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Albertans left 'infuriated and disappointed' by UCP holiday travels

Last Updated Jan 5, 2021 at 1:41 pm MDT

CALGARY (CityNews) – Albertans were furious to learn that while they were told to stay home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, UCP politicians were jet setting to tropical destinations despite public health guidelines to avoid non-essential travel.

One Airdrie woman fears these actions could take a turn for the worse, in light of the sacrifices Albertans have made to protect their family and community over the holidays.

“When you have a medical child, you literally live day-to-day. He’s not been out of the house except to go to Children’s Hospital since March.

Lia Lousier’s son Braeden is a palliative child who wasn’t expected to survive his emergency c-section birth at 32 weeks.

Mr. B, as they like to call him, is now nine years old. Lousier said his current health is the best it’s ever been, which is why they had hoped 2020 was the year her family would go on a special trip through Make A Wish Canada.

“The thought of going to Hawaii and have my children experience that, it was something to look forward to with everything happening.”

WATCH: Public outcry grows over MLA vacations

Lousier’s plan was to take her three sons to Hawaii during the Christmas break but with the increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, those plans were cancelled.

But when news hit that politicians like Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard went to Hawaii over the holidays, Louiser was livid.

“To hear that she so casually decided she wanted to keep with her traditions after telling everyone to stay home and stay safe, (it’s) infuriating to say the least.”

Calgary health care worker Julie Yekimchuk spent her holidays in surgery at Rockyview Hospital.

COVID-19 restrictions meant she had a Christmas without family or friends as she recovered. She was speechless to learn her MLA Tanya Fir spent her holidays abroad.

“It feels like a betrayal of trust for citizens who elected these officials,” she said. “Knowing I was alone in hospital yet my own MLA was in Vegas visiting her sister, it’s asinine. I have no words.”

For Lousier, she fears this controversy could snowball.

“If you can’t even walk the walk or talk the talk at the top of the political pyramid in the province, why would you expect the average Joe or average people expect it to.”