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City will 'do what's right' when it comes to removing mask bylaw, says Nenshi

Last Updated Jun 8, 2021 at 1:49 pm MDT

FILE: A visitor wearing a mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 passes a sign requiring masks, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

CALGARY – With COVID-19 cases falling, debate is starting to spark up on when the city will remove its face covering bylaw.

The provincial government is promising to bring an end to its mask mandate when all health restrictions are lifted, which could be in early July.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the bylaw will be gone this summer, but they are still evaluating the specifics.

RELATED VIDEO: Alberta cities urged to have mask bylaw

“I will remind people however that we had a mask mandate long before the province had any guidance regarding masking,” he said.

“As far as I’m concerned we are independent of the province and we will do what’s right for citizens and what’s right for the economy.”

Nenshi adds businesses wanted the bylaw in place to help protect staff and there will be consultation with them to help direct the next steps.

Meantime, The mayor of Edmonton says he’s considering a request from a doctors group that he Nenshi keep their masking bylaws in place until at least 70 per cent of their eligible populations have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Don Iveson said at a briefing today that he’s concerned about lifting masking bylaws in lockstep with the final stage of the Alberta government’s reopening plan.

Last week, the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association sent a letter to both mayors that expressed concern about the pace of the province’s plan, given that the variant first identified in India is able to infect two-thirds of people who have only had a single dose.

-with files from the Canadian Press