Council to Potentially Decide on Mandatory Mask Rule Next Week

Wood Buffalo Council will potentially decide whether to impose a mandatory mask rule next week.

They met on Tuesday where Ron Quintal, President of the Fort McKay Mtis, brought the idea forward due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the region.

“Our economy has suffered greatly because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Quintal.

“The fundamental aspect is not just the safety of our residents and children but the economy and how we are able to keep our economy going. Many businesses are shutting down, for us to keep the doors open on those businesses, we need to look at making masks mandatory. Many stores and businesses have made masks mandatory. We need to close all the loop holes. We need to make all public spaces mask mandatory.”

As of Tuesday, Fort Mcmurray had 66 active cases with the rural areas currently at 2.

There are also outbreaks at Syncrude and one at Suncor’s base plant.

“If they can mandate our children to wear masks while they go to school – we can meet them halfway and wear a mask, I believe it’s in the best interest of my children and my elders that I wear a mask,” Quintal added.

Council voted 7-1 in favour to push a potential decision to next Monday as there were concerns regarding community feedback, whether they had enough time to make the decision, and wanting to give administration time to write out a potential bylaw.

Councillor Sheila Lalonde was the only one to vote against, Councillors Keith McGrath, Bruce Inglis, and Claris Voyageur were not in attendance.

Council will hold a special meeting on September 14th to decide whether to impose the measure.

Residents are encouraged to participate virtually.

Anyone interested in speaking can email [email protected] to participate.

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