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West Kelowna  

Donations for defiant West Kelowna gym quickly covers $2,300 fine

Fundraiser pays for fine

Contributed

A West Kelowna gym that was fined $2,300 for refusing to close under public health orders has fundraised enough money to pay the fine nearly four times over.

On Thursday, RCMP and Interior Health visited Iron Energy Fitness and issued the fine and an additional closure order.

"We are ready to speak up even more. We are not going away," co-owner Brian Mark told Castanet.

Mark says they have disputed the ticket and are appealing the City of West Kelowna's decision pull their business license renewal.

A GoFundMe has also been started by a customer to help cover the costs of fines. As of Sunday night, the fundraiser had raised more than $9,100.

"They’re keeping the place open for us and I feel like we need to help them with these costs," Laszlo Toth said on the GoFundMe.

Mark says he is grateful for all of the support and will be using the money to hire a lawyer.

"Two of our other owners have also come back from vacation. So we are even more ready to go," Mark added.

Back in May 2021, Kelowna's Flow Academy refused to close under public health orders. After multiple fines from both the city and Interior Health, the health authority moved in and changed the locks on the gym's building to force the business to close.

Five gyms in Kamloops have also refused to shut their doors. Two were issued $2,300 fines last week.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry ordered gyms in B.C. to close on Dec. 22 amid a surge in cases driven by the Omicron variant.



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