Cote St-Luc has become the first municipality in Canada to make wearing masks in public mandatory.
According to Cote St-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, a mask is mandatory for anyone entering a business or a city-owned building. Brownstein and his council passed the bylaw on Monday. Businesses have two weeks to comply and if not, fines for businesses and individuals who violate the bylaw range from $100 to $500.
“Countries who have enforced the wearing of masks are doing much better,” he said. “It's the only way to avoid a second wave and keep numbers down.”
Brownstein said all business owners will be required to post a sign provided by the city alerting clients to wear a mask upon entry. He said exceptions will be made for people with asthma or other health conditions or disabilities preventing them from wearing a mask.
Cote St-Luc is home to about 32,000 people and has the highest percentage of seniors in Quebec, Brownstein said. At the beginning of the pandemic in March, it was one of the hardest-hit areas in the province. "But we closed non-essential businesses early, and our numbers went down," he said. "We want to keep it that way. We are doing this to make sure we can continue to keep our numbers down."
As of June 1, 494 people in Côte-Saint-Luc have been infected with the coronavirus and 35 have died, according to Santé Montréal.