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Kenney 'regrets perception' of, apologizes for Sky Palace dinner

Last Updated Jun 7, 2021 at 8:49 pm MDT

EDMONTON – Premier Jason Kenney says he “regrets the perception” that the infamous Sky Palace dinner created last week and that he’s taking full responsibility.

Photos of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and members of the United Conservative caucus dining together on a rooftop patio emerged earlier this week after “concerned Albertan” captured the picture and shared it with multiple media outlets.

The group, which also included Health Minister Tyler Shandro, was spotted sitting around a table on a balcony of the Federal Building in downtown Edmonton.

The event captured in the widely-shared photo has been heavily criticized, with many saying the dinner clearly flouted COVID-19 restrictions.

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Previously Kenney said they had taken “reasonable effort” to follow COVID-19 rules during the dinner, but on Monday said he offered something of an apology.

Kenney says since the dinner went under a microscope, the chairs on the patio were measured to confirm that staff, for the most part, was social distancing.

“There’s no doubt that over the course of the evening people came within the two meters distance that is laid out in the public health guidelines. And I regret that. I regret that perception.”

He says when the dinner happened, he believed they were following all of the rules.

“We were not all distance from one another by two meters are some rules, but it is clear that some of us were not distanced the whole night. And I have to take responsibility for that, we have to set a higher example, a higher threshold of conduct. So I want sincerely to apologize to my colleagues and to Albertans for letting you down for not being more careful.”

He says he won’t be putting himself in any more situations that could read to breaking pandemic health rules.