SASKATOON -- Masks for anyone riding on Saskatoon’s transit service are now mandatory effective Tuesday after a unanimous vote by City Council on Monday.

For anyone using civic facilities, masks will be recommended. 

Saskatoon Public Library started requiring masks for anyone over the age of nine entering library facilities in Saskatoon effective Aug. 25.

To date, Canadian cities including Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Hamilton have bylaws around the required use of non-medical masks in enclosed public spaces.

The provincial government is not mandating masks for anyone indoors or in areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

According to the city’s report on masks, the provincial chief medical health officer has recommended that when physical distance of two metres cannot be kept, masks should be worn.

The city will make masks available to transit riders for a period of two weeks for anyone who doesn’t have a mask and wants to ride the bus.

The administration estimates it would cost the city $19,250 under the assumption that half of the 5,500 daily bus riders would require a mask, with the masks costing about $0.50/mask.

Ward 2 Coun. Gough put a motion forward asking the administration to continue to provide masks for transit users beyond the first two weeks as long as the budget for masks isn’t exhausted.

Director of Saskatoon Transit Jim McDonald said transit will be looking at increasing capacity on transit buses to improve service.