Monday, November 15, 2021
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Fiery debate on masking wraps up Lethbridge City Council term

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – One of the most divisive issues for this current City Council was once again front and centre Tuesday.

Councillors, in their final meeting before October’s civic election, debated the contentious issue of face coverings again.

The issue was brought forward by Mayor Chris Spearman as an official business resolution. It was on the agenda a week prior to the Alberta government reinstating a province-wide masking mandate last weekend.

Some Councillors said they expected the issue would be dropped from the agenda given the changes the province made, however that wasn’t the case.

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The resolution was asking that the municipal bylaw for wearing masks be in place for all city owned and operated facilities until December 31, 2021.

It failed in a 5-3 vote with Councillors Joe Mauro, Blaine Hyggen, Belinda Crowson, and Ryan Parker voting against.

Councillor Mauro was fired up, accusing Mayor Spearman of “grandstanding” by keeping this issue on the agenda.

”I’m struggling with the fact that comments are made and geared toward anti-maskers,” said Mauro. I don’t believe there are really anti-maskers and if there are it’s a handful. I resent the fact that term is being used quite liberal and made to put people, I’ll speak for myself. If I was an anti-masker I wouldn’t wear a mask wherever I’m supposed to wear a mask. I comply to the rules that the province has mandated. Yeah, there’s a handful that maybe won’t, but the majority of us will. People are wearing masks already. They don’t need to be told the difference between right and wrong. People have God-given brains and can make the decision and they know what’s right and they know what’s wrong. Listening to two of my colleagues call people anti-maskers and to say this is the appropriate thing and protecting the community, in my mind, this is total, total bull#*%!”

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Mayor Spearman, in closing the debate, said he didn’t take it personally and insisted there was no grandstanding whatsoever.

The masking issue in Lethbridge has been a hot-button one from the start, ever since a municipal bylaw was first passed in August 2020.

Some members of Council stated they hoped the province

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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 News 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.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

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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