CALGARY: The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing a Calgary hairdresser who was ticketed for $1,000 by an AHS health inspector.
On December 11, 2020, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw outlawed salon services such as haircutting. Amin Dagher and his family run Hair Cru Salon in Calgary. The Salon provides hairdressing services, but also sells a large variety of personal care products.
Mr. Dagher complied with the public health order; the Salon no longer provided hair cutting and styling services following December 11. However, the Salon stayed open to sell hair care products, which it was permitted to do. Mr. Dagher kept the door of the Salon locked, but when customers came to buy products, he would open the door and let them in to shop.
Right after Christmas, on December 27, a woman knocked on the door of the Salon. Mr. Dagher let her in, believing she was a genuine customer wanting to buy care products. Once inside, the woman asked Mr. 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.
Not only did AHS inspector Ms. Hoang ensure Mr. Dagher was ticketed for $1,000, she proceeded to issue a notice to the public that Mr. Dagher’s Salon was “providing hair cutting services to the public”, misleading the public 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.
Salons were eventually permitted to resume providing services on January 18, 2021, when mounting political pressure from salons and the public compelled Dr. Hinshaw to revoke her previous Order.
Mr. Dagher has plead not guilty to his ticket. No trial date has yet been set.
“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,” states Justice Centre Lawyer James 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,” concludes Kitchen.