Hamilton’s Board of Health passed a resolution making face masks mandatory in enclosed spaces. The decision will be approved by council next week as the Board of Health is comprised of all members of council. The mask bylaw will go into effect July 20. The issue brought out some sharp debate with councillors Ferguson and Pauls opposed to the resolution which passed by a 13-2 vote. Ferguson said the move makes no sense when Hamilton’s COVID-19 cases are falling. Masks weren’t mandatory at the height of the pandemic, he said, so why make them mandatory now? “Leaders are supposed to spread hope, not fear,” he said. “I heard nothing but fear today.” Pauls said she preferred an educational approach.
Mayor Eisenberger rejected suggestions the mask bylaw is an infringement on personal freedom, noting that people have accepted mandatory seat belts. The bylaw calls for a $200 fine for individuals and a $500 fine for merchants who fail to post a sign stating that masks are required.
With this action, Hamilton joins Burlington and other GTA communities making masks mandatory,