A health centre in West Kelowna, B.C., that overtly defied COVID-19 public well being orders has been ordered to shut.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Christopher E. Hinkson granted Interior Health’s request for an injunction in opposition to Iron Energy Gym on Friday afternoon, following months of alleged rule-breaking by the power.
According to the well being authority’s lawsuit, Iron Energy has constantly ignored COVID-19 orders since mid-September – when the province’s vaccine card program was launched – by refusing to verify purchasers’ proof of vaccination.
Interior Health additionally acquired plenty of complaints that the health club ignored B.C.’s masks mandate, and remained open regardless of a province-wide closure order for health amenities issued in December.
“The Defendants have and are persevering with to willingly contravene the Closure Order, the Public Health Orders, and the Public Health Act,” the discover of civil claims reads. “The conduct of the Defendants is, amongst different issues, placing the well being and security of the general public at severe threat.”
The lawsuit names the health club, eight homeowners and administrators, and the storage firm that owns the property the place Iron Energy is situated.
In a social media put up, co-owner Brian Mark defended the health club’s determination to flout public well being orders.
“People which can be coming to our health club have the best to decide on what they put of their physique, have the best to put on a masks or to not put on a masks,” he stated on Thursday. “We’re staying open in order that our members can train, can work on their bodily and psychological well being. Now the argument that they are making in court docket … is that we’re a hazard to public well being once we’re the rationale that persons are staying wholesome.”
Before Interior Health launched the lawsuit, it had ticketed the health club 21 instances, issuing a complete of $7,245 price of fines for non-compliance of the varied orders.
Hinkson’s determination referenced one other choose’s earlier injunction order in opposition to a Hope restaurant that also failed to abide by public health orders.
“On the applying earlier than me, it isn’t the court docket’s function to second guess the selections from public well being officers in respect to what actions represent a threat to the individuals of British Columbia,” Hinkson stated. “Iron Energy has breached the closure order by failing to shut its health club.”
The health club has not responded to CTV News Vancouver’s requests for remark.