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Penticton barber urges industry-wide coalition after frustration with government during COVID-19

Barbers banding together

A Penticton barber has launched what he hopes will be a professional association representing the interests of barbers all over the province, following a confusing reopening plan after COVID-19 and what he says was inadequate consultation between the government and the industry. 

Thomas Hart, who goes by Jimmy Slimz in his work at Slimz Brand Barber Lounge, was upset in May when Premier John Horgan made a public announcement that in just two weeks, barber shops and other similar businesses were allowed to reopen — good news in theory, but a surprise that left many in the industry scrambling to prepare to adhere to new health protocols for fear of losing customers to competition if they weren't ready in time. 

Slimz identified a need for an official unified group that the government and other stakeholders like WorkSafe BC can work with on major policy changes.

"The Barbers Coalition of British Columbia has the sole purpose of establishing a professional association under the BC Societies Act," Slimz explained in a media release. 

"It has been over 17 years since barbers have had a unified voice in the province of BC. The pandemic has demonstrated that Barbers need one voice. Barbers do not have an organization that only represents barbers in British Columbia. It is time for barbers to unite under a new membership funded association.” 

He is now calling on all barbers in the province to sign up as a member. The plan is to have membership be free initially while the details of the organization are worked out. At the first annual general meeting, membership will elect and executive and set up a membership and communication structure. 

"The goal is a democratic association that will have broad representation throughout BC. If there is a second wave or another situation where the government shuts down our small business operations, the new Barber Association will be consulted at the front end of the issue and not as a government afterthought." 

Any barbers interested in learning more can send their contact information to Slimz at [email protected]



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