Iron Energy Gym co-owner Brian Mark along with several others marched down Doyle Avenue, Tuesday night, to hand-deliver a message to Interior Health.
Mark took to social media to state that while he and his wife were in Mexico, Interior Health (IH) employees dropped off “tickets” at the West Kelowna gym after hours and outside the date that allowed the gym to dispute the fines.
“We’ve decided we have our own message for Interior Health, in the middle of the night, to remind Interior Health … to free B.C.,” said Mark on an Instagram story.
The group then posted a “Free B.C.” sign along with a Canada flag poster to the IH building doors.
One of the Iron Energy Gym supporters added that the group was not causing vandalism, but, are instead posting signs on a building to clarify the gym’s message.
After several minutes of arriving on scene the group was met by a security guard who asked for the signs to be taken down.
“They did it to us….. they played their game, we are playing ours,” said Mark.
Mark and his group then left the area, without incident.
Interior Health employees downtown Kelowna are prepared for whatever might happen at their downtown offices Tuesday evening.
An IH front desk worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Capital News that they are aware of a social media post by Iron Energy Gym stating that the gym owners have “plans to do something” this evening. The post is in response to the fines issued by IH after the West Kelowna Gym refused to comply with COVID mandates.
Interior Health employees at the office also stated that they have extra security on-site and have restricted entrance into the building.
Media relations from IH confirmed that on Feb. 11, Iron Energy Gym was issued 16 tickets for non-compliance with the Dec. 22 Provincial Health Officer closure order and the Jan. 6 Interior Health closure order. The gym received an additional five tickets for non-compliance with the Feb. 3 Interior Health closure order. In total, the gym has been fined $7,245, said the health authority. A completed list of fines issued is available as part of the communicable diseases enforcement action plan.
“Interior Health has a mandate to enforce public health orders which are in place to protect individuals and broader communities. We continue to see high COVID activity and hospitalizations and it is important for everyone to continue taking steps to protect themselves and their community by following current public health guidance. We also want to recognize the vast majority of gyms and fitness facilities that continue to follow these precautions,” said Interior Health in a statement to Capital News.
A post made by the gym on Instagram says that health officials were “Sneaking around in the middle of the night, dropping off tickets illegally.” The post also claims that the tickets were dropped off outside the date that allowed to dispute the fines.
Capital News was directed to the Interior Health website after asking about what further action the gym can take. The website states that if an individual is unable to file a Notice of Dispute to dispute a ticket within 30 days there are alternate grievance avenues to take. The website says to complete an affidavit form, bring the form and the ticket to the nearest court registry, notarize the affidavit, complete a Notice of Dispute form, and file an affidavit.
Iron Energy did not respond to a request for comment but did post to social media that it will be live streaming its event on its Instagram tonight, (Feb. 15) after 6 p.m.