December. Many had social media profiles displaying the message "Stay home, save lives," however they ignored their own government's recommendation to avoid all non-essential travel.
Albertans who chose to follow those recommendations to stay home, sacrificing family traditions over the holidays themselves, have been angry over the revelation that elected officials did not follow their own advice.
Premier Jason Kenney said that elected officials are held to a higher standard and that inappropriate holiday travel does not meet that standard.
While Kenney has apologized to Albertans for the behaviour of his MLAs that travelled overseas, he has not addressed the fact that by travelling to a neighbouring province, Rosin's actions have also breached the trust of her constituents.
"Albertans have the right to demand their leadership set the right example in following public health rules and guidelines, particularly when millions have made terrible sacrifices to protect one another," wrote the premier in a Friday (Jan. 8) social media post.
"Inappropriate travel by government MLAs and staff over the holidays shows we did not meet the standard of leadership rightfully expected of us, and as a result, trust has been broken. For that, I apologize.
"We have dealt serious consequences to those who displayed poor judgment. We are taking immediate action to fix this so it does not happen again, and will work hard to repair the trust of Albertans."
Six MLAs, including Allard, were demoted as a result of what Rosin characterized as "poor judgment."
"Throughout 2020, governments everywhere have made decisions that profoundly affected Albertan families and businesses," wrote Rosin in her statement. "The least us elected officials could do is to personally sacrifice some, ourselves.
"It is a shame that our government will lose these individuals from their positions, as prior to these events they all served their capacities with great expertise and work ethic. Unfortunately, poor judgment cannot be tolerated for those whom we entrust to govern our societies, and consequences must be faced for poor decision making."