Ontario COVID-19 advisory board member resigns after trip to Dominican Republic

Jan 6 2021, 7:20 am

An Ontario hospital CEO and member of Ontario’s COVID-19 advisory team, Dr. Tom Stewart, has resigned from the board after travelling to the Dominican Republic during the holidays.

In a statement from the Senior Vice President of St. Joseph’s Health System and Niagara Health, Brian Guest shared that Stewart was on an approved vacation from December 18 to January 5, during which he travelled to the Dominican Republic.

“I regret this non-essential travel, and I’m sorry,” said Dr. Stewart in the statement. “I recognize everyone should be avoiding non-essential travel now, including me.

“As a health system leader, my actions in no way reflect the tireless dedication and commitment of the staff at St. Joseph’s Health System, who continue to live the legacy of our organization every day.”

According to Guest, Dr. Stewart will be self-isolating at home for two weeks.

The Ministry of Health confirmed his resignation from the advisory board in a statement to Daily Hive.

“Helen Angus, Ontario’s Deputy Minister of Health, has accepted Dr. Tom Stewart’s resignation from the Health Coordination Table, the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, and the LTC Incident Management System Table,” said the Ministry of Health.

“The people of Ontario have made countless sacrifices during the pandemic, and it remains critically important that everyone continues to follow public health advice. We all have a part to play to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

During the holidays, it was reported that Ontario’s Finance Minister Rod Phillips had also vacationed abroad on a controversial trip to St. Barts.

Despite Ford knowing at the time, Phillips resigned from his position when he returned.

During that time frame, the province of Ontario went under lockdown on December 26 and despite COVID-19 cases continuing to surpass 3,000 daily, more Canadian politicians have also been found to have had travelled during the peak of this second wave.

At this time, it is unknown whether he will remain as CEO.

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