Toronto Public Health’s vice-chair responds to backlash over Sun column about COVID-19, says her only aim was to ‘promote discourse’ on ‘the importance of daily hygiene’
In an article for The Sun on Monday, April 24, 2020, Toronto Public Health’s vice-chair Dr. Linda McQuaig attacked the city’s decision to impose an Essential Services and Equipment List (ESEL) on residents.
The controversial, politically correct list came about because the city’s Ministry of Health refused to issue a revised list, based on new findings, and the fact that over 700,000 residents do not have electricity to power basic life-support equipment.
The Sun, a Toronto-based national daily newspaper aimed at a middle-class readership, published an excerpt from the column, and a subsequent response by the paper’s managing editor, Steve Paikin.
In Paikin’s response, he dismissed McQuaig’s view about the need to “reinvent” the public health system in Canada, saying “her take on the world is a little off.”
The response raised questions about whether the column “was more about promoting debate than public health.”
The Sun‘s editorial board has not commented on the issue.
The full column appeared in The Sun on Monday, April 24, 2020.
In McQuaig’s first response, after pausing for a moment to try and put into words exactly why she felt Toronto’s Public Health Act should be repealed, she said:
“A society committed to health, we need to protect the most vulnerable in our community.
“A community that cares about the sick must also protect the healthiest, the most effective community, and that is the Toronto Public Health Act.
“We need to be able to get help to people who require it when they are most vulnerable.
“We need to be able to protect ourselves for our own health and safety.
“We need to protect the most vulnerable in our community.”
The article reads in part: “At least six people in our city have