Interior Health Authority and environmental health officer Christopher Russell filed a civil claim against Iron Energy Fitness Center in the Supreme Court of B.C. on Feb. 15.
Interior Health (IH) pleads that the defendants, Iron Energy Fitness Center, located in West Kelowna, are unlawfully operating in defiance of a closure order, Public Health Orders and the Public Health Act.
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.
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.
Russell is also listed as a plaintiff as he is employed by IH and responsible for investigating complaints on a variety of public-related health problems as well as issuing orders and recommendations as required.
In January, co-owner Brian Mark submitted a COVID-19 safety plan to IH, stating the gym would be implementing increased safety protocols and capacity limits. The City of West Kelowna then issued the fitness centre a business license, after previously denying one to Iron Energy for not following health orders.
However, sometime later that month IH received complaints from members of the gym that the fitness centre was not complying with health orders.
After an investigation, the defendants were issued a closure order on Feb. 3, after the gym owners refused to comply with Public Health Orders including indoor masking and checking the vaccination status of all gym patrons.
The gym has been fined over $7,000 by Interior Health and $2,300 by the RCMP for failing to comply with Public Health Orders.
The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction that would restrain the defendants from operating the fitness center. The injunction would force compliance with the closure order.
Interior Health is also seeking an order authorizing RCMP to arrest and remove anyone from the gym that the police believe is disobeying orders dictated by the court.
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.
None of these allegations have been proved in court.