Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s public health chief, taking leave of absence for medical treatment. In that instance, she resigned from her position on her own accord. But she could have been fired, or even simply replaced, by the city — not just by the mayor but by city staff.
Such an outcome is all too familiar to city staff and to the mayor who has called for the termination of all the city’s public health inspectors at any time when there isn’t a public health or safety threat.
That last scenario is exactly what would be expected to happen to Dr. de Villa if the city is allowed to proceed in this manner in an effort to remove the city’s chief public health officer.
Dr. de Villa’s medical condition is a mystery, yet another reason why the city’s health officials need to be removed.
According to her doctors, her condition is an acute viral infection, yet it is well documented that the mayor’s office and the city’s chief medical officer have been pressuring her to resign and refusing to allow her to receive timely treatment.
Instead, they placed her on “administrative leave” — a euphemism for “dismissal” and a far less responsible way to take care of a doctor in such a serious condition.
It is time to stop punishing Dr. de Villa, both through a “draconian” decision by the mayor to have her fired and, if that is not possible, by replacing her with a doctor from outside the city who can take over her role.