City of Salmon Arm Coun. Chad Eliason goes public with the information he went to Mexico over Christmas. (Contributed)

City of Salmon Arm Coun. Chad Eliason goes public with the information he went to Mexico over Christmas. (Contributed)

Salmon Arm councillor travels to Mexico over Christmas holiday

Politician says he regrets decision and didn’t consider the ramifications

Salmon Arm Councillor Chad Eliason is going public with the fact he went to Mexico over Christmas.

In the wake of questions around town, Eliason wanted to confirm he went, in an effort to remain open and transparent.

“It’s a different time now than it was when I left,” he said. “I recognize now I shouldn’t have probably travelled.”

At the time, he didn’t think about the consequences, he said.

As the New Year began, several provincial politicians from Alberta and Ontario as well as federal politicians have been chastised or demoted for recent trips abroad, and the mayor of Castlegar resigned after travelling to a family cabin in the Okanagan.

Eliason said municipal politicians do not set travel policy, although they are in leadership roles.

Read more: More Alberta MLAs travelled over holidays, despite advice to avoid unnecessary trips

Read more: Castlegar mayor resigns amid criticism for holiday trip to Okanagan cabin

Eliason travelled during the week before Christmas and came back on Jan. 10.

“Lots of people have made sacrifices over the past several weeks, over Christmas, over the past 10 months, that I should have probably made too, in hindsight,” he said.

“I know a lot of people who were struggling through it; I was too. That’s basically why I did it.”

He does not want to make public the details of his personal life, and he said he went to a private place and observed social distancing. He didn’t go to an all-inclusive resort to party, and he doesn’t go to Mexico every year for Christmas, he added.

“It was a spur of the moment decision.”

Eliason said he had a COVID-19 test before he boarded the flight back, drove straight home from the airport and has been quarantining since. He said he is a single person who works on his own, remotely.

He added that he hasn’t shirked any of his council responsibilities.

“I attended all the meetings, did all the work, nothing changed for my job for the city or my personal job where I work remotely.”

He said he thinks this is an important time for people to take care of their mental health, especially with Blue Monday coming up.

Read more: Nearly half of Canadians visited friends, family over holidays, new poll suggests

Read more: Alberta mom angry over travel scandal after Make-A-Wish trip postponed for sick son

Read more: Victoria councillor takes holiday trip to Africa


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Air TravelCoronavirusSalmon Arm council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Castlegar’s Gabrielle Herle (right) will be one of the speakers at the conference. She is seen here with Wendy Gaskill from Chinook Scaffolding accepting their Contractor of the Year Award in 2019 from the Builders Code Champion Awards. Photo: Submitted
Girls in STEAM and Leadership Conference offered free for all girls in the Kootenay Boundary

Virtual conference for girls in grades 8 to 12 will be taking place on March 8

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Interior Health reported 43 new COVID-19 cases in the region Feb. 23, 2021 and no additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
43 new cases of COVID reported in Interior Health

No new deaths, Williams Lake outbreak over

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Shuswap firefighters responding to structure blaze find cannabis grow operation

RCMP investigating, attempting to track down owner of property

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: The freedom to read

Books have been challenged many times in the past

Most Read