Government vacations not ‘excuse to flout public health rules,’ says Iveson

EDMONTON — Edmonton mayor Don Iveson says Albertans’ anger at public officials and staff who travelled over the holidays is justified, but not “an excuse to flout the public health rules.”

The mayor said in a Monday statement he was concerned the travel scandal would inspire others to violate the rules out of frustration.

“I want to be clear that #COVID19 is still a clear and present danger to Edmontonians, lives are at risk and the healthcare system remains under a tremendous amount of pressure,” Iveson wrote to Edmontonians.

“So each and every one of us must continue to take this pandemic seriously if we are to limit spread and save lives, and minimize economic disruption.”

He said he stayed home for the holidays and followed Alberta’s health orders.

According to Iveson, nine of Edmonton’s 12 councillors have confirmed they did not travel in December.

CTV News Edmonton reached out to Mike Nickel, Sarah Hamilton and Tony Caterina shortly before publishing. Hamilton’s staff since said the Ward 5 councillor did not travel.

Councillors do not report directly to the mayor, however, nor does the mayor have the authority to impose a travel directive.

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