Pickering’s deputy mayor steps down from put up after travelling overseas to go to son’s ashes

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Pickering’s deputy mayor is stepping down from his put up after travelling outdoors the nation over the vacation break to go to his son’s ashes.

Kevin Ashe, the regional councillor for Ward 1, introduced his determination on Thursday. It comes after he and his household travelled overseas in December to go to his son Alex’s ashes “and take care of our ongoing grief.” Ashe stated his son died by suicide.

“In making this determination, I believed it was a needed one for the psychological well-being of our household. However I’m additionally conscious of how this seems, recognizing that we now have all been urged to remain dwelling in an effort to comprise COVID-19,” he stated in an announcement.

Ashe stated he didn’t need his journey to detract from the essential work town council does and apologized to the mayor and his fellow councillors.

He additionally made the choice final week to not proceed because the chair of the Durham Police Providers Board as a result of Ashe stated that he didn’t need to be a “distraction.”

“I additionally acknowledge that the pandemic and ensuing social isolation have negatively impacted the psychological well being of many in our neighborhood. And as such, I absolutely settle for the criticism of myself and my efforts to heal overseas, as a result of your struggles over the previous yr, in addition to your efforts to remain secure at dwelling usually are not misplaced on me.

“I’ve heard you. I acknowledge your emotions of frustration and anger; and I’m really sorry for my actions,” Ashe stated.

In the meantime, one other Pickering councillor, Invoice McLean, additionally launched an announcement on Thursday, revealing that he’s at the moment in Costa Rica along with his spouse.

McLean stated he travelled to the Central American nation “to finalize the development of our eventual retirement dwelling.”

McLean, the regional councillor for Ward 2, insisted that he thinks his journey is important however acknowledged that he disillusioned his constituents in his determination to journey.

“My intent was by no means to cover this truth and I need to take this chance to elucidate my determination to journey and categorical my apologies and remorse for the pointless distractions to our council and the residents of Durham,” McLean stated.

Within the assertion, he famous that that they had postponed a few journeys because the pandemic started in March. Nevertheless, McLean stated he present in November that it was changing into “important to be on web site to finalize our challenge.”

McLean stated he booked the journey earlier than the provincewide lockdown went into impact on Dec. 26.

“I made positive to have the right infrastructure in place in order that I may proceed to serve my constituents and actively take part in council conferences at some stage in my journey,” he stated. “I share these particulars not as an excuse, however as a substitute to current the details that led to my determination making.”

Ashe and McLean be a part of the listing of politicians and different high-profile officers who’re going through criticism for travelling overseas regardless of public well being steerage to keep away from non-essential journeys.

Ajax MPP Rod Phillips resigned as Ontario’s finance minister after his journey to the Caribbean. Dr. Tom Stewart, the president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Well being System, additionally stepped down after it was revealed that he went on a visit to the Dominican Republic. Halton’s police chief additionally acquired backlash for travelling to Florida to are likely to his property.

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