Ex-Toronto police chief Mark Saunders on Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine task force

Other task force members include infectious disease expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch and Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald


Former Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and an infectious disease expert who’s become a regular presence on TV during the pandemic are part of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine task force.

Saunders resigned early from his post as Toronto’s top cop in the summer amid protests against police brutality and criticism of the force’s $1-billion-plus budget.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious diseases consultant and internist at Toronto General Hospital, has frequently appeared on TV outlets such as CP24 during the pandemic.

Retired Canadian general Rick Hillier will lead the provincial task, which will ensure COVID-19 vaccines are distributed across Ontario.

Federal agency Health Canada is reviewing four vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen. Public health officials said this week an approval could happen within a week to 10 days.

The other members of the task force include a bioethicist, a tech CEO, a trauma surgeon and Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald. The members are:

  • Dr. Dirk Huyer, Ontario’s Chief Coroner and Coordinator of Provincial Outbreak Response
  • Dr. Homer Tien, trauma surgeon and president and CEO, Ornge
  • Dr. Maxwell Smith, bioethicist and assistant professor, Western University
  • Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious diseases consultant and internist, Toronto General Hospital
  • Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald of Taykwa Tagamou Nation
  • Dr. Regis Vaillancourt, director of Pharmacy and Integrated Pain Services, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  • Linda Hasenfratz, CEO, Linamar Corporation
  • Angela Mondou, president and CEO, TECHNATION
  • Mark Saunders, former Toronto Police Chief

The task force will focus on “delivery, logistics and administration, clinical guidance as well as public education and outreach,” the government said in a news release.

The group is scheduled to meet with Premier Doug Ford at 1 pm today to decide who will be first to receive vaccinations. Ford’s daily news conference is cancelled as a result.

“This is a critical stage in our fight against COVID-19. The task force we have assembled will play a key role in developing and implementing Ontario’s immunization program,” health minister Christine Elliott said in a statement. “I am confident that with the collective knowledge, experience and advice from these experts, Ontario will be ready to deliver the vaccines in an ethical, timely and effective manner as soon as they are available.”

@nowtoronto

Comments (1)

  • Lynnette December 5, 2020 02:13 PM

    I don’t think Mark Saunders should be on this panel. He was pictured drinking a $600. Bottle of wine With the non drinking premier Doug Ford ?
    I think Cathy Crowe is a much better pick?

Leave your opinion for the editor...We read everything!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *