Some gyms, like the HUF Boxing Gym in Mississauga, openly defied government orders in April and reopened to customers, an article reported by Global News at the time.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has warned that HUF Gym will suffer consequences for its actions.
“We don’t have a lot of tolerance for that, we’re going to give them the maximum fine,” Crombie said on April 16.
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However, the gym remains open.
In neighboring Oakville, another gym, Muscle HQ, is one of many fitness facilities that have quietly reopened after receiving legal advice that they could do so under Ontario’s Reopening Act.
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The law allows health care providers to be open to providing services to those who require services such as physiotherapy and who can obtain a supporting letter from a regulated health care professional.
“We’re only open to a specific population,” co-owner Ali Siddiqui said when Global News visited the gym.
He said clients are welcome to train “as long as [they] have a grade that says they need to exercise in a gym. “
“There is a law that says I am encouraged to be open, I will be open,” Siddiqui added.
But Siddiqui admitted that policy makers never asked to see customer ratings when they made multiple trips to the gym.
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“No, the city of Oakville has not requested a review of the doctors’ notes. Under provincial guidelines, records may only be released to a Medical Officer of Health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, ”said Jim Barry, Director of Services at Oakville Municipal application, in an email.
The sign on the door of Muscle HQ says it can currently accommodate 52 clients, which is 50% of the gym’s capacity. However, the city of Oakville said this was not correct.
“Under provincial regulations, indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness facilities… cannot have more than 10 people authorized to occupy the space. Our enforcement officers did not find any violation of these limits during their visits, ”Barry wrote.
Global News observed Muscle’s headquarters for about two hours, during which time as many as 10 customers entered through the front door. Most chose to leave through the rear entrance, located in a self-service car wash area, to return to their vehicle later.
The gymnasium complies with regulations, according to the city of Oakville.
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At HUF Boxing Gym in Mississauga, however, it’s a different story.
Even though the gymnasium remains open, it faces six infractions under the Ontario Reopening Act. These include three fees for obstruction, two fees for allowing recreational equipment to remain open, and one fee for hosting an indoor social gathering.
“These matters are now in court,” Sam Rogers, City of Mississauga law enforcement director, said in an email.
Guests of the HUF Gymnasium continue to use the facilities.
Peel Regional Police Sgt. Paul Brown, seen on the Global News video hugging and posing for photos with gym supporters in April, was returned to active duty after a brief suspension.
The internal affairs unit of the service is continuing its investigation into Brown’s conduct.
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