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Burlington politicians unanimously support mask bylaw

Burlington politicians have voiced unanimous support for a bylaw mandating the use of masks in businesses or facilities open to the public.
Burlington politicians have voiced unanimous support for a bylaw mandating the use of masks in businesses or facilities open to the public. Don Mitchell / Global News Hamilton

A Burlington committee is unanimously supporting a bylaw that will require the wearing of masks while in businesses or facilities that are open to the public.

The proposal must still receive final approval from city council on Monday, July 13, but it was supported in a 7-0 vote on Thursday by members of the corporate services, strategy, risk and accountability committee.

Read more: Coronavirus — Hamilton, Ont., mayor to present mandatory mask bylaw at board of health meeting

Burlington’s draft bylaw defines a mask as a face covering that covers the nose, mouth and chin and it will expire Sept. 30, unless extended.

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There are a range of exemptions for children under three, those who can’t wear a mask because of breathing difficulties, medical conditions or developmental disabilities and for physical exercise.

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Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward says mandating the use of non-medical masks “will help in driving home the message to our residents that wearing one, if they can, will help protect their loved ones and fellow neighbours” from the coronavirus.

Read more: Close vote for Niagara regional councillors delays potential mask bylaw in region

Ward 3 Coun. Rory Nisan describes it as a better-safe-than-sorry scenario.

“We will not be kicking ourselves down the road by saying, ‘I wish we hadn’t done a mandatory mask bylaw for two months.'”

He adds that “we could have a regret in the other direction” by not taking this step.

As a business owner, Ward 1 Coun. Kelvin Galbraith is trying to prevent a second wave of COVID-19, saying he doesn’t think “our economy can afford a second wave.”

Hamilton’s board of health will consider a mandatory indoor mask bylaw on Friday.