British Columbia

Another B.C. politician says he travelled internationally despite COVID guidance to stay home

West Vancouver Coun. Peter Lambur said in a statement that he and his wife travelled to the U.S. late in the year to see his six-month-old granddaughter for the first time.

Coun. Peter Lambur said in a statement his trip followed all pandemic guidance and rules

West Vancouver Coun. Peter Lambur said in a statement Wednesday that he travelled to California in December. (westvancouver.ca)

A West Vancouver councillor says he went to California despite recommendations from provincial and federal authorities to avoid non-essential travel during the pandemic.

Coun. Peter Lambur said in a statement that he and his wife travelled to Big Sur recently to see their six-month-old granddaughter for the first time.

The acknowledgement comes after other Canadian politicians, including municipal councillors in Victoria and Metchosin, have admitted international travel in the face of guidance to stay home.

Lambur said the trip took place after the last council meeting of 2020. According to the District of West Vancouver's website, the last council meetings were in mid-December.

He said they complied with all rules, federal and provincial, during the trip, in which they flew from Vancouver International Airport to San Francisco International Airport and back. His son-in-law, he added, drove them from San Francisco to Big Sur.

He said the couple's plan included voluntary testing, mask-wearing and maintaining physical distancing. He said the plane was not very full and crowds were avoided.

Lambur said he and his wife arrived back in B.C. on Dec. 31 and have been quarantining at home since without symptoms.

CBC News attempted to contact Lambur but did not hear back from him by deadline.

West Vancouver Mayor Mary-Ann Booth said she did not know about Lambur's trip ahead of time.

"It is disappointing," Booth said. "I do firmly believe that as elected officials, we are held to a higher standard, and in particular, at this obviously difficult and serious time."

To her knowledge, she said, no other members of council have left the province recently. She said she and her family spent time at their second home in Whistler.

Booth said Lambur has apologized to her for how the travel reflected on council. She said she has no powers to sanction him but will be paying attention to community reaction.

"It's unfortunate and I think a lesson has been learned," Booth said.

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