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.