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Lethbridge mask-wearing bylaw recommended to expire Feb. 23

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – The City of Lethbridge temporary face-covering bylaw may not be extended again later this month.

A City Council Committee is recommending the local bylaw expire on February 23rd, however it’s not as cut and dry as it sounds.

After some debate Thursday afternoon (Feb. 11) and tossing around a few different options, members of the Standing Policy Committee voted 3-1 to recommend that local Bylaw 6239 not be extended.

One of the options up for debate Thursday was consideration of extending this bylaw till December 31st of this year.

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Councillors Blaine Hyggen, Ryan Parker, and Joe Mauro voted to recommend the bylaw not be extended. Councillor Mark Campbell voted against.

The catch, though is this is only a recommendation and still has to go before the next full meeting of City Council later this month before getting approved.

Right now the provincial masking mandate supersedes the local bylaw, but if Council decided to go with this recommendation in two weeks, that would mean mask wearing in public would end ONLY once the Alberta government decides to make the change.

Even with that, Council could introduce a new masking bylaw for debate at a later date.

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City Bylaw Officer Dave Henley told the Committee that overall, the face covering bylaw has been successful here, largely based on education.

Councillor Blaine Hyggen, who supported this option of not extending the bylaw, felt we should be following what Alberta health officials are recommending and let them dictate what is best. The Committee was told coronavirus case numbers here are being monitored on a daily basis.

The often controversial bylaw was put in place last August to try and cut down on the spread of COVID-19, however masking policies across Alberta have sparked protests from some people who feel it violates their charter rights.

The provincial mask mandate came into play a few months later.

Lethbridge City Council meets again on February 23rd.

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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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