EDITORIAL: This is NOT ‘fake news:’ two Pickering councilors vacationed in Costa Rica and the Bahamas

We have learned from a reliable source that this information is true.
[ RESPONSES received from Councillor Ashe and Mayor Ryan ] It is absolutely shocking and very disturbing.

Two of these councillors vacationed out of the country, Costa Rica and the Bahamas. Councillors Ashe and McLean have been named in the media as having vacationed out of the country during the pandemic.

It a very sad occurrence and puts into question the political integrity and political professionalism of our Pickering councillors.

We have always looked at our councillors as public servants of utmost integrity, decency and uprightness, far removed from the madding crowd. The behaviour of these two politicians should not be seen as the typical modus operandi of our city’s other councillors. 

However, there is no excuse or justification for foreign travel at this time, especially applicable to political representatives. 

At the risk of causing unnecessary waves, we invited the two councillors to write their comments in regard to this. The citizens of Pickering deserve to hear from the councillors. Unconditional resignations may be the order of the day. We also invite Mayor Ryan to write a response.

NO RESPONSE TO DATE: Councillor McLean was asked for a response, 01 12 21

RESPONDED: Councillor Ashe has responded. See comments.
RESPONDED: Mayor Ryan has responded. See comments.


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4 Responses to EDITORIAL: This is NOT ‘fake news:’ two Pickering councilors vacationed in Costa Rica and the Bahamas

  1. Sobieski says:

    Response from Mayor RYAN…

    I know there have been some questions and concerns in the broader community with respect to Members of Council travelling out of the country during the holidays. I want to assure residents that I was at home in Pickering, and I will not travel while we continue to battle this pandemic.

    That said, I have only recently been made aware that a couple of Councillors did travel outside of Canada over the holidays. While neither I, nor the City of Pickering, have authority over individual Councillors and their personal travel decisions, I did take the opportunity to speak to these individuals today and express my concerns, which are shared by a number of constituents.

    While there is nothing legally prohibiting them from travel, I acknowledge that there are heightened expectations for those in elected positions. I am not going to name these Councillors, because I feel the onus is on them to take personal responsibility for their decisions. Namely, they should address the situation in a forthright and timely manner with our residents.

    Mayor Dave Ryan

  2. Sobieski says:

    Response from Councillor Ashe…

    Much has been said about public officials deciding to travel during the holidays. While it is a private decision to travel or not the current climate has made this a “public issue”.
    Many are aware that my stepson Alexander Monaghan died by suicide on Easter Sunday April 1, 2018.

    Karen and I have been very public about the circumstances of Alex’s passing as we have become strong advocates for better mental health supports and we have enthusiastically raised money in Alex’s name for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Beds at Ajax Pickering Hospital. We have been less public in how we are privately remembering our son and the incredible grief we continue to experience. Since his passing we (our family and his fiancé) have left a piece of Alex, who was an avid traveler, in numerous special places around the world including Glacier Bay Alaska, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Croatia, Mexico, Bermuda, and finally Hawaii.

    As many who have lost a loved one know, holidays are especially difficult. On December 28 thru to January 2, Karen and I returned to the Bahamas to visit Alex’s ashes. We did so in accordance with all health guidelines including three privately paid Covid tests (all were negative). We are now in the final days of our 14 day quarantine.

    As Karen and I were both ill with Covid in May (with some long lasting symptoms remaining) we understand the physical and mental toll it has taken on families and our community.
    We are entirely comfortable with our decision to travel and the reasons why. I will have no further comments about this matter.

    Thank you. Stay safe and God bless

    Kevin Ashe

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