Gym owner & single mom of 5 fined $1,000 for not enforcing mask bylaw

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Rebecca Ingram is a single mom of five, and the owner of The Gym Fitness Club in Calgary for 26 years. And she is being treated like public enemy number one by the Calgary Police Service and Alberta Health Services. Her crime: respecting her clients when they tell her they are exempt from the mask bylaw.

I first met Rebecca on another story. I was at Outlaws Taphouse and Bar in Calgary, hearing another story of major police presence to deal with a business that respects human rights. Outlaws had the Calgary police's gang suppression unit show up to issue a closure notice to owners Marla Fraser and Kerry Lambert, for not forcing customers into masks to enter their establishment. 

Rebecca was at Outlaws that day to support the business. Being an observant journalist, I overheard her offer a free gym membership to someone who could not afford one. This person she was helping was a recovering addict, just a few days sober, who needed an outlet and some support for his sobriety, and Rebecca offered up her services. Rebecca made a good first impression on me.

You can see Outlaws’ story and watch the followup, where Kerry and Marla explain how the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission pulled their license to operate, all because they respect human rights legislation, at

And now it's Rebecca who needs our help. She says bylaw, cops and health inspectors have been constantly monitoring her since the province allowed gyms to reopen a few weeks ago. Now, Rebecca says 12 cops and health inspectors showed up at her door and issued her a pre-written ticket for $1,000 for not following COVID rules. She says she felt threatened and harassed by it all, and now has anxiety and dread about going to work.

Rebecca has $50,000 in debt after the government closed her successful business twice in response to the pandemic. Now she has fines for trying to provide health and fitness services to her clients. It’s outrageous. Rebecca is the latest person we are helping through

Rebecca is going to plead not guilty to that ridiculous ticket and she’s going to fight that ticket in court with a top litigation specialist at no cost to her. That way Rebecca can focus on doing what she does best: taking care of her family, her clients and her community.

If you’d like to support Rebecca by helping to cover her legal fees, please donate today at

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  • By David Menzies

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