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Sunday, September 25, 2022
Letter: Why didn’t Zalepa support mandatory masks?

Dear editor:

This is an open letter to Regional Coun. Gary Zalepa.

As a senior and a longtime resident of Niagara-on-the-Lake, can you please explain to me why you would fail to support a mandatory mask bylaw for the Niagara region?

Nearly half of all residents in NOTL can be classed as at-risk for severe illness or death (due simply to age) if they contact COVID-19. Add in people with compromising health issues and the number goes well beyond half of our population. 

Voting yes for a mask bylaw is a “no-brainer” unless one disputes the science of masks stopping or greatly reducing the transmission of the virus. (Which effectively transports us into the foggy and high-strangeness of Trump-land.) Seriously, is that the case with you? 

And, as we face the usual influx of tourists from Toronto and surrounding areas, recently classed as hot spots for the virus, risk to our population increases exponentially.

So, again, why would you not support a mandatory mask bylaw? Simply saying you will go with the local health authority, Dr. Mustafa Hirji, is just passing the buck. 

You were elected by us to represent our interests before everything else.

According to world health experts, masks are in the best interests of everyone, including NOTL/Niagara citizens. Not supporting such a bylaw sends the message your interests lie somewhere else.

Please understand this is an important health issue and politicizing it would be a dereliction of your duty. 

So, I look forward to your explanation. Thank you.

J. Richard Wright