The citizen advisory Committee Against Racism voted at their late December meeting to prioritize pushing the new City Council to adopt a professional Board of Health structure similar to Toronto and Ottawa.Toronto and Ottawa‘s Boards consist of a mix of council members and non-political members drawn from health professions and the community.

The advantage of a professional board of health is the members bring a wider range of experience.

Old Council’s primary concern was the loss of control over public health decisions and the ability of an independent Board of Health to take positions which differ from the elected Council on budgetary decisions and public health approvals such as safe injection/consumption sites.

The new Council, at its first Board of Health meeting earlier in December, moved to have city staff report on the issue at the April Board of Health meeting.