When it comes to the fight for freedom in fitness in British Columbia, many have had their eyes set on West Kelowna’s Iron Energy Gym. Despite the gym recently being forced by court order to close its doors, its owner Brian Mark says “we are going to do everything in our power to fight and stay open for everyone.”
Putting his money where his mouth is, Brian and his wife Kirsten Mark chose to buy out the majority of the gym's shares, eating the $36,000-per-month loss while the government keeps them closed to their community. The Marks are currently playing by the book in hopes that the gym will eventually re-open again, finally able to serve their customers with better physical and mental health through their fitness.
“I do believe that what we are doing is right, and everyone should be included,” says Mark.
But the couple also had to consider their family, including Brian’s 13-year-old daughter, when it came to the level of civil disobedience they could take while fighting the good fight.
The gym took its first stand against COVID-19 mandates in January, remaining open for people to get fit for the new year when the province mandated gym doors be closed.
Their commitment to “#FreeBC” by staying open, and attracting other gym owners to commit to doing the same, was followed by B.C’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry quickly contradicting her decision to remove an end date to how long the gyms would be closed, to allowing them to be open again.
Iron Energy Gym then took on another freedom fight and remained open without discriminating against customers who have not yet taken two COVID-19 injections, which eventually resulted in them being denied the right to stay open in court.
Despite the majority of provinces dropping their COVID-19 mandates, B.C.’s public health bureaucrat has imposed more restrictions on British Columbians.
The Marks, and their co-owner Cole DaSilva’s struggle to re-open without participating in the government’s segregation system may last for months longer, as Dr. Henry has stated the province will be extending vaccine passports at least until the end of June.
A donation page through GiveSendGo has been set up to allow those in the community interested in helping to cover the gyms operating expenses while their doors are closed to do so.
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