Petition calls for mandatory masks in Saskatchewan's public indoor places
Published Sunday, July 26, 2020 7:11PM CST Last Updated Monday, July 27, 2020 8:19AM CST
REGINA -- With the cities of Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa all imposing mandatory mask bylaws, a new petition is gaining traction calling for the same measures in Saskatchewan.
The petition is penned to the government and local municipalities.
Regina mayor Michael Fougere said the city is aware of the petition. But at this time, Regina wouldn't go ahead with making masks mandatory without consultation with the province first, he said.
“We’re aware of it and know people are thinking about that,” said Fougere. “These are all parts of the pieces that come together to form a decision council will have to make. But at the end of the day, in terms of public health issues, the province has the final say.”
The mayor also said there is a delicate balance between public health and allowing the reopen plan to continue.
“Public safety is critical here,” said Fougere. “Doing the right thing to protect people and allow businesses to remain open and work is important, as well. That balance is always out there as we re-open Saskatchewan.”
Regina resident Ariel Francis is supportive of the move to make masks mandatory. She feels like most people won’t wear one unless they are told to.
“Masks are not for you, it’s for other people,” said Francis. “They’re coming into contact with people who don’t know what the other people’s situations are. They might be immunocompromised and all that stuff. So it’s just a lot better to wear a mask and keep other people safe.”
Francis said mandating masks is like having speed limits.
“Having a law to wear a mask while you’re inside and around other people is kind of the same thing to keep all of society safe,” she said.
Chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab has recommended masks be worn in situations where people can’t physically distance.
He has also said that as the colder months approach, it’s possible the province may mandate face covering in public spaces.