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LETTER: Councillor should donate salary for time he was out of country

I am writing to express my disappointment with Coun. Sharmarke Dubow’s recent decision to travel overseas.

I appreciate his desire to see his family. As someone whose mother recently passed away, I understand that time with our loved ones is precious, and that we never know when will be the last time that we see those we love.

However, I, like many others, have not seen my family in person in over a year. Despite my mother dying in Alberta, I have not left the Island since the pandemic began, and my family (none of whom live on the Island) has decided to postpone a memorial until travel advisories are lifted.

Coun. Dubow’s decision to travel reflects poor decision making on his part. As an elected official, he is expected to demonstrate leadership by example. By travelling, he is sending a message that following the recommendations of the provincial health officer is optional. He is contributing to making it socially acceptable not to do what we are being asked to do. This puts the general public at significant risk, both of COVID infection, but also of the economic impact of further restrictions.

I therefore request that Coun. Dubow donates the equivalent of his salary for the time he was outside Victoria to one of the organizations supporting Victoria’s homeless. I am not asking for his resignation, as I do not believe another byelection is in the city’s best interest, however, I do hope he will choose not to run again.

I have known Dubow to be a person who seeks to help the less fortunate. I hope he chooses to do the right thing here.

Karmen McNamara