The mayor of Lacombe has apologized for taking a trip to Africa this past fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, Mayor Grant Creasey released a statement addressing his travelling to Namibia last November.
“At no time have I violated any provincial, national or international travel restrictions, rules or regulations,” Creasey said in the statement.
“With the benefit of hindsight, I understand and can empathize with the concerns of those who feel it was unwise or could have posed a risk to the health of myself or those around me. I didn’t do anything to deceive anyone about the trip and in fact, posted photos on social media throughout the trip.”
The purpose of the trip, a wildlife safari and tour, was “not essential,” said Creasey.
“I apologize for this lapse in good judgement – it wasn’t a good decision,” he said.
“While we are all interpreting recommendations and determining the right balance in our personal lives, it’s fair to expect more from your leaders. I can to assure residents that during my travel, city business was handled competently by our professional staff, and the deputy mayor, in accordance with the city’s procedural bylaw.”
Creasey said the trip was originally postponed for the spring, but was postponed due to the pandemic.
“I made the decision to go in the early fall when COVID numbers were relatively low,” he said.
“I returned around the time the provincial government put greater restrictions in place in December, quarantined, and have been in the province since then.”
A handful of Alberta politicians, including Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan, have been in hot water over the past couple of weeks, after travelling outside of Canada over the holidays. Stephan has since apologized for exercising “poor judgment” for flying to Arizona on New Year’s Eve.