After a tense and public back-and-forth between Premier François Legault and a coalition of Quebec gyms and fitness centres, a spokesperson for the coalition has confirmed that its members have decided not to open on October 29.

200 of the gyms, centres and studios initially committed to opening their doors on that date — the day after the end of the first red-zone lockdown period.

The coalition made that announcement before the government extended the lockdown by another four weeks (including the mandatory closure of gyms), setting up a showdown between gym owners who said they risked going bankrupt and Legault who insisted that "the law must be respected."

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It was a cry for help. Our businesses are not going good right now.

Jason Lord, Centres d'activités physiques du Québec

Coalition spokesperson Jason Lord told MTL Blog that the coalition of gym and studio owners is happy it has been able to put their concerns at the centre of public debate through extensive media coverage.

"Now they're talking about us and the movement has started," he said.

Instead of opening, coalition members are holding protests in front of their facilities' closed doors. A press release has asked customers to come to express "the importance of exercise in their lives."

As for future action, the coalition isn't confirming anything.

"We'll start by tomorrow, giving the protest," Lord said.

"After that, we'll see what happens."


This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.

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