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LETTER: Councillor’s travel is inexcusable

I am quite frankly gobsmacked. I am a recently retired nurse/nurse educator who has a full appreciation of the risks involved in the current pandemic. For Coun. Kahakauwila to be defending her recent trip to Cabo San Lucas for a wedding is beyond the pall on so many levels. First, as the mayor of Saanich points out, even if travel was not illegal, “local politicians have an even greater responsibility than provincial or federal politicians not to travel, because we are more hand-in-hand with our residents…”

Second, we in the community expect our leaders to, well, lead. There are very few people in Canada who would view travelling to a wedding in a foreign country as a good idea during a worldwide pandemic, regardless of whether it was purely pleasure or a mix of pleasure and business. This is where we would expect one of our community leaders to make the decision not to support such an event at this time and lead by example.

Third, that Coun. Kahakauwila bucks the overwhelming trend of politicians across the country who at least have the sense to recognize their trespass in these difficult times, and rather than apologize for her short-sightedness, outright defends her behaviour, is really galling.

Lastly, as the wife of a Latino, and mother to his three children, I am angry. Coun. Kahakauwila goes to great pains to explain how she quarantined on her return, sending her own children to their grandparents to protect them from exposure, yet, she did not quarantine in Mexico. This means by interacting with the Mexican frontline workers she exposed them and their children to great risk. It does not matter if Mexico has lax quarantine rules – they are a poor country between a rock and a hard place. For a Canadian privileged lady to go down to Mexico for something as frivolous (in these times) as a wedding is outrageous and discriminatory.

When can we – the citizens of Metchosin and Latin America – expect her full and unequivocal apology?

Rachel French de Mejia

Metchosin