City of Iqaluit ends mask mandate

Councillors vote unanimously to repeal bylaw at Tuesday meeting

Iqaluit city councillors voted unanimously Tuesday to lift the mask mandate in the city’s buildings. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

People in Iqaluit don’t have to wear masks on city property anymore, as councillors lifted the mask requirement during a city council meeting Tuesday evening.

In a unanimous vote, Iqaluit city council repealed the temporary bylaw that had been in place since April 28. The change is effective immediately.

“Employees working in areas where the mask mandate is lifted are still welcome to wear a mask as they wish. It would simply not be a requirement anymore,” deputy Mayor Kyle Sheppard said at the meeting.

Sheppard acted as deputy mayor because Mayor Kenny Bell participated in the meeting virtually.

The bylaw, seen as a public safety measure during the COVID-19 pandemic, had required staff and visitors to wear masks in city buildings, chambers and offices.

Sheppard said if chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson ever calls for the return of masking, council could consider passing a new bylaw at that time.

Earlier this month, the Government of Nunavut lifted its public health order that had required mask-wearing in heath-care facilities. However, those facilities as well as private businesses can choose to continue requiring visitors to mask up.

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