LONDON, ONT. – Two fitness centers in Lambton County say they won’t close their doors on Monday if the provincial lockdown goes into effect.
“When I close my doors again, I feel like a lot of other companies will be convinced,” says Ron Theriault, owner of Corunna Fitness Center in Corunna, Ont.
Theriault believes a third trip into the gray area would be devastating for his company.
“Some government grants have been made, and that was good, but commercial rent isn’t cheap,” says Theriault.
“That’s not enough to pay the bills if I have no income and no income. If they bought a three-month membership right before the lockdown, I’ll give them that time later, and that’s six months after the lockdown with zero Income “.
Ron Theriault, owner of the Corunna Fitness Center in Corunna, Ont. on March 14, 2021. (Brent Lale / CTV London)
Its members and supporters have launched a GoFundMe page to pay for fines or potential legal costs.
The Corunna Fitness Center isn’t the only gym that stays open.
Sharky’s Athletic Club in Sarnia, Ont. also plans not to obey the order.
“I’m desperate, we have to stay open,” says Cindy Van Hoogenhuize, who owns the gym with her husband.
“All of our RRSPs are in this gym, we put everything in this gym, and we almost lost it.”
Van Hoogenhuize is currently battling terminal cancer. Their family income and sanity depend on the gym. She believes others need it too.
“This lock hurts people with medical problems,” says Van Hoogenhuize.
“A girl has fibromyalgia and she can’t move if she doesn’t exercise every day. She cried when they locked us up for Christmas and didn’t know what to do. We have people who say it’s like to Home and they are all behind us “.
A GoFundMe has also been started for them.
“We have been in this position three times in the last year and people are demoralized, angry and struggling mentally, financially and socially,” said Mike Bradley, Mayor of Sarnia, who wrote a letter to Premier Doug Ford asking for more vaccines asks to help his county out of the gray area.
“I understand the hardship and the anger. As a city, it is difficult to enforce a law that we have neither written nor consulted on last year. It will be up to law enforcement and the police to enforce it, but it is difficult when people are pushed so far after three bans that they can only survive. “
A member works out at the Corunna Fitness Center in Corunna, Ont. on March 14, 2021. (Brent Lale / CTV London)
Kevin Marriott, Lambton County director, wants small business owners to last a little longer with vaccines on the horizon.
“I can’t have that because it will have an impact on those who break the rules,” says Marriott.
“I understand that companies have now closed a third time because I am very close to the people who have been severely affected. We simply cannot risk the numbers increasing due to the limited number of ICUs on the Bluewater network . We can not.” risk people being unable to receive adequate care when hospital stays increase “.
Back in A Coruña, Theriault isn’t sure what will happen on Monday if it stays open.
“We will work as usual,” says Theriault.
“Either that or not”.
Companies fighting lockdown contracts in Ontario can face hefty fines of up to $ 500,000.