Letters Jan. 7: Trip was not essential; travel is legal, let them be

A Mexican wedding is not an essential trip

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 Metchosin Coun. Kyara Kahakauwila to be defending her recent trip to Cabo San Lucas for a wedding is beyond the pale on so many levels.

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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 having or travelling to a wedding in a foreign country as a good idea in 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 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, defends her behaviour, is really galling.

Lastly, as the wife of a Latino, and mother to his three children, I am angry.

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 front-line 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 Caucasian 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

Show some respect and resign

With respect to the article about two local councillors who travelled outside of country in December, here is my bottom line:

For the first time in 30 years, we did not spend Christmas with our children, even though they live in the same city, and in fact live near us. We did not see friends or family. We did not travel outside our immediate region.

My mother in Toronto is turning 95 and I have not seen her for more than a year. Thousands of other British Columbians made the same sacrifices for the greater good.

Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers are out there risking their lives and putting themselves at risk as they address the health-care challenges of British Columbians. They are under a tremendous amount of stress and are worried about the safety of their families every day.

B.C. families spent Christmas with a loved one in hospital with COVID-19, unable to see them or spend time with them. Some of those patients were critically ill, some passed away.

I and many others expect our local councillors, or any politicians who travelled over the holiday break, to resign their positions.

Do the right thing. Show some respect for the communities and people you represent.

Marisa Adair

Dubow is sorry, but what is he sorry for?

While Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow sits in isolation in a Vancouver hotel room, no doubt continuing to refine his rationale for his ill-advised travel outside of the country during a pandemic, it’s important to remember he only admitted to his “mistake” on Facebook after being contacted by a Times Colonist reporter.

It begs the question: Is he truly sorry for his bad judgment or sorry he got caught?

Bill Cleverley

Blatantly ignoring travel restrictions

Absolutely shameful for Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow to have blatantly ignored the COVID-19 travel restrictions the rest of us are following. He travelled to Africa!

His resignation must be submitted immediately. No excuses or apologies should be accepted. If you have to apologize, you know it was wrong.

Wendy Darbey

An extreme lack of judgment

Sharmarke Dubow needs to immediately resign from Victoria city council as the mayor and council apparently have no authority to ask him to do so.

Dubow showed an extreme lack of judgment in ignoring the guidelines to not travel during this pandemic.

Donna Craig

Travel is legal, so let them be

Re “Two municipal councillors travelled internationally in December,” Jan. 6.

The last time I checked it is still legal to travel. The Trudeau government has only recommended not to travel.

There should be no reason to be upset with Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow’s travel to East Africa. He owes no apology for a “poor choice” because the Times Colonist jumped on the bandwagon for a news story, in line with the rest of the Canadian media.

There is no law to prevent the snowbirds to travel south, especially Arizona and Florida where, by the way, Canadian seniors can get COVID-19 vaccinations, unlike the slow motion vaccine rollout by our illustrious federal government.

The government has no strict control of our border with the U.S. and is slow to react to air travel from outside the country. Instead of singling out local councillors, the Times Colonist should take a look at governments’ shortcomings and write a scathing editorial on the subject.

As for the hard-working medical staffs, caregivers, first responders, they all deserve a break from this pandemic crisis in order to travel wherever they please, including international travel.

And let’s start with Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix, who deserve an “essential” travel break. How’s about it, Premier John Horgan?

Len Herman

Others saved for a trip, then cancelled it

Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow travelled to visit family in Africa recently, in spite of there being a worldwide pandemic, in spite of our governments imploring us all to cancel all non-essential travel.

I also saved for travel last year, but like most Canadians and Victorians, I cancelled everything.

So often these days politicians seem to think that they can do whatever they please, as long as they apologize afterwards. Imagine if we all acted this way.

We look to our elected officials for guidance, for leadership. We expect our governments to lead by example.

It’s time now for Dubow to do the right thing. Resign, and the sooner the better.

David Mills

We did not travel, but councillors did

Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow should resign immediately. His action to go to East Africa whilst others are obeying the request to not travel beggars belief.

Metchosin Coun. Kyara Kahakauwila defending her trip to Mexico? She should also step down.

She explained it to the mayor? I am sure everyone who is missing friends and family could put forward an explanation.

We were requested not to travel in order to keep us all safe, so obviously two people in positions of trust didn’t care. Shame on them.

Judy Tosh


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