Masks Will Be Mandatory for Millions in Toronto and Peel Region

When it comes to getting ready to go outside, aside from the hats we pick up or the sunscreen we put on our skin, wearing a mask or face covering has simply been just another thing we do to get ready.  

Today, Mayors and Health Officials in both the Toronto area and Peel Region announced they want to make a temporary bylaw that would make it mandatory to wear masks or face coverings in all commercial and indoor public spaces in efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

In a news conference Tuesday morning, Toronto Mayor John Tory said the push to make masks mandatory in public spaces is “about respecting and protecting each other”. 

He also stated that the use of masks in public will be a key element to see the city reopen safely. 

“We hope there are more and more people out in the stores and the businesses across the city. We want that to happen for the sake of our economy and for the sake of returning to a nearer to normal kind of life,” said the Toronto Mayor.

The recommendation included a report from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa which showcased the effectiveness of masks in helping to protect people from COVID-19 and to slow down its spread. 

In Toronto, if the recommendation for the bylaw is adopted, it will be taking effect one week from today, however, Dr. Eileen and Mayor John Tory encouraged anyone who has access to a cloth mask to begin wearing it right away. 

Similarly, in the Peel Region, alongside Mayors of Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon, Dr. Lawrence Loh the Chief Medical Officer for the region, announced the recommendation for a bylaw which makes wearing masks mandatory. 

“I am issuing a recommendation, that in the absence of further provincial direction, a time-limited regional bylaw should be enacted to require the use of non-medical masks in public places,” said Dr. Lawrence Loh.

“A regional bylaw that requires the use of non-medical masks in public would further encourage masking in our community, clarify expectations around when and where people should mask, provide a visual reminder to all of us that these are not ordinary times.”

For the Peel Region, a council meeting is set for Thursday to ratify the recommendation of masks at indoor public settings. 

If the recommendation is passed, it too will start within a week of passing the new bylaw and become an official mandated requirement to wear masks. 

Mayors in the Peel Region have expressed their support for the recommendation attributing masks as a main factor in helping the region move to Stage 2 of Ontario’s Recovery and Reopening plan.

“The use of mandatory masks will actually help us have a safe reopening,” Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said.

“For those that are pleased about moving to Stage 2, I can’t see how it’s going to be possible to move to Stage 3 and see the type of decline in case counts if we don’t have the mandatory use of masks.”

Mississauga’s Mayor Bonnie Crombie echoed the same sentiments as the Brampton Mayor saying that “Masks by themselves are not the answer, but they are a big part of the equation.” 

“We don’t want to enforce a bylaw, but we will if necessary. It is our hope that people will do the right thing for their families, for their friends and for their neighbours.”

Additionally, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said that businesses will not be required to provide customers with a mask, but they will have the right to refuse customers who choose not to wear a mask. 

With the same sentiments as the Mayors of Brampton and Mississauga, acting Mayor for Caledon Johanna Downey said “it is proven that wearing a mask will slow the spread of COVID-19. As a community, we can come together, and we can do this.”

Ontario COVID-19 Statistics

Confirmed Cases: 35,068

Recovered: 30,344

Deaths: 2,672

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