West Kelowna  

Iron Energy Gym say they will follow public health guidelines for now after gyms were given the green light to open Thursday

Gym follows rules for now

Madison Erhardt

Iron Energy Gym says it will follow public health guidelines for now.

Co-Owner Brian Mark says he was happy with the Provincial Governments announcement on Tuesday to reopen gyms across the province, but says more needs to be done.

"For right now, nothing is changing. For right now we are kind of meeting with other business owners and feeling where everybody is at and we haven't made any moves yet.

"What I will say is the momentum that we generated by banding together with other business owners and speaking up and using our voice has inspired us to do more and this is just the start," Mark said.

Gyms were ordered to close on Dec. 22 amid a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant.

Iron Energy Gym in West Kelowna was one of the first gyms in the region to defy public health orders and remain open.

The gym was fined $2,300 and ordered to shut down by Interior Health, but they remained open.

"We disputed the fine. The Canadian constitution states that every person has a right to life, liberty, and security as a person and when we asked Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix for evidence linking transmission to gyms they couldn't give us any.

On January 5th The City of West Kelowna said it would pull Iron Energy's business license.

“We have not issued the 2022 business licence renewal for Iron Energy Fitness Centre, 104 – 2476 Westlake Road, at this time, as the business is operating in contravention of a Public Health Order. The City will review this decision after further consultation with Interior Health," the city's statement said.

Co-owner Brett Godin says he is not concerned.

"Interior Health is people as well. They have got to understand that what is happening right now is unlawful, it's offside. There are so many things I think we could say about it and I think honestly if they turned around and looked at what the government is doing then they would have a different view on what needs to happen."

Godin says having the gym open has saved lives.

"Hundreds of emails, 500 to be exact of people saying thank you so much we support what you are doing. This helped me from committing suicide. I have a member that comes in here and he is now 209 days sober and he tells me every day how thankful he is that we are here."

Capacity limits will be placed on gyms, limiting operation to one customer per seven metres squared of floor space. Proof of vaccination will continue to be required.

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