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Markham mayor to introduce motion to make masks mandatory in York Region

Packages of face masks on April 29, 2020. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera

Markham’s Mayor Frank Scarpitti says he will be introducing a motion that would make masks mandatory in York Region at the next council meeting.

The order would make masks mandatory in all indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible.

Scarpitti said the York Region Council has the authority to pass a bylaw under the Municipal Act.

“We cannot afford to let our guard down until a vaccine is found. As the economy continues to reopen, we should guard against any false sense of security,” read Scarpitti’s statement. “The pandemic is not over and the threat of a second wave is a real possibility.”

He added making masks mandatory is both a responsible public health response and a sound economic decision.

Scarpitti also cited an open letter from Mask4Canada, a group of doctors and members of the medical community, who are urging federal and provincial governments to mandate masks indoors, crowded outdoor spaces, and on public transit.

Masks will be mandatory on York Region Transit as of July 2.

A report on mandating masks will be presented to council on July 9.