Calgary face mask bylaw extended until the end of 2021 with increased fines

CALGARY — City council has extended Calgary’s mandatory mask bylaw until December 2021 and at the same time has approved increased penalties and fines for repeat offenders, which are to be effective immediately.

On Monday, city council increased the fine for failure to wear a face covering where required from $50 for the first offence to $100.

A second offence will cost $200 and third offence would result in a ticket of $300.

Subsequent offences within a 12-month period will result in higher penalties.

The penalty for failure to display prescribed signage remains at $200 but increases for repeat offences within the same year.

“An escalating penalty for repeat violations further strengthens enforcement efforts for those who are willfully non-compliant with this bylaw,” said Kay Choi, manager of strategic services for Calgary. 

Calgary’s bylaw was first introduced in Aug. 1 and on Nov. 24 the province announced mandatory mask requirements in indoor workplaces and facilities for Calgary and surrounding areas.

On Dec. 8 the mandate was extended province-wide.

According to city officials, evidence from public health agencies continues to support the use of face coverings as one of the ways to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

“The provincial health order does not eliminate the need for a municipal bylaw, as this enables local enforcement agencies to use discretion and sound judgement when determining the best course of action, be it issuing a ticket under the bylaw or Public Health Act,” said Choi.

“It allows for a faster response and real time adjustments to local issues, such as first offence incident for someone not wearing a face covering versus willful and frequent non-compliance.”

Throughout 2021 administration will continue to give quarterly reports to council to address amendments or the repeal of the bylaw.

More information on the temporary mask bylaw is available here.

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