Salon owner claims he was tricked by AHS inspector, ticketed for violating COVID-19 restrictions

Amin Dagher has owned Hair Cru Salon in northwest Calgary for more than 20 years.

The salon owner said that on Dec 27, someone came to his business asking for a haircut despite COVID-19 restrictions preventing him from providing personal services.

Dagher said he would provide a haircut at which point, according to him, the woman entered the salon and told him she was an inspector with Alberta Health Services.

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While he recognized he was breaking the rules, Dagher said he felt as though the tactic used by the inspector wasn’t fair.

“Normally, a person would come in and look around,” he explained. “She’s looking for a way to give me a ticket.”

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As an owner, Dagher said although he was breaking the rules, he felt desperate given the fact that bills were piling up.

He said the salon had been open to sell products as a storefront, and he he believed that people mistook clients entering to purchase products for clients entering for haircuts.

“We don’t make money,” Dagher said. “We have no savings.

“We live day by day.”

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On Thursday, AHS said the allegation that the inspector asked for a haircut then ticketed the owner are 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,” the health authority said in a statement. “Staff at the salon confirmed haircutting services were being offered.”

AHS said it responds to complaints from the public relating to non-compliance of provincial public health orders.

In this instance, three complaints were received from the public about staff not masking,” AHS said. Another complaint was over the business allegedly providing personal services at the hair salon, something prohibited at the time under orders of the chief Medical Officer of health.

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AHS said the business was ordered to close personal services on Jan. 5.

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