Signs say 'Mental Health Matters,' 'Gyms are Essential,' and '#FreeBC' (Iron Energy Gym Instagram)

West Kelowna Gym disobeyed public health orders, not granted 2022 business license

Iron Energy Gym has remained open despite a PHO ban on indoor gatherings

Not all local businesses have been granted a license to operate in the new year.

The deadline to renew business licenses with the City of Kelowna is Jan. 17 and with the City of West Kelowna that day is Jan. 31.

However, West Kelowna’s Iron Energy Gym’s request for a business license has already been denied.

The gym has continued to operate despite orders to temporarily close from the Government of BC’s latest public health-ordered ban on indoor gatherings.The ban on “Adult indoor individual and group fitness or exercise activities” will remain until Jan.18.

“We are asking you to reconsider the city’s decision to close gyms and negatively impact the mental health of the city that you govern,” said Iron Energy Gym in a social media post. The gym reports that Interior Health and the City of West Kelowna “has blocked, deleted, and silenced our members when they have expressed concern.⁣”

The City of West Kelowna has disabled comments on its Instagram posts due to “abusive and disrespectful posts, trolling and spamming.”

Interior Health (IH) is currently not commenting on specifics to do with Iron Energy Gym and its non-compliance with health orders.

Instead, the health agency told Capital News that its expectation is that all fitness facilities comply with this order.

Since the order was issued IH has followed up with a total of 15 facilities and issued five warning letters. RCMP has issued $2,300 fines to date to gyms in the Interior.

Further steps will be taken for gyms that remain open despite initial enforcement actions, stated IH.

“Renewing Business Licences annually allows the licencee to operate a recognized, legitimate business ensuring compliance in areas such as building codes and safety protocols, which is important for the owners, patrons, and the city,” said Terry Kowal, business licence manager with the City of Kelowna.

A business license is required to own or operate a business in Kelowna and West Kelowna, including retail and commercial establishments, management and professional firms, and home-based businesses.

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City of KelownaCity of West KelownaLocal Business