Niagara's mandatory mask bylaw extended to April
Niagara Regional Council has voted to extend its mandatory mask bylaw until April 1st 2021.
The final vote was 25 for and 5 against.
West Lincoln Mayor Dave Bylsma, West Lincoln Councillor Albert Witteveen, Wainfleet Mayor Kevin Gibson, St. Catharines Councillor Tim Rigby, and Welland Councillor Leanna Villella all voted against.
The original bylaw, adopted on July 23rd and in effect since July 31st, was set to expire on October 1st.
The bylaw makes masks mandatory in enclosed public spaces; it does not apply to outdoor locations.
There are also a number of exemptions to the mask bylaw, including children under five years old, and people with medical conditions.
Seven delegates spoke at council against mandatory masks.
During the discussion, Niagara Falls Councillor Bob Gale asked why the new bylaw would be in effect until April 1st, 2021?
Acting CAO Ron Tripp explained that April 1st is after the winter, after flu season, and is a good time to revisit the issue.
Council has the power to end the bylaw sooner if they choose to.