Tany Yao, MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, is apologizing for taking a trip to Mexico over the holidays.
He’s come under fire for traveling abroad despite the provincial government and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, asking everyone to stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19.
In a text message to Mix News, Yao says his trip was a poor decision.
“This decision did not reflect the higher standards residents expect from their elected officials, and I apologize for my actions. I know that my constituents, Albertans, and the Premier expect a role model of the highest quality. I am truly sorry I disappointed.”
He adds he decided to take the trip to de-stress following his work to get his private member’s bill, which allows more additional companies to pay for plasma and other blood products, passed.
“For the last year, I’ve endured abuse and slander in social and mainstream media over my private member’s bill which they misconstrued. I just wanted to disconnect and clear my head after this last year.”
As a consequence, Premier Jason Kenney removed Yao from sitting on the Families and Communities Committee and the Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing Committee.
He wasn’t the only one reprimanded as Kenney also accepted the resignation of Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard and his Chief of Staff Jamie Huckabay, while also removing MLA Jeremy Nixon as Parliamentary Secretary for Civil Society, MLA Jason Stephan from the Treasury Board, and MLA’s Tanya Fir and Pat Rehn from their committee positions.
“I fully accept these penalties and look forward to returning to Alberta as soon as I’m able, observing quarantine rules and the premier’s travel directive, and getting back to work for families and businesses in our great riding,” added Yao.