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

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

(Pixhere photo)
B.C. dentists argue for COVID-19 vaccine priority after ‘disappointing’ exclusion from plan

Vaccines are essential for dentists as patients cannot wear masks during treatment, argues BCDA

Most Read