COVID-19: Okanagan gym plans to defy provincial public health mandates

A gym in West Kelowna says it will not adhere to the province's new mandates for fitness facilities.

An Okanagan gym said it will defy the provincial government’s restrictions for fitness facilities.

The province announced Tuesday afternoon that a gradual opening for gyms and fitness centers will begin on Jan. 20.

“After looking at the data we have, today, I’m taking the cautious step of reopening gyms and exercise facilities with capacity limits and continued use of the B.C. vaccine card,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry.

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B.C. to allow gyms to reopen Jan. 20, but extends other restrictions

Iron Energy Gyms, in West Kelowna, said today marks the first day of what it calls Operation Green Light.

“Operation Green Light is 100 gyms in B.C. opening their doors regardless of mandates,” said Brian Mark, Iron Energy Gym’s co-owner.

“Gyms in the surrounding area reached out to us, saying, ’We’ve been feeling the same way’. We are wondering, why are the gyms are closed and the malls are open? We were wondering why you can go to the casino and drink alcohol instead of working on your physical and mental health.“

The gym said while it has followed all the mandates up to this point, aside the latest closure order in mid-December, it no longer will be.

This directly goes against the provincial government’s medical health orders.

“We’ve learned about the measures that are important to help make sure the gyms can restart safely and still protect people who are most at risk,” said Dr. Henry.

Read more:

B.C. records more than 300,000 COVID-19 cases as hospitalizations jump again

The co-owners said their gym will stay open and will operate at full capacity as they feel it’s a necessity for the surrounding community.

“We are standing strong for the community, standing strong for Canada and standing strong to be that voice,” said Brett Godin, Iron Energy Gym’s co-owner.

The owners also said they will not be paying any fines given to them and will fight the fines in court.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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