(Image / Sharmarke Dubow - Victoria City Councillor Facebook)

A Victoria city councillor has joined a growing list of politicians who took international trips over the winter holidays.

Shamarke Dubow, a first-term councillor elected in 2018, admitted to flying to East Africa despite government advisories against non-essential travel.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Dubow said he had been planning and saving for the trip for years.

A refugee of the civil war in Somalia in 1992, the councillor said he had not seen family members in his birth country for three decades.

“I acknowledge that I showed poor judgement by not leading by example in this case,” Dubow said in his statement.

“I understand that many people made the difficult decision not to visit their families over the past number of months. I know now that I should have made the same decision.”

The councillor says he arrived back in Canada on January 4th and is currently quarantining in a hotel in Vancouver for 14 days.

Dubow says that he will be conducting his council duties virtually for the next two weeks.

The Victoria councillor is the latest in a list of politicians who have ignored advisories to cancel or postpone non-essential travel, embarking on holiday trips to destinations such as Hawaii, Mexico, or St. Barts.

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips resigned from his cabinet role after it was uncovered that he had travelled to the Carribean.

Several Alberta government staffers and MLAs have also admitted to taking trips internationally. Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard resigned from her cabinet post on Monday after initially apologizing for taking a trip to Hawaii.

Dubow indicated in his statement that he intends to continue in his role, writing that he will continue working with colleagues on council.

“I will continue my commitment to push for building a just and equitable future for all residents of Victoria,” he said.

“I am committed to continuing to represent all constituents, particularly those with less access to wealth and financial opportunities.”

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