Article content continued
Kenney added he had since issued a clear directive to all public servants, cabinet ministers, UCP MLAs, political staff and senior executives in public service not to leave the country for the foreseeable future unless it is absolutely required for government-related business.
In a public Facebook post, Fir praised Albertans for following public-health orders before confirming she had recently travelled to the U.S. to visit her sister. The province confirmed she travelled to Las Vegas.
“I have since returned and will abide by the Premier’s new travel directive,” Fir said. “I sincerely apologize for this situation wholeheartedly.”
Nixon remains in Hawaii. He has been instructed to return home on the earliest available flight, according to Christine Myatt, press secretary for Kenney.
Nixon serves as a parliamentary secretary in the Alberta government, while Fir was the province’s minister of economic development before being shuffled out of cabinet in August 2020.
Other figures in the UCP government had already come under social media fire for apparent holiday trips abroad.
Backbencher MLA Pat Rehn posted a photo on his public Facebook page Dec. 24 that appeared to be taken in Mexico. As well, an Instagram photo posted by a UCP press secretary earlier this week pictured him and another staffer vacationing in Hawaii.
The Alberta government advises against non-essential travel outside of Canada, aligning with a federal advisory. Those who leave the country are required to isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms upon their arrival back home.
Elsewhere in Canada, other politicians were revealed to have sought out warmer climates over the holidays, including now-former Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips and Saskatchewan Highways Minister Joe Hargrave.
— With files from Jeff Labine and Lisa Johnson