Calgary restaurant, Airdrie gym ordered closed after staying open during pandemic
Roadking Wok N Grill and Anytime Fitness in Airdrie were ordered to immediately close
A Calgary restaurant and Airdrie gym have been ordered to immediately close by Alberta Health, after contravening the chief medical officer of health's orders for non-essential businesses to close during the coronavirus pandemic.
Alberta forced non-essential businesses to close on March 27 as it sought to slow the spread of COVID-19.
These closures are the most recent, out of a total of 12 businesses across Alberta that have been ordered to close for violating the order, eight of which are located in the Calgary zone.
Roadking Wok N Grill, located at 4949 Barlow Trail S.E., was ordered to close for dine-in service on Monday after the restaurant was observed to still be open, with multiple customers seated in booths, AHS said.
AHS said the order was issued to owners David and Margot Aftergood.
David Aftergood said he disputes that anyone was eating inside the restaurant, which is a truck stop — he said truckers were ordering food and sitting down while they waited to pick it up. He said the restaurant remains open for take-out and delivery and that he is happy to comply with the law.
Aftergood is a well known Calgary businessman who was involved in the former PC party, and was accused of being part of a ballot-stuffing scandal when his wife Margot ran for Calgary city council in 2004.
In 2007, he was found guilty of violating the elections act and was sentenced to 14 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. However, he never served out the sentence because, upon appeal, he was granted a new trial. The charge against him was stayed in January 2010.
Gym had covered windows to hide it was still open
Ali Rauf and Rob Sanderson — owners of Anytime Fitness located at 122-85 Railway Avenue S.W. in Airdrie — were also ordered to immediately close their business.
The AHS order said not only had the gym remained open but staff had covered the windows to conceal that people were still working out inside. AHS said the window coverings must also be removed immediately.
Police and community peace officers were given authority in March to levy fines for those who break the public health orders.
Tickets start at $1,000 for individuals for a first offence, and can run up to $100,000 for more serious violations. Subsequent violations could fetch establishments a fine of up to $500,000.
With files from Raffy Boudjikanian