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Mississauga gym facing 4 charges for defying provincial, non-essential business orders

Last Updated Apr 16, 2021 at 3:54 pm EDT

Huf Gym in Mississauga is seen on April 15, 2021. The gym has decided to open its doors despite provincial orders stating they must remain closed during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. CITYNEWS/Hugues Cormier

A Mississauga gym that has remained open this week is facing up to four charges for violating provincial orders that require non-essential businesses to be closed.

The City of Mississauga says Huf Gym will be charged with obstruction, as well as violations of the Reopening Ontario Act (non-essential business), violations of the Reopening Ontario Act (gathering), and violations of the Reopening Ontario Act (Order to Close).

Each charge may result in a fine of up to $500,000 and a term of imprisonment of not more than one year, the city says.

Director of Enforcement for the City of Mississauga Sam Rogers tells 680 NEWS that two separate charges were laid to patrons worth $880.

“Enforcement and Police Officers will continue [to] monitor the location. In any protest situation, public safety will take precedence,” said Rogers in an email.

“Further legal action is being pursued by the City and Regional Legal Services through the Ministry of the Attorney General. We remain hopeful that the establishment reconsiders their position and moves quickly to cease operations. They are putting themselves and others at risk.”

Mayor Bonnie Crombie alluded to punishment on Wednesday, saying the gym would be issued the maximum fine allowable under the Reopening Ontario Act.

“I don’t have a lot of tolerance for this … they know the rules,” said Crombie firmly. “We don’t make exceptions because they have their own interpretation of the rules or how they should be. The rules are very firm and they apply to everyone.”

 


RELATED: What’s open and closed during Ontario’s stay-at-home order


The gym’s schedule online says it opened for boxing at 6:15 a.m. Thursday and had classes scheduled for 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Bylaw officers as well as Peel police visited the gym on Wednesday and Thursday, but no arrests were made and it is unclear if any fines were issued.

Last November, Toronto health officials were forced to shutdown Adamson BBQ for falling to obey health measures. Owner Adam Skelly was eventually arrested and ordered to pay $187,000 by the city.

The restaurant also became the scene of several anti-lockdown demonstrations.

Ontario went into a “shutdown” on April 3 and issued a stay-at-home order that went into effect on April 8 in efforts to slow down the third wave of the pandemic that has led to the highest COVID-19 case counts in the province since the pandemic began.

On Thursday, government sources said the Ford government is considering a provincewide curfew to curb the surge and take the pressure off the overburdened hospital system.