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Hamilton tattoo shop’s licence suspended after defying Ontario’s stay-at-home order, says city

The city of Hamilton says it’s temporarily suspended the licence of a tattoo shop on the Mountain after it failed to shut down under the province’s stay-at-home orders issued in early April.

In a statement to Global News, a city spokesperson said Kryptonian Ink was issued a business licence suspension on Monday and that the matter has now been referred to a provincial enforcement team.

“As you know, all businesses licensed by the city are required to comply with federal, provincial, and municipal laws,” the statement said.

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“The Hamilton Mountain tattoo shop has continued to operate despite provincial lockdown measures.”

Under the Doug Ford government’s third state of emergency order, non-essential retailers and personal care services were ordered to close in-store transactions.

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Kryptonian Ink owner Stephen Stacey told Global News on Monday he would be staying open after closing down in two other government ordered lockdowns.

Stacey said the year-long pandemic crushed his business which he says declined between 40 to 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

The owner said he understood the necessity of closing down during the first two waves of the pandemic to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but opted to stay open in the third wave lockdown after his savings were drained.

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“I mean, when you start to go from a normal life to having to to buy rice or Kraft dinner just to get by, it’s just too much,” said Stacey.

Hamilton’s emergency operation centre (EOC) director Paul Johnson previously said the shop was under investigation.

Last week, the EOC boss says the city is looking at the matter “very seriously” and said it’s not alright to open up, ignore the fines, and put it down as a cost of doing business.

“We will not let businesses simply say we’re going to stay open and keep coming by giving us the the garden variety charge,” said Johnson.

On Monday, Stacey posted a video of an encounter with a bylaw officer in the process of serving him with paperwork.

Referring to bylaw officers as ‘mallcops,’ the shop owner said he was done “playing this game.”

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