Residents and visitors will have to wear a mask within the Town of Peace River, or face a $100 fine.
Mayor Tom Tarpey called a special council meeting for the third reading of the Mandatory Face-Coverings Bylaw, which passed unanimously it hopes of limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Other fines include a $200 penalty for businesses that do not display the signage.
The town was also concerned with harassment of citizens who wear a mask, or do not, so included is a $100 fine for harassing people regarding their usage of masks, and that would increase to $200 for any subsequent offence.
The bylaw states that masks must be worn in public vehicles (such as a taxi or a shuttle service), anywhere that is accessible to the public, such as a store and any facility that is owned by the Town of Peace River, such as the Baytex Energy Centre, for example.
While all councilors voted in support of the bylaw, councilor Don Good acknowledged that the topic of masks is a divisive one, and that he appreciates the respectful tone of the messages from residents.
“The vast majority were respectful and polite, and this is sincerely noted and appreciated,” said Good at the meeting.
Good adds that he appreciates both sides of the argument.
“I have read report after report with different views on social distancing, herd immunity, masking, lockdowns and a myriad of other viewpoints including medical, political, social, religious, philosophical and sometimes just emotional.”
“This is the truth for me, and just me; there is no ‘yes this works’ or ‘no, this doesn’t work’ answer.”
“For those who want proof, I personally found none on either side.”
The bylaw includes a trigger, which is 10-or-more active COVID cases in the M.D. of Peace, which the region is above.
In order for the bylaw to not be in effect, the M.D. of Peace would have to drop below 10 active cases, and stay below the threshold for 14 consecutive days.
You can find a link to the town’s page that explains the bylaw here.
You can see a copy of the bylaw here.
– Kenny Trenton, Trending 55 Newsroom