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Staff member for Calgary Councillor Farkas travelled during holidays

Click to play video 'Calgary city officials react to members of Nenshi’s staff travelling over holidays' Calgary city officials react to members of Nenshi’s staff travelling over holidays
WATCH: Reaction has been pouring in after Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi announced that two of his staffers, including his chief of staff, where in Hawaii over the holidays. Adam MacVicar reports. – Jan 6, 2021

The day after Calgary Mayor Naheed Neshi admitted that two of his office staff travelled internationally, a mayoral hopeful revealed that one of his staff members also left the country during the holiday break.

“I’m aware that staff in a junior position traveled out of the country on their own time and at their own expense,” Ward 11 Coun. Jeromy Farkas told Global News.

Read more: 2 members of mayor’s office travelled to Hawaii: Nenshi

Sources tell Global News the staff member travelled to Colombia.

A federal travel advisory has been in effect during the coronavirus pandemic, and the provincial government advises people to “avoid non-essential travel outside Canada.”

“While I would not have gone, they are complying with all of the regulations in place and observing testing and quarantine protocols,” Farkas said Wednesday.

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“I would only sanction them if this quarantine would interfere with their ability to do their job. And I’m not expecting that to happen in a work-from-home environment.”

Read more: Calgary Councillor Joe Magliocca silent on holiday travel

Following the interview with Global News, Farkas said the staff member will not be receiving pay during their quarantine period.

Farkas said he personally stayed at home and did not have any family over nor did he go to visit family for Christmas.

“The big thing for me is personal responsibility, is complying with the regulations and the laws that are in place.”

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Read more: ‘If you’re yelling at us… thank you’: Alberta MLA on colleagues’ travel during COVID-19

The Ward 11 councillor said he “fully expects” Calgarians and Albertans to hold elected officials — especially those who put in place regulations during the coronavirus pandemic — accountable for any extra-provincial travel.

Read more: Slave Lake council asks for resignation of MLA Pat Rehn in open letter

“But when it comes to these junior positions or just everyday people who are not in charge or in control of these regulations, I think that they have to do their best, just like everybody else, to comply with the regulations and laws that are in place,” he said.

Global News asked all other city councillors whether they were aware if their staff travelled during the holiday break. Nearly all of the councillors responded saying none of their staff left the province. Only the Ward 2 office of Coun. Joe Magliocca didn’t respond at press time.

–with files from Adam MacVicar