Friday, July 23, 2021
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Anti-maskers disrupt Lethbridge City Council meeting; want bylaw scrapped

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A group upset about the City of Lethbridge’s temporary, mandatory face covering bylaw wants it stopped.

Local businessman, Lee Mein who owns the Canadian Mixed Martial Arts Centre, lead a group of 70 to 80 people into City Hall Tuesday afternoon.

City Council passed the bylaw two weeks ago as means to curb the spread of COVID-19. Similar bylaws are in place in Edmonton and Calgary, however the mask-wearing isn’t sitting too well with everyone.

Mein says there is no scientific evidence to prove wearing a mask does anything. “If this is such a big deal then why didn’t the province mandate it? Why didn’t the federal government do that? They haven’t done it because they know they don’t have anything to back it. They have no science to back what they’re saying, it’s just a suggestion. Show me you legally have a right to do this and then we’ll talk.”

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Bylaw 6239, which passed third reading in a 6-3 vote August 24th, states that a face covering must be worn at all times while in an indoor, enclosed, or substantially enclosed public place or in a public vehicle. This includes places like malls, grocery stores, retail businesses, churches, taxi and ride-sharing businesses.

Mein lead the group into Council Chambers at the start of Tuesday’s meeting. The meeting was paused as Mayor Chris Spearman and a few members of Council got up and briefly left. The anti-masking group stayed in Chambers for a few minutes and spoke with Councillor Ryan Parker before leaving, with one person yelling “we’ll see you in court” as he left the room.

“This is interfering with people’s ability to communicate, socialize, it’s restricting businesses and causing problems with businesses. I’m healthy. I’m not going to get it. The science proves it. The numbers prove it. The average age of death with COVID is 83. The average death in Alberta is 82. People who are getting sick and dying are people who are dying from things already,” says Mein.

Lee Mein talking in Council Chambers Tuesday

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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