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10 of 11 Regina council members confirm they did not travel outside Canada during pandemic

Global News confirmed that 10 of 11 councillors, including the mayor, did not travel outside of Canada during the coronavirus pandemic. File / Global News

All but one Regina city council member, including Mayor Sandra Masters confirmed they did not leave the country during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ward 2 Coun. Bob Hawkins declined to comment on Thursday when asked if he had left the country during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: Joe Hargrave steps down as Saskatchewan highways minister after Palm Springs trip

Backlash has come fast and furious in recent days as the number of Canadian elected government officials travelling outside the country increases.

Saskatchewan’s minister of highways, Joe Hargrave, resigned from cabinet on Monday after word came out last week that he travelled to Palm Springs, Calif., on Dec. 22, 2020.

“I think it’s completely understandable that residents are very upset that leaders are telling them to live their lives in a very restricted way, but are making exceptions for themselves,” Shanon Zachidniak, Ward 8 Regina councillor, said on Wednesday.

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“It’s not the kind of leadership that we need.”

Read more: Victoria mayor says city council has no power to discipline travelling councillor Sharmarke Dubow

Hargrave said he had to make the trip to finalize a property sale and had advised Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe of his travel plans.

Ethics critic Matt Love said Hargrave’s property was not listed for sale until Dec. 26 and was sold the following day.

“I think it’s disrespectful not to follow rules that they have implicitly set on other people,” Daniel LeBlanc, Ward 6 Regina councillor, said on Wednesday. “I know technically it’s not offside the law in that there is some wiggle room in there, but I think it’s offside in the intent behind it.

“I think people are rightly upset to see leaders not following rules they have set for the rest of us.”

Although there’s nothing preventing travelling abroad, Canadian citizens and permanent residents are being advised to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada, stated on the Saskatchewan government website.

Global News reached out to the mayor’s office for comment, but did not hear back by our deadline.

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Joe Hargrave steps down as Saskatchewan highways minister after Palm Springs trip – Jan 4, 2021

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