‘We are part of the solution’ | Gyms plan to challenge Quebec and open on January 30

Chased as ‘part of the solution’ and that they can help ‘save lives’, gyms plan to open their doors on January 30, for a day. Thus they will defy the instructions of Quebec, which has not yet provided a timetable for reopening.

Updated Jan 26

Henry Owlette Vezina

Henry Owlette Vezina

“We are part of the solution. We must be included in the equation to ease the work of our colleagues in hospitals,” said Club Le Vestiaire co-owner Karim Halimi, in a video posted on social networks on Wednesday, which has already been widely shared by hundreds of the Internet. users.

He asserts that his gym will open its doors on January 30, “with great respect for health measures, in order to show the importance of our profession and our role in society.”

Under the hashtag #lasantéenpremier, Le Vestiaire invites all other establishments you wish to join. Some have already begun indicating their intention to open up as well, in support of the movement, on social networks. Among them, we find the Empire Fitness Lachine, the MissFit Brossard or the Gym L’Atelier in Laval. In total, dozens of owners are expected to join the invitation, according to Mr. Al-Halimi.

The next epidemic, we don’t see it, but it silently devastated us for many years. He’s killing our brothers with strokes, our sisters with cancer, and teens with obesity.

Karim El Halimi, co-owner of Club Le Vestiaire

According to the group, gyms have always been “the first to be closed” by the government. “We have to live with the fallout from a model that everyone knows, which doesn’t respect sanitary rules,” the spokesperson said, referring to last year’s outbreak at Méga-Fitness Gym, which is responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak. Cases in the Quebec region.

However, the regional reality is that “the infection rate is very low in the training rooms”, but “they are still represented as the big bad wolves”, supports the institutions, which decry that during this time, Quebecers can “easily buy” a pot, And buy alcohol, eat food Fast food “.

Quebec says to do the best

The government’s response came from the office of the Minister responsible for Recreation and Sports, Isabelle Charest, on Wednesday. “We understand very well the importance of sport in the lives of so many people. That is why yesterday we announced the first phase of sports deconstruction and continue our discussions with public health and community partners to gradually return to the most normal sporting practice possible as soon as possible. Until then, the The way to set the winning conditions for the return of the sport is to continue to follow the instructions,” said press attache, Alice Bergeron.

For its part, the Ministry of Health and Social Services indicated in writing that the health measures are “not recommendations, but obligations.” Spokesperson Laura Fitzback said that fines of between $1,000 and $6,000 could therefore be imposed on organizations that “refuse to comply with an order” from the authorities.

The case is reminiscent of a movement of restaurants that formed in recent days, to defy the rules and open them on January 30, before Prime Minister Francois Legault announced that dining rooms could reopen next Monday. Two bubbles per table. A pastry chef from Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean who made her grow tired of loud and clear in the media until she gave her clients access to her dining room last week, before inviting her to the set. Everyone is talking about it Sunday.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Mr Legault said he was well aware “that there were activities not mentioned” in the cuts. “We realize. I’m thinking about adult sports, gyms, spas, but right now, Public Health tells us it’s coming in a third.”

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