Two Greater Victoria councillors have come under fire for travelling outside the country in the midst of a pandemic.
Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow posted a statement to Twitter Tuesday evening saying he “made the poor choice” to travel to East Africa over the holidays and returned to Victoria Jan. 4. He said he is in a 14-day quarantine at a Vancouver hotel and will serve his council duties remotely.
“I had been planning and saving for this trip for years and returned to East Africa for the first time since I fled the civil war in Somalia in 1992 as a child,” he wrote in the statement. “I saw family members I hadn’t seen in more than three decades.”
Dubow said he adhered to local public health guidelines while away and took multiple COVID-19 tests.
“Even with the extreme caution that I took, including the tests I paid for, I know now that I should not have gone. I understand there is no good excuse.”
Metchosin Coun. Kyara Kahakauwila has also acknowledged travelling outside of the country.
Kahakauwila, who owns L.A. Limousines chauffeur service, told Black Press Media that she spent time in Mexico during the beginning of December for the wedding of a business and industry partner, which was planned about a year ago.
She confirmed that she and her husband left on Dec. 1 and arrived back at home on Dec. 9 to quarantine. Kahakauwila pointed out that their two sons stayed with family members for two weeks while they isolated at their Metchosin home.
“With the pandemic, our business has been decimated,” said Kahakauwila. “While some might not consider it as an excuse, there was a real possibility that we could lose our business. We made the decision to go because we had a plan in place and I made sure I didn’t have any council responsibilities during that time.”
Several Canadian politicians have admitted to travelling abroad over the holidays including seven Alberta cabinet members, MLAs and staff who resigned as a result.
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