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Mayor Ugulini says he is in support of mandatory masks in Thorold

Issue to be debated in several Niagara municipalities
Mayor Terry Ugulini. Photo: Bob Liddycoat / Thorold News

Thorold Mayor Terry Ugulini says he is in support of face masks becoming mandatory in the city.

The statement comes as several municipalities across Niagara and southern Ontario are debating the issue, and cities like Toronto and Ottawa have made the move and made it mandatory to wear one inside. 

“I believe in masks. I wear one when I go inside to shop, or when I can’t maintain social distancing,” said Ugulini.

On Monday, St Catharines city council is set to debate a tempoary bylaw making masks mandatory, and the town mayor Walter Sendzik has publicly expressed his support for masks becoming mandatory. 

The debate will start at 4:30 p.m and can be viewed here.

A similar discussion is slated to take place in Niagara Falls.

Ugulini said that for a mask requirement to be effective, it may need to pass on the regional level.

“But I will speaking about it at the next council meeting on Tuesday. We may have to do both municipally and regionally.”

Public Healths acting medical officer, Dr Mustafa Hirji told Thorold News earlier this week that individual municipalities need to decide on the issue, and  he is not in support of the region making masks becoming mandatory at the moment due to the absensence of high quality studies on the topic.

“If you are going to restrict peoples freedom, you need solid evidence for it,” said Hirji, while pointing out that there are likely benefits to wearing a mask in tight spaces where social distancing can’t be maintained.

He drove home the point that social distancing and frequent washing of hands remains the first line of defence against the deadly virus.

Ugulini said he is now awaiting the item to reach the regional floor, but that St Catharines possible move to make the masks a requirement will be felt in Thorold.

“A lot of people in Thorold work and do business in St Catharines. It will affect them too. Anything we can do to prevent a second wave and help businesses stay open, I am in favor of,” said Ugulini.