Calgary salon ponders defying health orders and opening Monday
CALGARY -- Despite being locked down until at least Jan. 21, one Calgary salon says it’s seriously considering opening its doors this week.
True You Salon in the southwest claims it’s facing closure thanks to the latest round of restrictions, and one partner says opening against public health orders could be its “only option.”
“Damned if we do, damned if we don’t,” Adam Spence told CTV News. “It would be opening out of necessity. To stay alive – to pay our bills.”
Those bills, Spence says, are still piling up despite not taking in customers.
True You first opened on Oct. 19. Owners are concerned their dream could be dead within months.
“We are losing our livelihood every day we are closed,” owner Laura Loeppky said. “Something has to happen in our industry and someone has to have a voice. We are trying to be that voice.”
True You is not the only small business in financial limbo. The pandemic and its resulting closures have left thousands in a tough spot.
Owners are upset with what they believe is a provincial “double standard,” pointing to a recent massage therapy exemption.
But while other businesses — notably one Ontario restaurant — have defied public health orders in the name of anti-lockdown sentiment, True You’s owners say they’re not disputing the virus.
Loeppky believes she can open on Monday and still follow prior health guidance put in place, like mask-wearing and cleaning.
“Being able to be behind a chair can be done safely,” she said.
But the City of Calgary chief business licence inspector tells CTV News that regardless, the rules are there for a reason.
“(True You opening) could potentially put people at risk because the virus spreads so quickly,” Michael Briegel said. “So we will be monitoring businesses to ensure there is compliance with the Public Health Act.”
Enforcement officers say potential punishment includes a hefty fine and loss of the salon’s business licence.