Oakville mayor resigns from Halton police board after approving chief's Florida trip

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Oakville Mayor Rob Burton has resigned as chair of the Halton Police Board after he approved a trip to Florida by Halton's police chief in late December.

Burton granted his approval of the trip by Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner despite a federal government advisory that urges all Canadians to avoid "non-essential" travel outside of Canada to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement on Monday, Burton said he is "deeply regretful" for giving his approval before Tanner took the trip.

"I regret sincerely that I focused at the time on the ways the chief's trip qualified as essential travel," Burton writes in the statement.

"I should have recommended against it because it could generate public concern about me not setting a higher example than the rules and guidelines actually called for."

Tanner has said he went to Florida to look after a "personal business" matter. He has also since apologized for the trip, saying it was a poor decision to travel in the face of the federal advisory not to leave the country.

Burton, in a statement earlier this week after the news broke, said he had "no objection" to Tanner's request for approval and Tanner still had his "full confidence."

The federal government says on its website: "Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice."