June 22nd, 2024

City council rejects local masking resolution


By Herald on September 7, 2021.

Mayor Chris Spearman speaks to reporters on Tuesday after his local mandatory masking OBR for City-owned facilities was defeated. - Herald photo by Tim Kalinowski

Tim Kalinowski – Lethbridge Herald

An Official Business Resolution put forth by Mayor Chris Spearman to make masks mandatory at all City-owned facilities has been defeated.

Spearman brought forth the OBR last week prior to the province’s decision to introduce its own mandatory masking bylaw on Friday.

Several councillors expressed their belief that the OBR should have been taken off the agenda given the province’s new stance on masking, and Coun. Joe Mauro accused the movers, Spearman and Coun. Rob Miyashiro, of “grandstanding” over the issue by forcing a debate during Tuesday’s meeting.

Spearman rejected Mauro’s assessment.

“There is absolutely no grandstanding involved here,” Spearman retorted. “We saw the situation accelerate for four weeks and there was no sign of the (provincial government).

“There are two factors to remember right now. One is until the vaccination rates go over 90 per cent we really won’t get herd immunity. So even at vaccination rates in the high seventies (in Lethbridge), the experts are saying masks are needed. The second point is people coming into the city that have lower vaccination rates and accessing our facilities pose a risk to others. For that reason masks will help.”

Spearman said it was about setting a good example for residents and City employees through the actions of local leaders.

In the end, council voted 5-3 against Spearman’s OBR. Spearman was only supported by fellow outgoing councillors Rob Miyashiro and Jeffrey Coffman.

Spearman was philosophical about the vote, and told the media afterward he felt comfortable with his decision to bring forward the OBR as a backstop to the provincial masking mandate introduced last Friday.

On Tuesday, it was reported that 12 Alberta mayors had signed a letter demanding the province introduce vaccine passports.

Spearman confirmed he was not asked to sign the letter, but would have had he been asked.

“I just think doing everything we can (is important),” he said. “This is the first health crisis like it in 100 years since the Spanish Flu. Why wouldn’t we do everything possible to protect our citizens, and to make sure we are following worldwide, leading, expert medical advice? Why wouldn’t we do that in Alberta? Because we have consistently gone the other way; we always try to air in terms of allowing people who didn’t want to wear a mask, or people who didn’t want to get vaccinated- they always seem to get the leeway. And the people who are doing their best there is really no reward other than the fact they are able to stay healthy.”

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Dennis Bremner

I quote : Joe Mauro accused the movers, Spearman and Coun. Rob Miyashiro, of “grandstanding” over the issue by forcing a debate during Tuesday’s meeting.
Spearman rejected Mauro’s assessment.
“There is absolutely no grandstanding involved here,” Spearman retorted. Enquote
That’s all this Council of 6-3 are noted for! What is worse is Myashiro has seen the writing on the wall and jumped over to the NDP to grab the next opportunity to continue to get paid for ruining this city! The NDP accepted him with open arms because it appears to be a tradition that Phillips started. So the “Duo” should have us up to the eyeballs in drug addicts and government sponsored handouts to “non profits paying each other $343,000 a year, to support those that feel they deserve a free ride in life! There money is theirs to spend on drugs, our money is theirs to support their “marginalized status, a word the Nutbars use to try to justify throwing endless money into a bottomless pit!

Last edited 2 years ago by Dennis Bremner
John P Nightingale

No Joe, this was not “grandstanding”, it was “common sense”. Look the phrase up please!

SophieR

You had me at ‘No Joe’.

SophieR

Speaking of NoMoJo 2021:

Did Mauro ever apologize to Lethbridgians for his membership with the Liberty Coalition Caucus, and their fringe right fancy with Hitler? (Even MLA Drew Barnes had the sense to distance himself)