University of British Columbia director resigns after holiday trip amid pandemic

VANCOUVER — The director of the University of British Columbia's school of population and public health has resigned after apologizing for taking a holiday trip during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peter Berman says in a statement he decided to resign as director because of "distress and division" in the department, which made it impossible for him to provide effective leadership.

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Berman apologized last week, saying he regretted the decision to travel during the winter break while health officials were recommending against leaving the province.

In a statement on the school's website, Berman says his resignation was effective on Friday.

Berman is among others who have lost or given up positions because of travel over the winter break, including Ontario's finance minister and Alberta's minister of municipal affairs.

Berman also expressed his gratitude to those who supported him.

"I also respect the many different views expressed by those in our wider community," he added. "I have read and heard much about the suffering our community has experienced due to the terrible pandemic of COVID-19 and the concerns of many that we stay the course to defeat this dreadful disease."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021.

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