Nanaimo Clippers owner Wes Mussio. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo Clippers owner Wes Mussio. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo Clippers owner criticized for joining in Super Bowl fun was already living in Florida

Wes Mussio says he’s a snowbird in the Tampa Bay area and will be in the U.S. at least another month

The owner of the Nanaimo Clippers drew a boatload of negative comments for going to the Super Bowl, but in a way, the Super Bowl came to him.

Wes Mussio, the BCHL team’s owner and president and a board member with Vancouver’s Non-Partisan Association municipal political party, posted on Twitter that he was heading to Tampa Bay on Feb. 1 for “Super Bowl party week.”

Replies to his post were almost all negative and Mussio deleted his account the day after he made the post.

“It looks like the media, who is watching me closely, drew the false conclusion that I was flying from Canada down to Tampa Bay against government recommendations but I’m actually living in the Tampa Bay area right now until the end of February depending on restrictions and my ability to come back to Canada,” Mussio told the News Bulletin in an e-mail.

He said there are no travel restrictions in Florida and those organizing Super Bowl week activities are advertising to encourage people to join in the festivities, “which my family will do, with safety precautions like social distancing and wearing a mask.”

Mussio classified himself as a snowbird, said he’s been in the U.S. since before the last round of new provincial health orders in B.C. and said he was surprised to hear about Canada’s new quarantine rules mandating COVID-19 tests and hotel isolation. He said he may extend his stay in Florida to try to avoid that kind of quarantine, which he said is “basically telling us we are not welcome to come back to Canada without being penalized monetarily and a loss of simple rights like not being detained against our will.”

Mussio will be cheering for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend.

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editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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