For the past week community message boards for the Banff-Kananaskis constituency have been asking a simple question— Where was MLA Miranda Rosin over the holidays?
It is a simple question that could easily be answered, “I stayed home.”
In a statement provided to The Cochrane Eagle, MLA Rosin indicated that she has not left the country in 2020. However, she would not confirm or deny if she was in the province or her constituency over the holidays.
In fact, MLA Rosin has yet to respond to multiple requests from The Cochrane Eagle for clarification on her whereabouts.
A statement was provided by Director of Communications for the United Conservative Party Caucus Tim Gerwing indicating MLA Rosin had travelled to Saskatchewan over Christmas.
Gerwing said the MLA lives alone and the trip was allowed because single people were allowed to join another household for the holidays in both Alberta and Saskatchewan.
MLA Rosin will not be stripped of any responsibilities, including her role as vice chair of the committee reviewing the Public Health Act, Gerwing said, because she did not travel abroad and followed public health guidelines.
Some people may not realize the steps that go into crafting a story before it is published. It takes rigorous research, often multiple interviews and stringent fact-checking before a story is released to the public.
These stories do not come from the aether— They are based on the public interest and ensuring the accountability of both ourselves and those we speak with.
This holds especially true for politicians.
This is what makes MLA Rosin’s behaviour so abhorrent— It has taken multiple emails, phone calls and texts from both The Cochrane Eagle and our sister paper The Rocky Mountain Outlook to find out where she spent her holidays in December.
We have yet to receive an answer from her.
Premier Jason Kenney has made it clear that as public figures UCP caucus members are held to the highest standard of behaviour. Multiple MLAs caught travelling outside the province over the holidays have already had responsibilities stripped from them.
Based on these expectations, MLA Rosin's disregard for answers to her constituents is ignorant at best, malicious at worse.
Strong leadership is paramount for our province— We have never faced the challenges we see as both energy prices and the COVID-19 pandemic have left our provinces facing an uncertain economic future.
A key piece to securing the future of the province will be leaders who embrace transparency, responsibility and accountability.
MLA Rosin’s behaviour and treatment of her constituents over the past weeks indicate she is not fit to lead and has a passionate disregard for personal responsibility.
Journalists have a duty to not only report on the communities they live, but, to ensure those in positions of power are accountable to the people they serve.
Behaviour like that shown by MLA Rosin demonstrates how challenging reporting can be and the critical place local news holds in communities.
MLA Rosin may be lamenting the loss of her “freedoms” during the pandemic, but, her inability to answer a simple question is losing the confidence of those in her riding.
While avoidance may be a philosophy embraced by MLA Rosin when faced with difficult questions, constituents will not be avoiding the polls two years from now.