SASKATOON -- As more cities across Canada move to make face masks mandatory in indoor public spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19, people in Saskatchewan have mixed feelings about whether that same rule should be applied here.

Microbiologist Dr. Joseph Blondeau said he believes masks do have a place in the fight against COVID-19.

“These masks are catching these respiratory droplets and preventing the wearer from then putting this virus particle onto somebody else who might be susceptible,” he said.

But Cody Payant, the organizer of the March to Unmask protest taking place Sunday in Saskatoon, said people should have the right to choose what to wear on their bodies, adding that the government’s mixed messaging about the effectiveness of face masks is a red flag.

“It’s not actually making anyone safer. It’s just people are scared. The government’s using that fear and then people are scared and they think that they have to wear masks and think that anyone who is not wearing a mask is putting their health in danger and it’s just propaganda,” he told CTV News.

He said he doesn’t think masks are bad or that people shouldn’t wear them at all, but he believes that people should have a say as to whether or not they wear them.

Cities across Ontario, including Toronto and Ottawa, have started making non-medical face masks mandatory while at indoor public spaces like businesses and public transit.

A mandatory face mask law will be going into effect in Quebec this weekend — something that hasn’t happened in Saskatchewan.

“I think it’s totally within reason to say if you need to go out, wear a mask and if it’s too much of an issue, I guess stay home,” said Sarah Dorward, who was initially living in Ottawa before moving back home to Saskatoon.

Another local resident, James Kumaran, said “it would just make me feel better personally and I’m sure a lot people would feel the same.”

Angela Martens who was walking around downtown Saskatoon said, “I think by making it mandatory, it would just make it an easier decision for people.”

Blondeau said despite cases going up in the province, he doesn’t think we’re at a point where mandatory masks are required.

“But a mask is a useful tool in those situations where you cannot guarantee physical distancing.”

He said masks shouldn’t be treated as a replacement for hand washing and physical distancing, but as an additional tool.

Blondeau also recognizes that some people have concerns about masks causing other potential health issues and breathing problems and said it’s something he is researching.

“We know that some patients have exhibited some signs of an allergic type of reaction where they get a little bit of discomfort on and around their face where their mask is touching them. But I have not been able to find an abundance of data to say that by wearing the mask, it’s causing you additional respiratory problems.”

He adds that masks collect moisture the longer they are worn, so it is important for people to clean them regularly or discard them, depending on what material they are made of.