Manitoba's Top Doc is asking parents to leave the mandate to wear masks in schools in the province's hands.
In Winkler on Tuesday night, parents and children gathered outside the Garden Valley School Division offices to ask for the easing of mandatory mask rules and the requirement of a doctor's note for a mask exemption. They are also asking for the province to change mask mandates in schools based on risk in the province. Currently, all students in Grades 4 and up must wear masks in indoor spaces where they can't physically distance.
When asked if he believes parents should have the choice to ask their students to wear a mask, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says people should follow the current guidelines and not stigmatize those who are not wearing a mask.
"It's not here to stigmatize or to call out any groups. I think masks have a benefit and so that is why we have mandated them in schools. We have mandated them in the Winnipeg metropolitan region."
Aware of the group of demonstrators, Roussin asked once again for Manitobans to wear masks as per the regulations in schools across Manitoba and in public spaces in Winnipeg.
The group from Southern Manitoba believes the choice to wear a mask should be up to the individual, not the government.
"We are all in this together. We know that some people can not wear masks and so we do not want to stigmatize them but as a group, Manitobans, I really encourage the vast majority of Manitobans to wear masks when appropriate."