A sign informing guests of guidelines due to COVID-19 is seen at Playland amusement park at the Pacific National Exhibition, in Vancouver, on Friday, July 10, 2020. The park is now open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with a limited number of rides operating under reduced capacity due to COVID-19. Guests must purchase admission ahead of time online for one of two daily time slots and are also required to wear face masks while waiting in lines and while on rides. The park is closed for an hour each afternoon for sanitization. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A sign informing guests of guidelines due to COVID-19 is seen at Playland amusement park at the Pacific National Exhibition, in Vancouver, on Friday, July 10, 2020. The park is now open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with a limited number of rides operating under reduced capacity due to COVID-19. Guests must purchase admission ahead of time online for one of two daily time slots and are also required to wear face masks while waiting in lines and while on rides. The park is closed for an hour each afternoon for sanitization. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Retail Council of Canada asks B.C. to mandate masks to help with aggressive customers

Multiple other provinces have required masks to be worn indoors

The Retail Council of B.C. is urging the government to mandate masks to help stores with aggressive customers.

In a Wednesday (Nov. 18) news release, the council said that retailers in the provinces have followed current B.C. mask advice, and have added masks to their COVID-19 workplace safety plans and posted signs asking customers to wear them.

Speaking at a Monday press conference, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry again declined to mandate masks at a government level. She told reporters that masks were already all but required in most indoor spaces like stores, on ferries and buses and in other businesses.

“There is an order that requires businesses to have COVID safety plans. A retail location, for example, should have plans that include mask wearing. That means making them available to people, making it clear that they need to wear a mask when they’re in those settings, making sure staff need to know when to wear masks as well,” Henry said.

READ MORE: No mask mandate as B.C. breaks records with 1,959 new COVID cases, 9 deaths over weekend

However, the council said that a mask mandate from the government would be more effective than employees and stores trying to enforce their own rules.

“It will greatly help retail workers and store owners who experience aggressive behaviour from customers not wishing to wear face coverings,” said CEO Diane J. Brisebois. “When customers refuse to wear masks in stores, it puts workers and other consumers at risk.”

There have been numerous instances in B.C. of customers trying to get around store mask mandates in recent months. Police were called to a Kelowna Costco on Monday for a customer who refused to adhere to the retailer’s mask policy, and in Trail two people attempted to refuse to wear masks inside stores in October, requiring police intervention.

Other provinces and communities have brought in mask mandates of their own. One goes into effect in Saskatchewan Thursday, while Ontario has had one for longer.

READ MORE: Police called to Kelowna Costco after patron refuses to wear mask

READ MORE: One man fined, another banned from Trail store for refusing to wear masks indoors


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusRetail

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The slopes and lifts of Mount Timothy, which will require the use of face masks this year. (Photo submitted)
Mount Timothy ski hill set to open season on Dec. 18

Preparations are just about done and a COVID-19 safety plan is in place.

100 Mile RCMP dealing with serious accident at Highway 97 near 103 Mile (file photo)
Men involved in BMO incident ‘remorseful and horrified’ by how they were perceived: police

The two have come forward to the RCMP and said their actions were misunderstood

Ken O’Connor is one of many 100 Mile House residents who rely on the 100 Mile House Food Bank to help support and feed their families. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Food Bank anticipates busy season

Numbers are already rising again.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

Clinton fire hall, date unknown. Photo credit: Submitted
Clinton Volunteer Fire Department seeks funding for gear, equipment

More equipment needed after successful recruitment drive.

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

The grey region of this chart shows the growth of untraced infection, due to lack of information on potential sources. With added staff and reorganization, the gap is stabilized, Dr. Bonnie Henry says. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 tracing to keep up with surging cases

People now notified of test results by text message

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Dr. Hurst says it’s best to frame the conversation from a place of care, stressing safety precautions.

Most Read