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Sarnia’s mandatory face mask bylaw draws backlash

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Sarnia’s mandatory mask bylaw drew criticism from residents even before it went into effect July 31.

A hastily organized rally at City Hall drew a crowd and The Journal was inundated with complaints.

Opponents say the bylaw is government overreach complicating the lives of people with asthma, COPD and other health conditions.

They note Sarnia-Lambton already had one of the lowest COVID-19 rates in Ontario, without forcing people into masks.

And they worry people who can’t wear a mask, though exempt, are being subjected to public shaming.

“It’s terrible,” said Mary-Lou LaPratte, a local resident who worked in health care more than 40 years.

“Why penalize a city that’s done so well at keeping COVID low with $1,000 fines (for non-compliance)?”

Sarnia’s mask bylaw requires people, with exceptions, to wear a mask or face covering when in enclosed, publicly accessible spaces, including businesses and churches.

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