Coun. Chak Au wants Richmond city council to push the province to mandate masks in all indoor public spaces.
He’s bringing a motion to Monday’s meeting, asking council to put pressure on the provincial health officer to make masks mandatory across the province, something P.E.I. and Saskatchewan have done.
“It’s time for B.C. to do the same thing – I see no reason why (health officials) are being so stubborn,” Au said.
His reasoning for a provincial mandatory indoor mask order is to protect Richmond residents from COVID-19, he said, even though test-positive cases remain low compared to neighbouring cities.
“If Richmond is surrounded by cities that have higher rates (of COVID-19), we’re vulnerable,” he said.
The City of Richmond has mandated masks in publicly run facilities, with a few exceptions, and Au is surprised that Vancouver didn’t pass the same bylaw, rather the city has “strongly suggested” people wear masks.
From his observation, Au said it seems Richmondites wear masks much more than in Vancouver.
“The further you go (from Richmond), the less you see,” he said.
The number of COVID-19 cases has been rapidly rising in B.C. and Au is concerned it's already too late for a mask order, but he added, "better late than never."
The provincial health officer announced Wednesday there were 762 new cases over the previous 24 hours with 209 people in hospital and 58 in intensive care.
It's anticipated new restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 will be announced on Thursday afternoon.
In Richmond, there were 48 new cases in the previous week (new data will be released on Thursday afternoon).
Au has asked for the motion for council to ask the province to mandate indoor mask-wearing be put on the agenda for Monday’s council meeting.