The owner of a training room in Quebec who is a member of the Canadian Council for the Fitness Industry laments the intention of some of his competitors to ignore the instructions and open their doors at all costs, Wednesday.
The Canadian Council for the Fitness Industry (CCICP) represents more than a third of the 667 establishments with a health studio license in Quebec, we can read on its website, and completely dissociates itself from the grouping of some 200 gyms, dance studios, yoga and CrossFit that intend to defy the law.
“At CCICP, our position has been clear from the start and we want to be a partner of the government, both now and in the longer term. We want to be considered as a lasting solution for the health of Quebecers, supports the owner of the Le Chalet gym and provincial spokesperson for the CCICP, Gabriel Hardy.
“We do not want to fall into illegality and social disobedience. This is not a solution. It might be a victory in the short term, but it would be a problem in the long term. We cannot just do our own thing while the entire population is making an effort. The government’s ear will be closed if we have any problems in the future by taking the avenue to open illegally. “
A communication channel
Even if the businessman and his Quebec partners are impatient to welcome their customers again, they will therefore continue to abide by the rules, including the extension of the measures until November 23 which was announced on Monday.
Gabriel Hardy says he is in constant communication with Minister Charest’s office to find solutions in the industry. A government source confirmed to us that the communication channel had been open since the start of the pandemic with members of the CCICP.
“We want to meet with the Minister to find concrete solutions that would position a long-term avenue for the health of Quebecers. We must prepare to manage the post-crisis period […]. The government is closing businesses, but it will also have a role to play in reopening them and encouraging people to go to training centers, ”said Mr. Hardy.
A “weak” argument
The owners of the establishments which form the coalition affirm that the gyms are not important places of outbreaks. In Ontario, however, a total of 47 cases have been linked to stationary cycling sessions in a fitness center.
“I believe that the argument that gyms are not places of outbreaks is very weak. The government is not shutting us down because we are vectors of transmission, like restaurants, cinemas, museums, but it is because of the number of people in the same place and the potential [de transmission] that it represents. That said, if we want to position ourselves after the crisis, it cannot be done by doing an about-face in the government, ”indicated Gabriel Hardy.
Coalition of gyms: a secret list
It is impossible to know the list of some 200 gyms, dance studios, yoga and CrossFit reluctant to extend sanitary measures. The spokespersons of the coalition who want to challenge the directives of Public Health by opening their facilities Thursday in the red zone refused to reveal to us the member establishments of the grouping.
“This list, we have it, but there are owners who are not comfortable talking with the media, but we are indeed 262”, replied to the Journal the owner of Méga Fitness in Quebec, Dan Marino. .
After deciding on Monday evening to go ahead with their protest movement, members of the regroupment seemed to be walking on eggshells by mid-afternoon on Tuesday, following the government’s decision to issue fines. rebellious customers, not just owners.
“We don’t want to start a war against the government and have our clients accused of civil disobedience. We don’t want to put our customers through that, ”said Dan Marino.
In the event that the regrouping would back down on its intentions, nothing would prevent gyms from continuing their solo crusade and opening anyway. Of the 262 members, some do not find themselves in the red zone while others do not yet know what they will do, according to one of the voices of the movement.
“Everyone is free to do what they want, it will be something instantaneous. It is not easy to challenge the government and it takes time guts », Acknowledged Melody Benhamou, president of Idolem Yoga.