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Aug. 7, 2020 | Friday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: Where is leadership on masks?

Dear editor:

I read with interest your article on Niagara Region council's failure to draft and pass a bylaw requiring face masks/shields be worn in public ("Region fails on face masks," editorial, July 16).

I also note that as of this moment a bylaw has been passed by NOTL council, however details are not yet generally known.

While I applaud the NOTL council on this issue, what took you so long? It's not as though we have not known for some time that the most effective defence against the virus is a face covering and we are in the epicentre of tourism in Ontario. Yet it took until now, four months into the pandemic, to make such an order?

This, of course, follows well behind Toronto's face mask law. As we sit safely up here and watch our southern neighbours politicize this issue and become the poster child for how not to respond to the pandemic, we should not be so smug as it has taken until now to get this simple thing done!

The City of St. Catharines has now passed a similar bylaw. I truly do not understand why so many of our political leaders at all levels have simply refused to lead on this matter and essentially left it up to us to do the right thing.

Our businesses and wineries require face masks in buildings and social distancing inside and out, yet politicians are afraid of what? Taking a stand on something that is simple common sense?

Where is the political risk in that? It's time for all politicians to get with the program and do what is required to protect us all and restart the economy. This is not possible if we regress into further outbreaks. It's time to mask up.

Stan Gilkinson