'Put it on or leave': Video of Lethbridge, Alta. woman refusing to wear mask in a store goes viral
LETHBRIDGE -- A teenage clerk at the London Road Market in Lethbridge, Alta. had quite the faceoff with a customer over the store's mask policy recently, which was captured on video that has since gone viral.
The video shows a woman at a checkout and a worker, identified as Brynn McNeely, can also be heard. The woman isn't wearing a mask and refused one McNeely offered her.
The customer said it was because of medical reasons, so McNeely offered her a face shield instead, which she also refused.
“Nobody gets a medical exemption in our store, at least that’s what I’ve been told,” McNeely is heard saying in the video posted to TikTok," a voice can be heard saying.
“I’m a 17-year-old girl and I’m asking you, a grown woman, to wear a mask. Put it on or leave.”
The store manager eventually called police.
The woman left before officers showed up but they were able to locate her at a residence.
According the Lethbridge Police Service, the woman was given a verbal warning that she would be fined for trespassing if she visits London Road Market again.
The video has blown up on social media, having been viewed more than one million times since last week.
Since then, McNeely has received an outpouring of support online, including from Canadian musician Jann Arden.
London road Market has multiple signs, both inside and outside the store, informing people of their mask policy.
Some Lethbridge businesses, like The Mad Butcher, have similar guidelines but say they haven’t experienced the same push back from their customers.
“We’ve only had a couple instances where people didn’t want to wear a mask, and once we talked to them and offered them a mask, they put them on,” said general manager Rhonda Roth.
However, not everyone’s been as lucky as the Mad Butcher.
According to Logan Shearer, owner and operator of Urban Grocer, they’ve had many people come in without masks and refuse to wear them.
She said that some have said it was due to a medical exemption, while others just plain don’t want to.
According to the City of Lethbridge’s mask bylaw, anyone with a medical note can be exempt from wearing a mask.
However, Alberta Health states that businesses may set their own policies as long as they meet the minimum Provincial requirements, which doesn’t include exemptions.
Lethbridge city council is meeting Feb. 11 to discuss whether to extend the mask bylaw to Dec. 31.
CTV Lethbridge reached out to London Road Market but management and McNeely both declined to comment.
CTV has been unsuccessful in reaching the customer in the video. However, the woman shown has spoken to CTV previously while attending rallies to protests public health restrictions.