COVID-19 Update: 96 deaths in last five days | Alberta health-care worker dies of COVID-19 | Allard resigns after travel to Hawaii

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Monday

Allard resignation disrupts efforts to mend city-province relations

Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard travelled to Hawaii over the Christmas holidays, ignoring provincial and federal advisories against unnecessary international travel. Photo by Peter Shokeir /Daily Herald-Tribune

Civic leaders in Alberta hoped Tracy Allard would help “reset” their relationship with the province when she became municipal affairs minister.

But just four months into the job, Allard resigned from cabinet Monday after a firestorm over her vacation to Hawaii amid COVID-19 restrictions that kept families apart over Christmas and provincial guidelines that say to avoid “non-essential” travel out of the country.

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Monday

Corbella: Hypocrisy during a pandemic is politically fatal and rightly so

Melanie Behm is shown with her grandfather Jim Wood in an undated family photo. Photo by Behm family photo

Columnist Licia Corbella writes:

On Christmas Eve, Lindsey Witzel’s grandfather, Warren Allford, passed away from COVID-19.

For Witzel, not being able to rush to Winnipeg from her Calgary home to hold her beloved 88-year-old Papa’s hand as he lay dying was, as she said during an interview, the “hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

Not only could she not be by his side, but because of Alberta government COVID-19 restrictions, she couldn’t comfort her grandma, Gloria, who lost her husband of 67 years. What’s more government restrictions also make it illegal for her to drive the five minutes down Deerfoot Trail from her McKenzie Towne home to Auburn Bay to comfort her parents, particularly her father Guy Allford on the passing of his beloved dad.

In other words, Witzel did what most Albertans are doing — that is she’s following the legally binding restrictions put in place by Premier Jason Kenney’s UCP government.

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Monday

Braid: Kenney fires and demotes to spike scandal, but Albertans will decide if they forgive

Premier Jason Kenney in Edmonton on Dec. 7, 2020. Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta

Columnist Don Braid writes:

In the UCP government, they’re calling it “Bloody Monday,” the demotion of a top official and six prominent MLAs, including a rising full minister, for wayward travels during the holiday period.

Premier Jason Kenney hopes to erase the stain promptly and decisively. But everybody with a pet knows about stains. The episode will be a shadow on his regime for a long time.

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Monday

1,128 new cases reported; 96 deaths since Dec. 30

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