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Monday, September 26, 2022
NOTL repeals mask bylaw, will use provincial law

Niagara-on-the-Lake council has repealed its mandatory mask bylaw and will follow the province's mask restrictions instead.

The motion to repeal was made Wednesday evening by Coun. Wendy Cheropita during a special council meeting.

There was chatter among councillors as to the best course of action regarding the mask bylaw, since there are multiple sets of laws in place.

The region, province and town all had their own versions of the mask bylaw.

Ontario's statute requires a face covering in public indoor spaces and whenever physical distancing is a challenge. Children age two and up need to wear masks.

The law that has precedent is the one that is the most restrictive, said Lord Mayor Betty Disero.

Craig Larmour, director of community and development services for the town, said so far no charges have been laid under the town’s mask bylaw, but pointed out the province had previously been encouraging education instead of enforcement.

Now Ontario has switched gears and is leaning toward more of an enforcement position, he said.

The provincial law is also consistent for business owners to understand, so they aren’t confused by multiple sets of laws.