Southern Alberta business owner receives $1,200 ticket for not wearing mask in his store
The owner of Cool Hand Luc's Treasure Shop in Black Diamond, Alta. was issued a $1,200 ticket on March 5 for not wearing a face mask in his store. (supplied)
CALGARY -- After multiple visits by health inspectors, the owner of a collectibles stores in Black Diamond, Alta. is facing a $1,200 fine over his refusal to wear a face mask inside the shop.
Luc Bayard, the owner of Cool Hand Luc's Treasure Shop, tells CTV News he is willing to wear a face shield at the request of customers but prefers not to wear a face covering in the store he owns.
"I refuse to wear a mask. I wear a face shield when people worry about me not wearing a mask," explained Bayard. "I don't want to wear anything. I want to be able to breathe."
Since Jan. 14, health inspectors have visited the business on four occasions either alone, with bylaw officers or with an RCMP member. A $1,200 ticket was issued on March 5 for 'individual contravene order of medical officer of health' under the public health act.
"My crime is not wearing a mask, absolutely not following the Alberta Health rules," said Bayard. "I'm not wearing a mask and I don't have the proper sanitizer by the door."
Bayard says he complied with the initial request to place a table with sanitizer at the entrance, but the sanitizer he selected was not to the liking of the inspectors. He was also informed that his face shield, which he thought was a reasonable compromise, was not acceptable as spit could escape through the bottom or sides.
Undated photo of Luc Bayard, the owner of Cool Hand Luc's Treasure Shop, wearing a face mask. (supplied)
According to Alberta Health Services' order of an executive officer, dated March 4, a maskless Bayard was observed speaking with a customer with less than six feet of separation on March 3.
In a phone conversation with CTV News, Bayard says he had previously encouraged his customers to remove their masks and that he had altered the sign at the store's entrance to read 'face masks are 'not' required'. CTV News has not confirmed the existence of the altered sign.
"Most people don't worry. I used to tell them 'Don't worry. Feel free to breathe if you want to. And they would take their mask off happily.
"Then some would give me a dirty look and keep their masks on."
The collectibles store has been in business since May 2012 but Bayard says the eight-year celebration was halted by the pandemic. He says times have been hard and the store suffered during the three-month mandated closure and in the months that followed where fewer visitors arrived in town.
Bayard says he plans to fight the ticket.