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EDMONTON, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) — The Alberta United Conservative Party (UCP) held a massive, largely unmasked Christmas celebration hours after party leader and Premier Jason Kenney announced new COVID restrictions ahead of Christmas.

Kenney’s UCP hosted a Christmas party for “hundreds” of its members on Wednesday in Edmonton. Included in the previously announced restrictions were a tightening of capacity limits on gatherings in large venues, and a demand that citizens reduce their “social contacts” by 50 percent over the holiday season.

“While these new measures will hopefully lower the risk at large events, our small everyday actions can have a big impact,” said Kenney. “This is why I appeal to all Albertans to reduce their number of contacts by half over the coming weeks, follow the guidelines already in place, and get the vaccine booster as soon as they are eligible.

“It’s the single most important thing anybody can do right now to protect themselves from Omicron,” added the premier.

While Kenney himself was not in attendance at the Christmas party, and the new measures which would have made the party in violation of the protocols had not technically gone into effect yet, citizens were in an uproar after seeing pictures of the apparent hypocrisy that their Christmas celebrations were de facto canceled, but the politicians were still going ahead with their celebrations on a technicality, according to the Western Standard.

Further, the photos obtained by the Western Standard show that not everyone was wearing masks while attending the party, irking Albertans as Kenney’s party is responsible for the ubiquitous indoor mask mandate that has been in effect for months.

In response to the photos and the public outcry, the UPC decided to cancel another gathering scheduled in Calgary.

Despite drastic measures being taken by various Canadian governments in the name of the omicron variant, many who have studied the variant closely suggest there is no cause for concern.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee of South Africa, where Omicron was first discovered, said in an interview with the British independent broadcaster LBC that after four weeks of omicron in her country, “there’s no reason why you can’t trust us when we say it’s a mild disease.”

Alberta’s new restrictions seem to be part of a nationally unified goal of curbing freedoms in the name of COVID-19, as many provinces, including OntarioPrince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, QuebecBritish Columbia, and Nova Scotia have all announced increasingly restrictive measures this week.