Saskatoon's mayor recommends mask use in public spaces and on transit

The City of Saskatoon's mayor recommended people wear masks in public spaces and on public transit and says the Bridge City will explore reports and recommendations from administration on mask use at a coming council meeting.

Council will review mask use reports, recommendations on Aug. 24: Charlie Clark

With students returning to class and public transit being use more heavily than it has been, Saskatoon's mayor Charlie Clark recommended people wear masks in public. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

Saskatoon's mayor, like his counterpart in Regina, is recommending people wear masks in public spaces and on public transit and says the Bridge City will be considering a mask bylaw. 

On Thursday, the City of Regina made a public announcement recommending residents of the Queen City wear masks in public spaces and on public transit. 

The Regina region recently became a hotspot for COVID-19 in the province, with 40 active cases as of Thursday. That city's mayor recommended masks ahead of a potential second-wave of COVID-19 and the annual flu season at a press conference yesterday.

Saskatoon's Charlie Clark made the same recommendations for people in the Bridge City in an interview with CBC on Thursday.

"In my view, having schools opening and having more high school students riding the bus to get to school … I think we will need to move to mandatory mask rules on buses and in city buildings," Clark said. 

Clark said on August 24, City Council will be receiving reports and recommendations from city administration about mask use.

He said he hoped to see the provincial government and the Chief Medical Health Officer create guidelines for the province broadly in order to create consistency around messaging throughout Saskatchewan. 

Clark said if clear direction doesn't come from the province then it will be up to the city to provide that clarity.

Clark said he participated in a phone call with other municipal leaders, including Regina's Michael Fougere and the ministry of government relations last week where people consistently called on the province to create mask rules. He spoke directly with Premier Scott Moe, as well. 

"One thing I'm hearing from businesses across the community is the clearer and more consistent the rules are, the easier it is to implement and follow," Clark said. 

"Mayors are ready to implement, if the province takes this important step."

Lori Carr, Minister of Government Relations, said she has met with mayors and representatives from rural and northern communities to let them know they have the authority to enact mask policies in municipally owned buildings and transit.

The government said it would provide advice and assistance through its own measures and public health to municipalities looking to develop mask policies.