Standoff includes police as Mississauga gym owner reopens despite COVID-19 emergency orders
After bylaw officers sat outside for two days watching, Peel Regional Police officers moved in outside a Mississauga gym that opened this week in the face of Ontario laws that prevent fitness facilities from seeing most clients in person.
But despite the police presence, the gym remained open and its defiant owner was not charged.
Teresa Heron, who owns Huf Gym, declared she would start seeing clients again on Tuesday in defiance of Ontario’s COVID-19 emergency orders.
On Wednesday, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie responded directly to a Global News question about Heron’s decision to reopen.
“We don’t have a lot of tolerance for this. We’re going to give them the maximum fine,” Crombie said, before leaving the podium at a news conference.
But it’s easier to promise enforcement than to see immediate results as Global News saw over two days outside the gym.
Despite the presence of several City of Mississauga enforcement officers, the gym’s clients came and went through the gym’s front and rear door
“I am,” Heron said before closing the front door, dismissing the mayor’s pledge to charge her business to the full extent of the law.
“Then they need to do that … we continue to operate.”
Heron’s business partner told bylaw officers outside that they would not be permitted to conduct an inspection of the gym as they requested.
“We don’t want to deal with them,” the man told Global News, identifying himself as Jay.
The man declined to give his last name.
Heron entered through the main door while a bylaw officer sat inside his vehicle.
Asked by Global News whether she intends to remain open despite Crombie’s strong words, Heron was resolute.