Dustin Sutley, owner of Sweat Science Boxing in Calgary, started a campaign called #wearenotclosing, and many other gyms were on board for the initiative.
Unfortunately, most of those gyms have since backed down due to ongoing intimidation efforts that culminated in threats that the City of Calgary might start pulling their business licenses.
Sweat Science Boxing remained open for as long as possible, continuing to offer group and one-on-one training for clients, and Dustin has been an outspoken opponent of the lockdown measures.
This opposition has garnered significant media and social media attention — and if we have learned anything during this lockdown, it is that Alberta Health Services will not tolerate any outspoken dissension.
Faced with unrelenting pressures, Dustin has moved to one-on-one training only for the time being, but he says that this is only a temporary measure.
In this report, Dustin tells us about the devastating economic impact that the lockdowns are having on so many businesses, but he is quick to emphasize that financial concerns would never trump his primary objective, the well-being of his clients.
For Dustin, the primary motivation for refusing to close is simple: exercise is essential for physical and emotional well-being, and the statistically insignificant risk of COVID-19 spreading during a workout does not outweigh the negative health impacts of gym closures.
Katherine Kowalchuk of Lawyers 4 Truth also joins us to discuss the challenges of resisting these restrictions, the failure of the courts to respond to lockdown opposition and the need for civil disobedience in these unprecedented times.