A photo posted on social media by Alberta’s Justice Minister Kaycee Madu that shows officials in an indoor setting without a mask is getting some attention online.
The photo shows Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw wearing a mask looking at a screen in front of her, while some of the others in the room not wearing one including Premier Jason Kenney and Madu.
Under the restrictions issued by the Alberta government on Dec. 8, masks are mandatory in all indoor workplaces.
The Alberta government website states employees are exempted from wearing a mask when working alone in an office or a safely distanced cubicle or a barrier is in place.
During the Thursday’s news conference, Hinshaw was asked about the town hall meeting photo that shows her wearing a mask, but not others.
“The provincial mask requirement is that people wear mask in indoor workplaces unless a series of exemptions or conditions are met.
“One of those is when someone is at a workstation two metres distanced from others they may remove their mask temporarily as I do when I’m speaking at the podium.
“I do typically when I’m in a meeting space keep my mask on at all times because it’s the easiest thing to do and of course it’s important that all of our are considering our actions but at the same time that rule was set to be able to facilitate people temporarily removing their mask perhaps when they’re speaking again making sure they’re distanced from all others.”
The photo was posted on Wednesday.
The Office of the Premier says the premier and ministers at the virtual townhall meeting were actively speaking with community groups.
“Masks were removed while speaking, just as it is done during a press conference,” the office says. “All participants were properly spaced, as per guidelines.”
“This is simply unacceptable. I hope there are fines given out. Can’t even follow their own rules,” said a Twitter user.
“Such a blatant disregard for your colleagues’ health and safety,” said another user. “Such a blatant disregard for rules and guidelines. I shouldn’t be surprised but I am still so deeply disappointed.”