Winnipeg business owner fined a third time for opening during Code Red

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg business owner has been handed a third ticket for going against Manitoba’s public health orders.

Phil McLellan, who owns Parlor Tattoos, received his latest fine from health inspectors Thursday around 11:30 a.m.

“Down the street they came, and I could see that they had already had the ticket written out,” McLellan said. 

He said when he received this ticket, there were no customers in the store — only himself and a student from Red River College. 

“He walked through the studio and came back, and he muttered very quietly to his supervisor, ‘There’s no one here. There’s no tattooing.’” 

McLellan decided to reopen his shop’s doors last Saturday after being closed since November due to Code Red restrictions. The public health orders were initially set to expire after Jan. 8, but the province extended them for another two weeks. 

McLellan has now received three tickets each worth $1,296. He said the first two times, the inspectors didn’t enter his studio to see whether there was tattooing going on before giving him the fines. 

“There’s never any evidence that I’m doing anything wrong.”

He said under provincial rules he is allowed to be open for curbside pickup and delivery. The tattoo industry has said it can safely operate, and has come up with a safe reopening proposal, though it’s still waiting on answers from the province. 

“This is my business. We should all be back at work. We should be going back to work.”

Earlier this week, McLellan said he was told a letter was being drafted to inform him about other health order enforcement actions the government can take. He asked the inspector who visited Thursday about this, and said he was told, “don’t worry, it’s coming.”

McLellan intends on opening again Friday. He said he has sought legal advice. 

-With files from CTV’s Danton Unger 

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