Victoria mayor says council member’s Africa trip during pandemic ‘irresponsible’

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says she’s disappointed that a member of council travelled to Somalia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Helps says she spoke with Coun. Sharmarke Dubow about his recent trip to East Africa and his childhood home in Somalia, telling him the visit was “irresponsible,” particularly as public health officials are advising against travel.

Helps says council can’t take any disciplinary action.

Dubow could not be reached for comment today, but he posted an apology Tuesday on his Twitter account for his “poor choice” to travel outside of Canada during the holidays.

He says he is in quarantine for two weeks at a Vancouver hotel after travelling to Somalia for the first time since he fled the war-torn country as a refugee in 1992.

Dubow was elected to city council in 2018, when he voted for the first time in his life after becoming a Canadian citizen.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2021.

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