B.C. Human Rights Commissioner calls on Dr. Henry to restore mask mandate

Posted by By Cindy White, Castanet

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B.C.’s human rights commissioner has written Dr. Bonnie Henry, suggesting it was too soon to lift the province’s mask mandate.

“Lifting the mask mandate will do disproportionate harm to those who are already marginalized, forcing many to withdraw from activities of daily life in an effort to protect their health, and reducing the capacity to enjoy their human rights to their full extent,” wrote Kasari Govender.

Henry ended the public health order requiring masks on March 11.

Govender is urging the Public Health Officer to ensure that all actions respect the human rights of all people, including those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19, such are Indigenous, racialized people, older people and those with disabilities, including those who are immunocompromised.

“It is understandable that after two years of the global pandemic, many people are tired of wearing masks. But the requirement to wear a mask in indoor public spaces is a comparatively minor infringement on an individual’s autonomy and an inconvenience in exercising one’s rights…read more.