July 28th, 2021

Taber retains mask bylaw, opposition petition rejected


By Stan Ashbee SOUTHERN ALBERTA NEWSPAPERS on April 16, 2021.

Stan Ashbee – Southern Alberta Newspapers

A motion was passed unanimously during a regular Town of Taber council meeting held Apr. 12 that the town follow provincial guidelines in regards to mask wearing – and the Town of Taber leaves its face covering bylaw in place until public health orders have been lifted by the province.
It was stated in a report submitted to council, on Nov. 30, 2020 council passed the Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw 22-2020.
“At that time, council considered this bylaw, along with municipal neighbours – the Municipal District of Taber, which also enacted a version of this bylaw.”
It was noted the town has to follow the Alberta Health Services (AHS) guidelines and the town has no choice in the matter.
Coun. Carly Firth believes leaving the town’s bylaw in place, even though the public health order would supersede that, shows the town of Taber’s support for public health guidelines.
It was also stated in a report submitted to council, the municipality received a petition that was submitted and addressed to town council from someone who identified as the co-founder and organizer of an anti-COVID alliance. The petition’s purpose statement was to have the removal of Taber’s mandatory mask bylaw.
A recommendation/motion was made for council to accept the CAO’s declaration to the Town of Taber council that the petition stating “the removal of Taber’s Mandatory Mask Bylaw” is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), as it was not submitted within the 60-day limitation period provided under Section 233(2) of the MGA. The motion passed unanimously.
Additionally, it was stated in the report to council, even if the petition had been received within the time period required by Section 233(2) of the MGA, the petition does not have a sufficient number of signatures to satisfy Section 223(2)(a) of the MGA.

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