City council votes to remove masking and proof of vaccine orders, in line with province

The City of Regina will move in lockstep with the province as COVID restrictions are set to lift next week and at the end of the month

Author of the article: Alec Salloum

Publishing date: Feb 11, 2022 / Leader Post

The City of Regina will follow the province as it plans to remove proof of vaccination orders starting Monday and will look to phase out mask mandates at the end of February.

City councillors had four matters to vote on during Friday’s special meeting of council, which recommended an end to all current municipal orders related to COVID-19.

The motions, which were recommended by administration, were:

– to immediately rescind emergency powers delegated to the city manager (this passed 9–1 with Coun. Andrew Stevens (Ward 3) the sole detractor);

– lift masking restrictions for transit at the end of February (this passed 6–4 with Coun. Cheryl Stadnichuk (Ward 1), Coun. Bob Hawkins (Ward 2), Stevens and Coun. Shanon Zachidniak (Ward 8) voting against);

– for council to return to in-person meetings on March 1 (this passed 7–3 with Stadnichuk, Hawkins and Zachidniak voting against)

–  and to remove proof vaccination or negative test requirements for City of Regina facilities as of Monday (this passed 8–2 with Stadnichuk and Zachidniak voting against).

Coun. Dan LeBlanc (Ward 6) was not present.

Asked if she felt the city was strong-armed into following the province Mayor Sandra Masters said, no.

“We are going based upon the consistency of continuing to follow the public health order” she said.

“If things change, well, then we’ll adapt again just as we have for the last two years.”

Louise Folk, executive director of people and transformation, said the city administration’s recommendations were made to be in line with other jurisdictions in Saskatchewan. She also said without provincial backing, it will make it hard to maintain the current measures.

“It’s very difficult to maintain the restrictions we have in place without a provincial health order,” she said, adding it contributes to confusion if there are different rules across cities and regions.

Folk said the city will continue to encourage mask use and will stress public health messages.