Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table say they are being “dissolved,” Premier Doug Ford says they are “getting a new home.” Whatever the case, the panel of independent experts in the province’s response to the ongoing pandemic, confirmed Friday that it will be dissolved early next month after more than two years. Ford says some of the scientists will transfer to Public Health Ontario under the direction of Dr. Kieran Moore.
There were several occasions during the height of the pandemic when the science table made pronouncements that ran counter to officials health ministry police in dealing with the pandemic.
In a statement posted to its website, the table says Public Health Ontario gave them the news at a meeting August 18.
“We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served Ontario since July of 2020,” the statement read. “Many of us will remember our work for the Science Table as some of the most important work we have ever had the chance to do.”
PHO said in a statement it is looking at forming a new group, saying it has been engaged in discussions with science table representatives over the last few weeks over new terms of reference.
“The new terms of reference establish a mandate that reflects a long-term, sustainable approach and ensures the continued provision of credible and independent scientific and technical public health advice to the province on COVID-19 and future public health emergencies,” it wrote.
“Membership will continue to be comprised of independent experts.”
Dr. Peter Juni, who headed the science table resigned in April to take up a post at Oxford University.
Asked whether the change meant a lack of independent commentary from a re-formed science table under Dr. Moore’s supervision, Premier Doug Ford insisted the advice would be free of politics saying, “I don’t give orders to Dr. Moore.”