UPDATE: The organizers of the display in front of Allard’s office say they are furious by the actions of Canadian politicians who took personal trips outside of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aaron Penson says he’s been disappointed with the United Conservative Party since it formed government – five UCP MLAs are reported to have left Canada for holiday vacations – but this seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“This one just really crossed the line with me. How many of us haven’t travelled to see our families?”
Penson is the President of the Grande Prairie Constituency Association for the Alberta Party, which was also behind the so-called “debt-clock” outside of the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital in 2019. He says many of the same people were involved Sunday, but that it was a multi-partisan group.
They hope the sign gets across the message that politicians not practising what they preach when it comes to staying home is a slap in the face for their constituents. Penson adds he’s glad to see the public getting involved and paying attention.
“Pretty rarely across social media do you see a fairly unanimous voice… collectively, a lot of people are very angry, and it’s… beyond political alignment.”
MyGrandePrairieNow.com has reached out to Minister Allard for her reaction.
A new piece of public art is on display in Grande Prairie. A sign reading “Welcome Home #AlohaAllard” was erected in front of the constituency office of Municipal Affairs Minister and Grande Prairie MLA Tracy Allard’s office Sunday morning.
The display came complete with Christmas trees and decorations, as well as a few Christmas cards from people disappointed in her decision to travel to Hawaii in December.
“My family gave up a number of long-standing traditions this year, including the chance to make new ones because it was the right thing to do,” reads one, referencing Allard’s statement in her apology Friday that travelling to Hawaii for Christmas has been a tradition of her family’s for 17 years.
“My oldest kid misses Uma desperately. He asks regularly when he can see her again. My youngest kid hardly remembers who she is,” reads another about a grandmother in southern Alberta.
Over the past few days, several Canadian politicians have been confirmed to have left the country over the holidays. Premier Jason Kenney declined to discipline his MLAs and government officials for having done so, saying he takes responsibility for not having made a clear directive to them against travel.