It is the subject of debate across the province.
Did Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and key members of his cabinet break his own government’s COVID-19 rules as he sat with them on the patio of the penthouse in the Edmonton Federal Building – nicknamed the “Sky Palace” – with a bottle of whiskey and wine, on a balmy Edmonton evening?
We will break down the facts and compare them to those of the Kenney government COVID-19 restrictions that remain in place.
• Images appear to show Premier Jason Kenney, Environment Minister Jason Nixon, Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Finance Minister Travis Toews. They are joined by an unidentified woman and an unidentified man. Two other men are seen walking away from the table.
• In total, there are eight people pictured from different households.
• No one in the photo was wearing a mask.
• The roof terrace is located on the penthouse floor of the “Sky Palace”.
• The “Sky Palace” is authorized to serve alcohol and catering on a regular basis.
• The “Sky Palace” penthouse and roof terrace are not private property or a residence.
“Dining on the terrace” or “Outdoor social gathering”?
Kenney’s defense of the Sky Palace rooftop reunion is based on her claim that the reunion was an “outdoor social gathering” as defined by the first step of her plan to reopen, and not a “dinner party.” Terrace”.
Outdoor social gatherings are allowed for up to 10 people, but outdoor patio dining is limited to four people. The category to which this rally belongs is the main dispute between defenders of the UCP government and those who say they have broken their own rules.
The dispute over what kind of gathering it was depends on what the Sky Palace rooftop patio is considered to be.
It is not a residential space, despite the building’s design plans under former Prime Minister Allison Redford. It is therefore not the private space of the first to receive guests.
It is also not a restaurant or commercial bar, but the space is allowed to sell alcohol and food.
If AHS were to conduct a hypothetical inspection, it would have to determine whether the venue constituted a “patio dinner” or an “outdoor social gathering.”
If it was a terrace dinner, the meeting would clearly violate the Kenney government’s COVID-19 restrictions. If however the reunion was considered an outdoor social gathering, they still wouldn’t be off the hook with AHS.
Even “outdoor social gatherings” are limited to a maximum of 10 people, and there are eight pictured. By this measure, Kenney and her guests did not break their own rules.
However, the government states that “a maximum of two household cohorts are encouraged”.
Each person shown in the photo is believed to live in different households, making eight counts of violating guidelines, if not regulations.
Failure to follow guidelines: 8
Government regulations for outdoor social gatherings require “that a mandatory physical distance be maintained at all times between members of different households.”
All participants at the table are within a meter of each person to their left or right. In addition, the two men walking from the table through the door are within a yard of each other.
Legal regulatory violations: 8
Government regulations on outdoor social gatherings further require that they “must not have an indoor component (movement in / out of homes is not permitted.”)
The photo clearly shows two men walking from the table to the door to enter the Sky Palace penthouse. Unless a ladder has been used, the other six participants at the table must enter / exit the penthouse to reach or exit the roof terrace.
Legal regulatory violations: 8
While the meeting itself would most likely be classified by AHS as a terrace dining room – making it illegal for more than four people to gather around a table – the government can argue that it should be considered like an outdoor social gathering.
Even if it was an outdoor social gathering, the event would still break a series of government COVID-19 restrictions. This includes:
• 8 violations of the guidelines for having members of different households.
• 8 legal violations to keep you physically close, and
• 8 violations of legal regulations forming inside and outside.
In total, this fact-check reveals that even using the Prime Minister’s own defense, Kenney and his colleagues violated eight of his government’s directives and 16 of its legally binding regulations.