Peel Region is one step closer to making masks and face coverings mandatory in all public indoor spaces.
Mississauga’s city council approved a new bylaw on Wednesday making masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This comes one day after masks became mandatory in all public indoor spaces in Toronto.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie told CP24 that masks will add more protection from the virus and hopefully avert the second wave of the pandemic.
“I’m really proud of my council for stepping up and doing the right thing,” the mayor said.
“I’m very pleased that there will be a coordinated approach, and people will understand if they’re going inside, whether it’s a retail establishment, an indoor mall, any indoor common area that a face covering will be required.”
Crombie is urging those who oppose the bylaw to do the right thing in order for the city to move to phase three sooner.
“There are many bylaws that are difficult to enforce, whether it’s a seatbelt bylaw, bike, helmets, motorcycle, helmets, littering, for that matter, walking your dog on a leash, but we do them because they change behaviour. They modify behaviour,” she said.
“We’re asking you, please, please protect your friends, your neighbours, your family. Please protect your friend whose child may be undergoing cancer treatment. Please protect those businesses that are already open, want to stay open.”
Just like in Toronto, Crombie said people with medical conditions, respiratory issues and young children will be exempt from wearing masks in indoor public spaces.
Meanwhile, Brampton’s city council is meeting today to ratify its bylaw on mandatory masks.
Mayor Patrick Brown said masks could also become mandatory in the city this week.
“Right now staff are looking to implement it for July 10,” Brown told CP24. “That will give residents a few days to adjust and make sure that they can accommodate this new bylaw without the fear of fines.”
As for enforcement, both Crombie and Brown said education is the top priority to ensure people wear masks indoors but people could be fined if they don’t comply.
Crombie said the amount of the fine will be decided in council today.
“Any bylaw has to have some teeth so there will be a fine,” said Crombie. “We’ll be discussing that today in council. But staff have recommended a fine of about $130.”
Yesterday, Caledon passed a bylaw making masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces as of Friday.
Burlington is following suit with a motion on mandatory face coverings presented by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Councillor Shawna Stolte.
In a joint statement issued yesterday, the city officials said they are bringing forward the motion to the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee tomorrow. A final vote is expected on Monday.
“Our understanding of the need for masks has shifted after learning more about the potential for asymptomatic spread of the virus,” said Ward and Stolte in a written press release. “We need to look ahead and be ready to use every tool available to us as we prepare for the eventual Stage 3 of the Province’s phased reopening.”
Elsewhere in the province, masks will be mandatory in Halton Hills starting tomorrow, in Durham Region on Friday and in the Waterloo area on Monday. Residents in Simcoe Muskoka will also be required to wear face coverings as of Monday.
Results of votes on the face covering bylaws in Mississauga and Brampton will be announced later today.