Toronto Public Health’s vice-chair responds to backlash over Sun column about COVID-19, says her only aim was to ‘promote discourse’
The Toronto Public Health (TPH) vice-chair recently wrote an opinion piece for the Star. Sun subscribers were immediately outraged. This column sparked a massive backlash from TPH employees and former health ministers as well as from the city’s politicians. This response is, needless to say, the opposite of what TPH, in all its wisdom, intended to achieve: to create dialogue in a moment of crisis.
I want to take a moment to acknowledge that I am a huge fan of the Toronto Star. The work they do every day is so vital to what makes this country so great and in a time of crisis, their readership is critical.
This column is, in fact, a perfect example of a public health worker speaking out in the face of adversity, which is something that I am very proud to have achieved. And despite the fact that the majority of Sun readers have never heard of me before this article, I am honoured that many of you see my name, and I see your recognition of my hard work, and take your actions into consideration.
I sincerely apologize if anything in my column offends anyone. It’s also worth noting that I take my role as a public health official very seriously and do all that I possibly can to make Canada a better place, in all its forms. I hope this article will open up a discussion and spark a dialogue among all of us, in all our diverse views, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold. My only goal throughout this series of columns is to promote discourse among all of us, and I hope that we can all learn from one another. Unfortunately, this is exactly the opposite of what we were trying to achieve.
My main goal was to highlight the importance of wearing your masks to protect yourself and others, which is a practice that I believe is critical for public health. I made a comment in the article that “the best way to fight the coronavirus is to wear your mask”, but the reality is that we need to make this a national mandate.
My only goal was to advocate for the use of masks and social distancing, which is something that I