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Council votes to allow for expiration of municipal mask bylaw

Grande Prairie city councillors have voted to let the municipal mask bylaw expire on January 31, 2021.

As part of their meeting on Monday night, councillors voted down an amendment that would have seen the bylaw extended for two months. In doing so, the bylaw will lapse at the end of the month.

Bylaw C-1426, which was enacted in October 2020, mandates the use of face masks or coverings inside public buildings, with certain exceptions. Mayor Jackie Clayton says, since the day the bylaw was enacted, the provincial government has instituted its own Alberta wide mandatory mask mandate, which will remain in place regardless of the municipal bylaw.

“There was much discussion initially when this bylaw was established about the province needing to play a bigger role,” she says. “Since then, the province has played a bigger role, we are currently under the provincial mandate and regulation, and ours is superseded by the province’s bylaw.”

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“Choosing to let this bylaw run its course isn’t denying good science, it’s simply allowing the provincial regulation to run its course,” she adds.

The bylaw will remain on the books, which will allow city council to debate potentially enacting a version of the soon-to-be expired bylaw if the need arises in the future.

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