Iron Energy will not going to comply with the orders in the civil suit from Interior Health (file photo)

Iron Energy will not going to comply with the orders in the civil suit from Interior Health (file photo)

West Kelowna gym closes doors after Interior Health files lawsuit over COVID concerns

Iron Energy does not consent to the orders in the civil claim served by Interior Health on Feb. 15

UPDATE: 6:30 p.m.

After weeks of fighting back against COVID-19 restrictions and mandates, Iron Energy Fitness in West Kelowna has decided to close its doors as a gym.

The outspoken owners of the gym took to social media Tuesday evening to explain that they had “lost their fight to big brother” following a civil lawsuit filed against them by Interior Health.

Interior Health (IH) submitted a civil claim that the defendants are unlawfully operating in defiance of a closure order, Public Health Orders and the Public Health Act. In the claim, the plaintiffs are seeking an injunction and an order allowing RCMP to remove those not complying with Public Health Orders.

The fitness centre will be open to purchase swag, supplements and clothing.

Iron Energy Fitness claimed that if the gym continues to operate they could all face arrest and possible jail time.

They stated that they are following legal orders and are seeking counsel on what can be done to fight against the civil suit and reopening the gym.

It’s unclear if the fitness centre lost its previous legal counsel Terry M. McCaffrey who filed a response to IH’s civil suit on Feb. 18, as one owner said on social media they are looking for a lawyer.

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ORIGINAL:

Iron Energy Fitness Center has filed a response to the civil claim served by Interior Health on Feb. 15.

The West Kelowna gym owners (defendants) state they do not consent to the injunction and orders outlined in the civil claim from the health authority and environmental health officer Christopher Russell.

Interior Health (IH) submitted a civil claim that the defendants are unlawfully operating in defiance of a closure order, Public Health Orders and the Public Health Act. In the claim, the plaintiffs are seeking an injunction and an order allowing RCMP to remove those not complying with Public Health Orders.

The plaintiff claims that the defendants are in violation of the Health Act, which states that a person must not willingly cause a health hazard. The health authority pleads that the owners and operators of the gym are guilty of causing a health hazard by continuing to operate without restrictions.

READ MORE: Interior Health seeks injunction against West Kelowna gym, wants rule-breakers arrested

The defendants allege that they were not served the civil claim in accordance with the Supreme Court Civil Rules. The claim was not delivered to the legal counsel working for Iron Energy or the owners of the gym. A binder containing the civil claim “was delivered and left at the reception of the gym with an employee who is not an officer, director or owner of Iron Energy Fitness Center,” stated the application response.

The gym is owned and operated by Brian Mark, Kristen Mark, Cole Dasilva, Morgan de la Ronde, Brett Godin, Amy Webster and Brian Ralph. The defendants have not responded to interview requests.

Capital News spoke to the trial lawyer representing Iron Energy Fitness center, Terry M. McCaffrey to confirm and clarify points in the application response.

In the response to the civil claim, the defendants state that they were not given sufficient notice of the proposed orders. They state that they did not have enough time to provide a response to the alleged evidence of the plaintiffs. Because of the delivery and timeline of the civil suit, the defendants claim that they were not given the right to a fair hearing.

The defendants also state that the arguments supporting COVID-19 restrictions provided by the plaintiffs are not based in science. Dr. Silvina Mema, Interior Health officer, provided an affidavit outlining the restrictions and the reason for their implementation but the defendants plead the explanation is not based in science.

The defendants also allege that the beliefs of Dr. Mema with are “not shared by other scientists. It’s unclear who the “other scientists” and what their beliefs are as referenced by the defendants.

In other B.C. civil cases, the court accepted as fact that Canada has been in a COVID-19 pandemic, that contracting the virus poses a serious and significant risk to both children and adults, and that COVID-19 vaccination is safe and effective.

The gym has been fined over $7,000 by IH and $2,300 by the RCMP for failing to comply with Public Health Orders including indoor masking and checking the vaccination status of all gym patrons.

The violation tickets issued by the health authority have been disputed by the defendants and a decision has not yet been rendered by the provincial court.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

READ MORE: Kelowna nurse sues after being terminated for not getting COVID vaccine

READ MORE: Kelowna dad loses parental custody until son is vaccinated, judge rules

READ MORE: West Kelowna gym ordered to close by Interior Health for continued COVID violations


@Rangers_mom
Jacqueline.Gelineau@kelownacapnews.com

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