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Delta mayor cancels upcoming Amsterdam trip after travel expenses questioned

Click to play video: 'Former Delta mayor calls for George Harvie’s resignation'
Former Delta mayor calls for George Harvie’s resignation
Former Delta mayor Lois Jackson is calling for her successor George Harvie to resign amid backlash against his travel expenses as chair of the Metro Vancouver board. Angela Jung reports. – May 29, 2024

Metro Vancouver’s Board chair and Delta Mayor George Harvie has pulled out of his upcoming trip to Amsterdam amid questions about his travel expenses.

“I have decided not to participate in an upcoming trip to the Netherlands to attend the International Conference on Urban Drainage and study tour on green infrastructure from June 7 to 16,” Harvie said in a statement Tuesday.

“With my term as Board Chair coming to an end, effective July 1, 2024, I have come to the difficult decision to forego this learning opportunity. I do not wish to be a distraction to the ongoing work at Metro Vancouver.”

Harvie has refused to answer questions about his past travel or the upcoming trip.

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According to Metro Vancouver, Harvie has submitted more than $32,000 in expenses this year.

That includes a $21,000 flight to Asia plus $2,700 for accommodation and per diems, and about $1,300 for a stay at Victoria’s Inn at Laurel Point.

Airfare for the upcoming trip to Amsterdam was $5,300 alone.

“Travelling to Europe on a junket like that to me is just unacceptable and the board needs to put it to an end,” Daniel Fontaine, a councillor for New Westminster, told Global News before the news that Harvie was cancelling his trip was announced.

Metro Vancouver’s next board meeting is on Friday, May 31.

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