Gym owner says police told him online classes were off-limits

A Montreal gym owner who says he just wanted to teach classes online has found himself in a battle with police.

Centre U Fit owner Luis Argumedes, along with other gym owners in Quebec's red zones, was forced to close his doors last month. But in a bid to keep clients and himself busy, he began giving online training courses, recording his part of the sessions from his gym.

“My clients are not as motivated to train so it's a lot harder to keep them moving,” he said.

Last week, Argumedes said he was surprised when two Montreal police officers came to the gym and warned him he was breaking the law with his online activities.

“From there, they told me if they come back and saw us giving online classes or online content here at Centre U Fit, then we would get fined,” he said.

Recently, several Quebec gym owners said they would violate red zone restrictions and re-open, but Argumedes was not among them. He said he found the officers' interpretation of the rules to be a stretch as he is not physically interacting with anyone while alone in his gym.

“I see a lot of people on social media recording classes at their gym, I don't see why we can't do it,” he said.

Health Minister Christian Dube said he was baffled by the police officers' response.

“Let us check on that, because we ask people to be innovative and if there's a way to find a solution, let's look at it,” he said.

Quebec public health chief Horacio Arruda also said he believes police were overzealous.

“If you're using your own locale, even if it's a gym and not your home, I think it's not a problem,” he said.

Montreal police did not respond to questions about the incident.  

Stephane Giroux CTV News Montreal Videojournalist and Adam Kovac CTV News Montreal Digital Reporter

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