A man at the centre of a large anti-mask protest in Toronto over the weekend violated Canada's Quarantine Act.
As first reported by the CBC, Chris Saccoccia, the wealthy son of a property developer turned anti-mask crusader, was fined $1,000 on September 25 for failing to quarantine for 14 days after a recent trip abroad. Saccoccia landed back in Canada a little over a week ago.
A video posted to his Facebook page shows police officers speaking to Saccoccia at the protest and questioning if he was meant to be under quarantine.
Toronto Police spokesperson Connie Osborne told VICE News, “No arrests were made and no tickets were issued” at the rally. However, they also confirmed “a 37-year-old man from York Region was issued a $1,000 ticket under the Quarantine Act.”
Maximum penalties under the act include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or six months’ imprisonment.
Saccoccia said in a Facebook post, “The police were waiting at young (sic) and dundas and tried to threaten and intimidate me from speaking due to my ‘quarantine.’”
Saccoccia told VICE News he went to the rally " to publicly challenge the emergency orders." In the email, he also claimed "no Covid deaths since August and empty hospitals proves there is no justification for this emergency"—a notion that is categorically untrue. Since the start of September there have been over 150 deaths in Canada and hundreds are in hospitals across the country. He says he believes the police "intentionally misspelled both my first and last name" which "makes the fine void."
In recent months, the 37-year-old Saccoccia has been making waves for being involved in numerous stunts, events, and projects pushing back on COVID-19 regulations. Earlier this month, VICE News first reported that Saccoccia was attempting to create private schools for anti-maskers’ children to attend. It’s unclear how successful that was for him.
Saccoccia recently boasted of his recent travels to Amsterdam and Ireland on his social media platforms. In Ireland, he spoke at an anti-mask event. He posted a video of himself on an Air Canada flight intentionally not wearing a mask with the caption “no mask challenge.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, Saccoccia has helped organize several protests, anti-mask raves, and an event where anti-maskers rode the TTC maskless. He also put together private school pandemic bubbles staffed by his anti-mask followers. During his travels he posted videos of himself intentionally not wearing a mask on a plane.
Saccoccia is employed by his father’s company Skyhomes, and lists his position on LinkedIn as “VP.” VICE reached out to Skyhomes for comment but did not receive a response. Skyhomes issued a past statement on Facebook stating that while Saccoccia is an employee they do not share his beliefs on the pandemic.
The recent protest in Toronto was one of the largest in recent months. Hundreds, if not thousands of people turned out to the “March for Freedom” and stomped throughout downtown Toronto to push back on the COVID-19 regulations. The protest came at a time when COVID-19 cases are surging in Canada, particularly in Ontario and Quebec. In total, Canada has had over 150,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 9,200 deaths.
On Monday, Ontario recorded 700 new cases of the illness, the highest recorded number since the pandemic began. Over 500 of the total cases came from the Greater Toronto Area.
This story has been updated to include comment from Saccoccia.
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.