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Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

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EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is drawing a line in the sand on the 18 members of his United Conservative Party caucus openly criticizing his COVID-19 health restrictions.

Kenney says dissent is democratic but warned that breaking the health rules or encouraging others to do the same means disciplinary action that includes getting kicked out of the UCP caucus.

Almost half of the 40 United Conservative backbenchers are publicly condemning a return to stricter health restrictions announced this week by Kenney.

They are calling for an easing of restrictions or, if not, targeting them at areas with high COVID-19 case rates.

Sixteen of them, most representing rural constituencies, signed an open letter this week saying the changes are a backward step that threatens livelihoods and freedoms.

UCP legislature member Martin Long is also condemning the changes, while fellow caucus member Dan Williams is calling for easing of restrictions on attendance at worship services.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2021

The Canadian Press