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City council to debate letting mask bylaw expire

Members of Grande Prairie City Council will soon be discussing the immediate future of the temporary mask bylaw.

Bylaw C-1426 mandates the use of face masks or coverings inside public buildings, with certain exceptions. Mayor Jackie Clayton says, with the bylaw set to expire on January 31st, it is time to decide on whether or not to extend it.

“This bylaw served its purpose in regard to being a temporary bylaw with parameters that were approved by council to safeguard our community for the needs at that point,” she says.

“Since then the province has stepped in, and [enacted] regulations based on their knowledge,” she adds.

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Clayton says, with provincial safeguards remaining in place, municipal bylaws may simply be redundant. She adds, however, if councillors decide to let the bylaw expire, it would only become dormant and could be brought back if need be.

“There’s always a case that an emergency situation is put into place, but, at this time, council is just looking at what we are going to do with this temporary mask bylaw.”

The municipal mandate was triggered on October 26, 2020 when the combined active COVID-19 caseload between the City and County of Grande Prairie reached 100. It’s expected city councillors will deep dive into the topic during their meeting on January 25th.

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