Coun. Sharmarke Dubow apologized to his constituents Tuesday evening for travelling abroad over the holidays. (File contributed/ City of Victoria)

Coun. Sharmarke Dubow apologized to his constituents Tuesday evening for travelling abroad over the holidays. (File contributed/ City of Victoria)

‘I should not have gone:’ Victoria councillor takes holiday trip to Africa

Two Greater Victoria municipal politician admit to traveling in December

A Victoria councillor is apologizing to constituents for travelling over the holidays, despite COVID-19 health orders. He is one of two Greater Victoria municipal councillors who travelled outside of the country during the holiday season.

Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow posted a statement to Twitter Tuesday evening and said 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.”

RELATED: Metchosin councillor travelled to Mexico in December

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.”

Dubow said he is “committed to doing better and working harder for all residents of Victoria.”

In a press conference Wednesday, Victoria mayor Lisa Helps said Dubow’s decision was both “disappointing and irresponsible.”

“There cannot be two sets of expectations – one for the public and one for elected officials,” Helps said. “As community leaders, we should be held to a higher standard. We should be exemplary role models, following all of the very clear public health advice that we’ve received.”

Helps said she learned of Dubow’s travel when he called to tell her on Tuesday evening.

“Had he asked me or shared with me in advance that that he was planning to travel, I would have strongly advised him…of our role as community leaders and advised him not to travel.”

This comes shortly after Metchosin Coun. Kyara Kahakauwila, who owns chauffeur service L.A. Limousines, confirmed she had spent time in Mexico from Dec. 1 to 9 for the wedding of a business partner.

Kahakauwila told Black Press Media the business has been “decimated” by the pandemic.

Several Canadian politicians admitted to travelling abroad over the holidays including seven Alberta cabinet members, MLAs and staff who resigned as a result.

READ ALSO: 7 Alberta cabinet ministers, MLAs, staff resign after holiday travels: Kenney


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City CouncilCity of VictoriaGreater Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

A COVID-19 exposure has been confirmed at Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Google Image)
Another COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School Saturday

Members of BCEHS Station 343 in Lake Country receive a donation of treats and wine from the community in December. (Contributed)
‘Unexpected and heartwarming’: Okanagan community supports paramedics

Cards, discounts, treats, more given to Lake Country paramedics in sign of support

The North Okanagan Naturalists' Club completed its annual swan and eagle counts Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (Claude Rioux - NONC photo)
North Okanagan bird count shows decrease in swans and eagles

Trumpeter swans were down 61 per cent from last year’s count; eagles down 14 per cent

Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis has served as the band’s chief since his first of six electoral wins in 1991. (File photo)
Okanagan Indian Band seeks nominations for upcoming election

A new OKIB chief and council will be elected March 30, 2021

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near South Okanagan schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An individual at Rutland Senior Secondary school has tested positive for COVID-19. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Individual at Central Okanagan school tests positive for COVID-19

Authorities say the person is self-isolating at home with support from local health teams

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

Most Read