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Quebec gym owners back down on threat to reopen, call for protests instead

File. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Steven Senne

Quebec gym owners are calling for public protests to take place Thursday morning against extended closures announced by the Legault government.

Earlier in the week, the Legault government extended lockdown measures in the province until Nov. 23 in its ongoing attempts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province.

Before the extension was announced, a coalition of some 200 gym owners had vowed to open this week, regardless of official health directives, setting up a showdown with the government.

Read more: Quebec gym owners who flout COVID-19 rules will face fines: Legault

Opening in defiance of extended measures would have exposed the owners to fines.

The gym owners’ new tactic is an appeal to the public for support.

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They are inviting clients to gather at gyms on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. to protest the ongoing closures.

Owners say they are prepared to take further action to pressure the government to reconsider its position.