Calgary council to make final tweaks to mandatory mask bylaw
CALGARY -- Calgary city council will discuss changes to its mandatory mask bylaw this week, days before the requirement is set to go into effect.
The bylaw will mandate face coverings in all Calgary indoor public spaces and public transit starting Aug. 1.
Councillors are expected to make minor changes to the mask bylaw during their last council meeting before the summer break. It’s not clear when the mask discussion will happen, as the session is expected to stretch into Tuesday and possibly Wednesday.
Several public hearings are on the agenda, including one on a controversial development proposed in Inglewood.
As it stands, the only proposed change to the mask bylaw is the addition of the word 'temporary' to the name. But Mayor Naheed Nenshi has hinted that some members of council want mandatory mask use in schools to be debated.
“I understand that there will be a motion arising asking me to write a letter asking for a mask policy in schools,” Nenshi said Monday morning.
“I do not believe that there is an intent to amend the bylaw on that today.”
The bylaw does not currently require masks to be worn in schools and day cares.
Children under two will be exempt, as well as anyone with underlying health conditions. Calgarians also will not have to wear a mask while eating or drinking at a restaurant or bar, or while working out at the gym or playing sports.
Discussions on the mask mandates come as other southern Alberta communities look at implementing similar bylaws.
Just south of Calgary, the Town of Okotoks has scheduled a special meeting of council on Monday evening to propose legislation to mandate face masks for indoor spaces like grocery stores and on buses.
West of Calgary, the Town of Banff will also debate masks for public spaces and its downtown pedestrian zone. Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen has thanked Calgary council for its work so far and hopes to make rules on masks consistent in the region.
Lethbridge city council will have a similar debate this week and is expected to require masks on public transit and inside city buildings.
Meanwhile, the City of Airdrie has scheduled a debate on mandatory masks on Tuesday.