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Incognito health inspector asks for haircut amid lockdowns, then fines the hairdresser

The health inspector ticketed the hairdresser for $1,000, and shamed the salon by issuing ‘a notice to the public.’
Fri Feb 19, 2021 - 5:57 pm EST
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Work in a hair salon during the coronavirus crisis Shutterstock

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CALGARY, Alberta, February 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A Canadian hairdresser was slapped with a $1,000 COVID ticket after agreeing to give a haircut to a woman who had asked for the cut, but subsequently revealed her true identify and handed him a fine.

The incident occurred on December 27, when Amin Dagher, who with his family owns Hair Cru Salon in Calgary, Alberta, said he was paid an unannounced visit by an Alberta Health Services (AHS) inspector to his Salon.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), which is legally representing Dagher to fight the fine, said Dagher first heard a knock at the salon door. He proceeded to let a woman inside his Salon, “believing she was a genuine customer wanting to buy care products,” according to a JCCF news release.

Once the woman was inside his shop, the woman asked Dagher if “she could have a haircut.”

“Desperate for income, his business barely hanging on, and with a family to feed, Mr. Dagher said yes. The woman then announced herself as AHS health inspector Anne Hoang and told Mr. Dagher that he had broken the law by agreeing to cut her hair, and that he would receive a ticket,” said the JCCF in a news release.

Haircutting services in Alberta were banned on December 11, 2020, by an order by Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw. At the same time, hair salons were allowed to stay open and sell hair products.

The JCCF said that the AHS inspector not only ticketed Dagher for $1,000, but she also issued “a notice to the public” that his Salon was “providing hair cutting services to the public.”

According to the JCCF, this resulted in the public being misled “to think the Salon was regularly contravening public health orders and intentionally exposing the Salon to public contempt.”

“The notice was even posted on the door of the Salon, which Mr. Dagher was forced to keep in place because to remove it would have been an offence under the Public Health Act,” noted the JCCF.

The JCCF says that Dagher has pleaded not guilty to his ticket. No trial date has been set.

JCCF lawyer James Kitchen said the whole thing was a “set up,” and that the “oppressive orders of the Chief Medical Officer of Health” are “choking the life out of small businesses in Alberta and depriving people of the ability to feed their families.”

“For Mr. Dagher, to have an AHS inspector bait him into agreeing to give her a haircut is to kick him while he’s down. This was a set up,” said Kitchen.

“The actions of Ms. Hoang in requesting Mr. Dagher give her a haircut are repugnant and a gross abuse of power. In a time when the government seeks to justify its destructive lockdown policies and rights infringements by claiming that adhering to public health restrictions is the kind thing to do, the cruelty of AHS inspectors using the allure of much-needed income to target and ticket small business owners is especially hypocritical.”

Hair salons in Alberta were once again allowed to provide haircutting services under strict limits starting January 18, after an outcry from many in the public as well as from Salon owners, some of whom defied orders and opened up during the ban.

According to a Global News report about the incident, Dagher said that it was in his opinion that the AHS officer’s tactics to fine him were unfair.

“Normally, a person would come in and look around … She’s looking for a way to give me a ticket,” said Dagher. “We don’t make money … We have no savings … We live day by day.”

In a statement sent to multiple media outlets, AHS stated it had received a total of three complaints from the “public” that staff at the Salon were not wearing masks. However, as the JCCF said in their release, Dagher had the doors of the Salon locked.

AHS also said that Dagher’s claim of being duped into providing a haircut contrary to the health rules in place at the time is “inaccurate and false.”

“In this specific case, the inspector did not ask for a haircut, but instead asked if the business was offering haircutting services. Staff at the salon confirmed haircutting services were being offered,” claimed AHS.

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Like many parts of Canada, Alberta has been under severe second COVID-19 lockdown restrictions since early December.

The JCCF is currently representing multiple businesses and churches who have been targets of government lockdowns, including jailed Edmonton area Pastor James Coates.

The group has called for an end to restrictions and respect for the Canadian constitution.

“We remind you, since it is apparent that you need a reminder: the Constitution is the supreme law in Canada, not the Orders of Dr. Hinshaw,” wrote JCCF President John Carpay in a recent letter sent to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney regarding the jailing of Coates.

“Once citizens are able to show that their Charter rights have been violated, the onus shifts to the government to justify its violation of those rights. Again, this burden is on the government — not the citizens — and is intended by the Charter to be an onerous one.”

Contact

Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney

Office of the Premier
307 Legislature Building
10800 - 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5K 2B6

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 780-427-2251

To contact your local MLA, visit the link below:

https://www.assembly.ab.ca/members/members-of-the-legislative-assembly


  amin dagher, covid-19, jccf, justice centre for constitutional freedoms, lockdowns

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