What message do leaders send when they break coronavirus rules?

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Social media lit up over the weekend after thousands of people gathered at Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park, appearing to ignore the province’s physical-distancing rules aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Government officials condemned the “dangerous” behaviour of people who flooded the popular downtown park on Saturday, saying they could cause a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Among them was Toronto Mayor John Tory, who visited the park to “try to determine why things were the way they were.” The mayor faced criticism after he was seen pulling off his face mask to talk to park-goers, and appearing to not follow the two-metre distance rule.

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Tory later apologized for his behaviour and said he “fully intended to properly physically distance but it was very difficult to do.”

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“I wore a mask into the park but I failed to use it properly, another thing I’m disappointed about,” Tory said in his apology. “These were mistakes that I made and as a leader in this city, I know that I must set a better example going forward.”

But Tory isn’t the only Canadian leader to have reportedly flouted COVID-19 prevention guidelines.

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