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White Rock shoots down mandatory mask motion

Coun. Scott Kristjanson asked city to prepare report on mandatory masks on public spaces
White Rock Pier was busy Tuesday afternoon. A city councillor’s motion to discuss making masks mandatory at the pier, as well as on the promenade and at the city’s farmers’ market, died Monday night without a seconder. (Aaron Hinks photo)

City of White Rock councillors appear to have no intention of mandating masks, at least for the time being, in public spaces.

Noting the rise of COVID-19 cases in the province, Coun. Scott Kristjanson made a motion at the regular council meeting Monday evening (Sept. 28) for staff to prepare a report on mandatory mask use in some public spaces.

The motion died with no seconder before it could be discussed.

Kristjanson suggested to council the city might look at mandating masks on the White Rock Pier, promenade, and White Rock Farmers Market. He said he wants to put the city in a position where it can avoid closing those attractions if COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Last March, White Rock council closed the pier, promenade and Marine Drive parking lots for several weeks amid COVID-19 concerns.

SEE ALSO: Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

In the afternoon prior to the council meeting, Kristjanson told Peace Arch News that mandating masks would be up to council, but he wanted to open a discussion on the topic.

“I think it would be good to have people wearing a mask, especially on the pier because it gets crowded,” Kristjanson said.

Although Kristjanson’s motion wasn’t discussed in council, Coun. David Chesney, contacted Tuesday, said at least for the time being, he’s not in support of a mandatory mask bylaw.

“I don’t support it to be very honest. Indoors, you know, certainly I wear my mask if I’m going to Save-On or something like that…” Chesney said. “We may review this.”

SEE ALSO: Face masks to be mandatory at all Delta facilities Oct. 1

Canadian health authorities and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recommend wearing a non-medical mask in public spaces, especially crowded ones, when physical distancing isn’t possible.

Several communities across the country, and locally, have made non-medical masks mandatory on public transit, inside businesses, and indoor public spaces.

Most recently, the City of Delta announced it is making face masks mandatory at all City of Delta facilities, except during activities where wearing a mask is not feasible, such as swimming.

Delta’s new requirement takes effect Oct. 1.

About the Author: Aaron Hinks

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