Friday, January 8, 2021

Tracking UBC leaderships' statements on winter break travel.

 Dr. Berman. Director of the School of Population and Public Health. 

January 6, 2021.

Dear SPPH Community,

In light of recent events and news stories this past week, I feel that I need to share with you that I travelled over the holiday break. I recognize now that I should not have travelled, and that many of you have made sacrifices over these past several weeks that I too should have made. I truly regret this decision.


In my position as Director of SPPH, I would like to reaffirm my sincere support for the efforts of our public health authorities and many of you, my public health colleagues, to address this COVID-19 crisis. I would also like to assure you all that in my travel I have and am complying with all requirements for pandemic control and will continue to do so.



Professor and Director
School of Population and Public Health


President Sanata Ono. 

Late last year my elderly mother was taken to hospital by ambulance in her home city of Baltimore. Since my mother and father, who is 93, live alone, I was concerned about their welfare. There is no one in my extended family who lives in Baltimore and was able to provide support for them.

On December 10 I flew to Baltimore for a four-day trip and self-quarantined for 14 days on return, as per health and travel guidelines.

I carefully weighed the decision to travel and out of concern for my parents, made the decision to proceed with the trip. During my trip, I strictly followed COVID-19 safety protocols and guidelines, including quarantine rules. I felt it was important to travel at that time. This trip was not a vacation.

As president of UBC, I am grateful to the many public health professionals and researchers, both at UBC and beyond, who are working hard behind the scenes and on the front lines to protect us from COVID-19. I remain committed to doing my part to help bring an end to this global pandemic.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


Lesley Cormack, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

January 7, 2021

In light of questions about travel in recent weeks and in the interest of transparency, I’d like to disclose that I have been in Edmonton at my primary residence since December 12 and will remain here until at least the end of the month working remotely.

As many of you are aware, I only recently took up my post at UBC Okanagan and this trip has been to prepare my home for sale and to arrange my affairs as I move permanently to the Okanagan.

I’m very grateful for the work and sacrifice of our healthcare professionals and I can confirm that I have strictly adhered to all public health guidelines.


Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal
UBC Okanagan


Dermott Kelleher. Dean, Faculty of Medicine. VP Health.

January 7, 2021

Late last year, I made the difficult decision to travel home in early December to address serious personal and private matters. I did not make this decision lightly. Further, I continued to work from my home in Ireland during this time.

As such, I have strictly followed both the Irish and Canadian government's COVID-19 safety protocols and guidelines, including quarantine rules and very strict limits on social interactions. 

Dermot Kelleher, MB, MD, FRCP, FRCPI, FMedSci, FCAHS, FRCPC, AGAF
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
Vice-President, Health
The University of British Columbia