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.
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.
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.
Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) represents the voice of fitness facility operators across Canada. Representing over 6,000 facilities with over 6 million members nationwide, FIC pursues a legislative agenda in the hope of bettering the fitness industry for both consumers and operators. With Provincial Coalitions across the provinces, FIC aims to work with both industry and government to improve the health and physical activity levels of Canadians.