Calgary salon owner fighting $1K health order ticket
CALGARY -- Amin Dagher admits he agreed to cut the woman’s hair, but says it was a moment of temptation for his desperate business.
"You know the last few years we don’t have any savings, we just working day by day," Dagher says.
Dagher says his Hair Cru Salon was open for retail sales on Dec. 27 when the woman knocked on his door.
"She says 'Can you give me a haircut?;" said Dagher. "She looks healthy, she looks young, and i figure there’s no harm in making a few bucks.
"I said 'Come in!'."
She was an AHS Inspector.
This is where Dagher’s version of events and that given by AHS are different.
He says she asked for a haircut.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, AHS said "the inspector did not ask for a haircut, but instead asked if the business was offering haircutting services." The statement also called Dagher’s claims "inaccurate and false."
Once inside, she identified herself.
"I wasn’t very happy the way she trapped me like that," Dagher says.
AHS says the inspector was responding to three complaints of "staff not masking and one complaint about the business providing personal services at the hair salon, prohibited at the time."
He is fighting the $1,000 fine and has retained a lawyer through the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a group known for taking on cases which involve issues of individual liberties.
Lawyer James Kitchen disputes the need for restrictions and questions whether the spread of COVID-19 constitutes a public health threat.
He says that even if restrictions are needed, the enforcement tactics were out of line.
"You don't deal with it having health inspectors go in trying to trap a hair dresser," said Kitchen. "That's not how you deal with it. That's how you assert more control and power and intimidate people, right? What's that helping?"
None of the claims have been tested in court.