Leduc City Council Balances Citizen Feedback and Well-being
– Council passes bylaw for mandatory mask wearing with minimum threshold
At tonight’s meeting of Leduc City Council, following a debate on mandatory masking as a preventative measure against COVID-19, Mayor Young and members of Council passed a bylaw that will make face coverings mandatory should Leduc reach a threshold of 10 confirmed active COVID cases.
The decision follows a public survey conducted by the City, which received more than 5,500 responses. Of the 4,199 Leduc residents who completed the survey, when asked whether they were in favour of face masks being made mandatory in Leduc, 2,039 residents (49%) indicated they were in favour, while 2,159 (51%) said they were opposed.
A second survey that was conducted for local businesses received responses from 183 Leduc business owners/operators or managers. Of those, 63 (34%) indicated they were in favour, while 120 (66%) were opposed to mandatory masking.
“I want to thank the more than 5,000 people who participated in our public survey on mandatory masking,” says Leduc Mayor Bob Young. “The bylaw that Council has passed recognizes citizen feedback while keeping community well-being top of mind. I am confident that this balanced and responsible approach will keep our community as healthy as possible.”
The bylaw will come into force only if the City of Leduc reaches a threshold of 10 confirmed active cases of COVID-19. It will require individuals to wear a face covering in all indoor, publicly accessible spaces. This will include retail stores, entertainment venues, recreation centres, and vehicles for hire, in addition to City facilities, when utilizing transit, and ride for hire vehicles. Business operators can choose whether or not to deny service to those who do not comply with the bylaw and may also sell or provide face coverings to customers if they choose. A number of exemptions are built into the bylaw to accommodate those who are unable to wear a face covering.
The decision made by Council recognizes that, when combined with measures such as physical distancing, proper hand hygiene and staying home when sick, face coverings are effective in preventing the transmission of COVID-19 by symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers as well as potentially offering some protection to the wearer.
“With this decision, Leduc is in alignment with other regional leaders and municipalities in the province,” adds Mayor Young.
The City will take an education-first approach to enforcement of the bylaw, should it become necessary to enact it.
The full results of the public and business surveys are available on the City of Leduc website. More information on the bylaw, including criteria for its potential enactment and exemptions to the bylaw, can be found here.