A Change.org petition (Change.org/HalifaxTransitMasks) started on behalf of transit workers is calling for enforcement of mandatory face masks on all public transit in Halifax. While masks have been technically mandatory on all transit buses since July, there is currently no enforcement or penalties for not wearing a mask.
Ken Wilson, the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 508 which represents Halifax Transit workers, started the petition. He says: “My operators, my members are stressed. They’ve been on the front lines for over 10 months.”
Wilson says at least two Halifax Transit bus drivers have refused to work until mask wearing is enforced. Drivers have the right under the Occupational Health Safety Act to refuse work which makes them feel unsafe.
Nova Scotia has reported a total of 1,389 COVID-19 cases. While there have been cases across the province, most are in the Central Zone, which includes Halifax Regional Municipality. Over 1,300 have signed the petition and support continues to grow.
Here are a few quotes from petition signers:
“I see so many people riding the bus without a mask! It’s selfish and rude! Help stop the spread!” – Amanda Twohig, Lower Sackville, NS
“I don’t feel anyone should be allowed on without a mask or face shield for any reason. You have to wear one EVERYWHERE else in the city, why should a bus be any different?” – Jessica Cameron, Halifax, NS