Request for the Manitoba Government and Health Authority to Work with the Fitness Industry

Posted on January 21, 2021 @ 9: 00 am / Updated on January 27, 2021 @ 8: 39 pm

By: Fitness Industry Council of Canada

Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) has made continuous efforts to connect and work with the Manitoba Government and Manitoba Health Authority and has not received a response to date. FIC has reached out on multiple occasions to Premier Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin so the fitness industry can continue to support the mental and physical wellness of Manitobans. FIC’s goal is to work alongside provincial authorities to create safe reopening strategies to serve residents in a time of need.
Winnipeg, MB, January 21, 2021— For the past 10 months, Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) has lobbied for a seat at the table with the Government of Manitoba. FIC’s goal has been to be respected as an industry, to be valued for what the industry provides to members, and to be acknowledged as an industry that provides both mental and physical health benefits for Winnipeg residents and for all Manitobans. 
The FIC Manitoba Coalition has sent letters and follow-up phone messages almost weekly to the office of Premier Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin and has yet to receive a reply from either party via email or phone. Through these communication attempts, FIC has attempted to participate in discussions relating to fitness industry operations in Manitoba. 
Tuesday’s press statement by Dr. Brent Roussin demonstrates that public officials value what the fitness industry provides – to the extent that the City of Winnipeg staff allowed their own facilities to remain open with fewer health restrictions than those imposed on FIC members’ fitness facilities prior to the introduction of Code Red.
Dr. Roussin also mentioned that, despite health orders not applying to the operations of other levels of government, inspectors visited these City of Winnipeg sites and deemed them safe. The results of these City inspections fall in line with the hundreds of Manitoba facility inspections deeming these safe places to exercise. Other provinces have had similar challenges with respect to community transmission rates and COVID caseloads but have allowed fitness facilities to continue to operate so they can meet the public health needs of their residents. The functioning of Winnipeg’s civic facilities is a great example of how Manitoba’s gyms and fitness centres can continue to operate during a pandemic. 
Manitobans demand one standard, science-based set of rules when it comes to public health measures. Going forward, the fitness industry demands an equal playing field, starting with an open dialogue and clear communication with public health. FIC’s Manitoba Coalition Leader Dino Camiré states, “as a representative of the fitness industry and as a club owner myself, I want to ensure the safety of my members while assisting them with their fitness needs – physical and mental. However, in order to do so, the fitness industry needs clear and standardized regulations that apply to everyone, and I am more than willing to be included in the conversation that determines what this looks like in Manitoba.”
As we now know, civic employees value access to fitness facilities to the extent that it was worth breaking the “spirit of the orders” to access these services. As such, FIC calls for a seat at the table to support the development of safe strategies for reopening so that all Manitobans can access the mental and physical health benefits provided by the fitness industry.
Media Contact
Dino Camiré
Manitoba FIC Coalition Leader
Manitoba Gym owner – One Family Fitness Centre

Scott Wildeman 
President – Fitness Industry Council of Canada
Trisha Sarker
Executive Director, Fitness Industry Council of Canada

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Fitness Industry Council of Canada

Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) is the not-for-profit trade association that represents the voice of fitness facility operators across Canada.

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