CALGARY (CityNews) – Calgary and Edmonton have mandated masks, now several towns and cities in Alberta are looking at the issue this week.
Currently, masks are not mandatory in Alberta with Premier Jason Kenney saying he doesn’t think it’s the way to go.
“We can’t enforce our way out of the pandemic.”
“I would like to hear them say yes or no,” said Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown.
“If it’s not the best way forward, we’re happy to follow that. If it is the best way forward, then we’re happy to follow that as well.”
Airdrie, as well as Okotoks, Cochrane and Banff, are all discussing mandatory masks at council meetings this week.
#Airdrie City Council (with @MayorPeterBrown) will be discussing masks in public places next week. Share your thoughts by sending them in an email to email@example.com. Tune in for the discussion on Tuesday, July 28 at 1 p.m. at https://t.co/zmDW0pqIis pic.twitter.com/TRUg2gFtYU
— City of Airdrie (@City_of_Airdrie) July 24, 2020
However, for smaller centres, it’s a big task.
“There’s impacts financially, there’s enforcement issues, what does that look like? If someone is in a store and they’re not wearing a mask does the enforcement fall to the employee?,” said Brown.
Nova Scotia became the second province to mandate masks provincially last week with Quebec being the first.
Here in Alberta, Calgary was the first municipality to make it a rule, then Edmonton followed suit.
Mayor Brown said he’s aware of several others who are taking it to council as well.
“I don’t believe there was one municipality of the 22 that meet, that weren’t calling a meeting of council or special meeting so the public and businesses can have a say in what’s going on.”
Anti-masker protesters in Calgary spoke out when it was mandated here, saying, they’d shop in outer-lying communities instead.
“It’s difficult because a number of people think their freedoms are being infringed upon, but I think we’re all in this together and we’re going to be much stronger if we follow protocols together,” said Okotoks Mayor Bill Robertson.
Whether they’re mandated provincially or not, Alberta’s Chief Medical Health Officer strongly recommends people wear them where physical distancing is not possible.