Toronto Public Health vice-chair questions city’s COVID-19 policy and has a plan to make them better
Toronto Public Health has been under fire for not being transparent with the public when it comes to the city’s policy on COVID-19. Now the lead of the health department’s COVID-19 task force has called for an end to secrecy and called on the city to set aside a “safety net” for vulnerable Ontarians that doesn’t put the onus on the taxpayer, according to the Star archives.
In a speech to the Ontario Association of Public Health here Friday morning, Dr. Howard Cohen-Osorio, vice-chair of Toronto Public Health, said “we can’t do this alone” in a call for greater accountability and transparency as the health agency faces what he called an “unprecedented crisis”.
He called for the city to set aside a $100-million reserve fund for vulnerable Ontarians and make them “better-prepared.” The money would be used as an “emergency cushion” for those who cannot afford to pay for private insurance, or who otherwise find that their employer won’t cover them. And Cohen-Osorio called on the city to use those funds to create social housing units, a plan city officials have been criticized for not advancing at all.
That plan, he said, was also discussed for months, and he hoped the city would now step up to the plate.
Cohen-Osorio’s speech drew applause from the audience of about 250.
“I was a volunteer for 10 years in this community, we have an incredible social services workforce in this city. We’re in the fourth largest city in the country,” said Cohen-Osorio, who is also the executive director of the Public Health Agency of Canada. He said the city is “trying to do a great job and I want to let you know we’re on the right track