Hours after Prime Minister Jason Kenney and Health Minister Jason Copping urged Albertans to reduce their close contacts by 50 percent and cancel the Christmas holidays to curb the spread of the Omicron variant, members of the Conservative Party Kingdom met at a restaurant in Edmonton for a Christmas reception.
“The Prime Minister’s advice to the people of Alberta was given shortly before our event began,” wrote UCP communications director Dave Prisco in a statement.
“Given our compliance with the REP and adequate space at the reduced capacity venue, we decided to continue.”
Photos obtained by Global News show Justice Minister Kaycee Madu among the attendees.
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“The hypocrisy of this government that continues to ask Albertans to do what they say but not what they do is incredibly frustrating,” NDP Labor critic Christina Gray said in response to the meeting.
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Gray points to last Christmas when several staff members and PCU staff members traveled abroad while Albertans were being told to shut down during the second wave of the pandemic, a scandal that became known as Aloha-gate. , and then the June dinner on the Skypalace patio where Premier Kenney and senior members of his cabinet, including then-Health Minister Tyler Shandro, broke social distancing rules.
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“It’s frustrating, it’s exhausting, and Albertans are fed up,” he said.
Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt agrees.
“There is a pattern here,” Bratt told Global News, adding that for people to take the restrictions and recommendations seriously, the ruling party must follow suit.
“Even if it’s not legislated, even when you cheer people up, you have to follow that.”
READ MORE: ‘I’m sorry’: Kenney apologizes for Sky Palace dinner breaking COVID-19 rules
The PCU had a similar Christmas party planned for the Calgary members on Wednesday night, that event has been canceled.
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