In a show of defiance, restaurant owners across the province open for business
EDMONTON -- A number of restaurants opened to the public on Wednesday, defying Alberta's public health orders.
The owner of The Noble Fox in Bashaw, Alta., said that if he didn’t open his dining room, he could lose his family business.
“I gotta do what I gotta do for my family, my livelihood,” Carlos Siguenza said.
“Bills are piling up. The mortgage doesn’t stop. The gas bills, electric bills don’t stop.”
A diner in Bonnyville, Alta., also opened up, even posting their hours online.
“All my girls were wearing masks,” Jennie Hamel, owner of Jennie’s Diner & Bakery, told CTV News Edmonton.
“We were cleaning and sanitizing, we had bottles everywhere.”
A Facebook page focused on Alberta independence, WEXITmovement.com, published the following post last weekend, calling on businesses to open across the province on Wednesday.
The Wildrose Independence Party supports the dozens of restaurants across the province it believes took part in the one-day coordinated movement.
“This is not a constitutional law. This is an immoral law and it’s wrong and people need to stand up to it,” Paul Hinman, interim leader of the Wildrose Independence Party, said.
The Whistle Stop Café in Mirror, Alta., opened up last weekend and RCMP said that business will face charges. However, the owner of that café made the trip to The Noble Fox to show his support.
“I think it’s great. I don’t see this as a dangerous activity,” Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Café, said.
The province's top doctor would not comment on whether fines would be laid in the most recent cases, just that inspectors would have "conversations" with owners.
“What I would say is that these actions could potentially put at risk the sacrifices that we’ve made and this progress that we’ve made,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in a COVID-19 update on Wednesday.
Health inspectors and RCMP did show up at The Noble Fox, but Siguenza said he was not told of any charges.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Bill Fortier.