It’s a town known for dinosaurs.
Now the talk in Drumheller is about a new currency called Dino Bucks — a novel approach to fight the novel coronavirus.
Town administration proposed that businesses hand out $5 Dino Buck vouchers to people wearing masks in their stores. The proposal passed on Tuesday and will be rolled out starting Friday, according to officials.
“Instead of being forced or told to, we are being rewarded for doing something. It might be a more positive approach to mask-wearing,” said David Dunlop, whose family owns Neighbours’ Corner Pub, on Tuesday.
The town plans to cover the $5,000 cost of the program with businesses chipping in $0.50 of the $5 voucher to participate.
Vouchers can be used at participating businesses.
Town officials say businesses didn’t want a mandatory mask bylaw where they would have to police people in their stores.
“We have talked to a number of businesses. Several of them are on board and very enthusiastic and others are taking a wait-and-see approach. They want to see what council decides and what other businesses are doing,” said Town of Drumheller chief administrative officer Darryl Drohomerski.
“Businesses don’t want to be the enforcer, so our thought process is to have the retailers see the good people in all this and reward them as opposed to having to make a phone call to say, ‘No one is wearing a mask in my store.'”
Residents hope Dino Bucks will mean the town won’t crack down on mask-wearing.
“Hopefully, Dino Bucks will cut it,” said Drumheller resident Jim Spiers.
“I don’t think we should be fining people. Educate them. This is a good way to educate people with Dino Bucks.”
The plan is to run the voucher program for two months.
As of Friday, the town of 9,000 people had eight COVID-19 cases, according to Alberta Health.View link »