Scott Thompson: With act of coronavirus defiance, Ontario mayors fail test of leadership

Coronavirus: Halton Region wants phase 2 reopening like rest of Ontario
WATCH: The mayors in, and chair of, the Region of Halton have sent a letter to Premier Doug Ford asking him to allow the region to enter into phase two of reopening like most of the province will do on Friday. Tom Hayes reports.

I don’t want to pile on the couple of Ontario mayors who defied their own community guidelines and staged a haircut photo opportunity to grab the attention of Premier Doug Ford, but what does it say when leaders deliberately ignore the rules just for political gain?

Ken Hewitt and Kristal Chopp, mayors of Haldimand and Norfolk, respectively, were upset with Ontario sliding into Stage 2 of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery while the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area and Niagara were left out.

READ MORE: Mayors surprised by decision to exclude some of Southern Ontario in reopening plan

I understand the concerns of their constituents and the businesses in their communities; everyone is going through the same thing.

But by staging a haircut protest photo-op because your town is part of a hot zone, like the majority of citizens in Ontario, is defying leadership and asking for anarchy.

Story continues below advertisement

How are citizens supposed to react to such actions? Are they supposed to do the same thing?

Should other mayors in Ontario follow suit and ignore the advice of their public health officials, too? Where does that go?

Just a month ago, some mayors were telling tax-paying cottage owners to stay away.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended an anti-racism demonstration during the pandemic, and while perhaps misguided, I don’t think his intent was to point the middle finger at health officials.

Disagreeing with public policy is one thing, but defying public health orders — all while flaunting it to the media and other members of the community — is nothing short of irresponsible.

READ MORE: What you can and cannot do in Ontario amid Phase 2 of reopening

Story continues below advertisement

What is important here is that we all row in the same direction until we’re out of this nightmare.

We’ll have plenty of time to debate what worked and what didn’t when it’s over.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML Hamilton.​​​​