Kingston’s medical officer of health set to be named Ontario’s top doctor

Ontario government officials are set to announce Kingston’s medical officer of health will take over as the province’s top public health job more than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic began.

It’s expected the appointment of Dr. Kieran Moore, which needs to be confirmed by the Ontario legislature, will be announced on Monday.

The appointment was first revealed in a report published by The Toronto Star Saturday evening.

Read more: Kingston-area medical officer of health joins Ontario vaccination taskforce

Global News contacted representatives for Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott Saturday evening to ask for comment, but responses weren’t received by the time of publication. Moore was also unavailable for comment.

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Moore will succeed Dr. David Williams, who as Ontario’s chief medical officer of health has been a key visible public health figure throughout the pandemic.

Appointed to the post in 2016 after serving as the province’s associate chief medical officer of health and Thunder Bay’s medical officer of health, Williams deferred his retirement at Premier Doug Ford’s request in order to continue his work in responding to COVID-19.

However, Williams’ handling of the pandemic has been the subject of criticism.

Read more: Ontario long-term care commission says nursing homes were neglected, sector needs reform

The Ontario COVID-19 Long-Term Care Commission specifically cited Williams in its report. The government-appointed commission said he and other government officials repeatedly ignored the warnings of scientists, doctors, local public health officials and even the minister of long-term care.

More recently, Ford — despite repeatedly praising Williams throughout most of the pandemic — ignored Williams’ recommendation to reopen schools for the last month of the academic year, turning instead to dozens of public health experts, local health units and education stakeholders for advice.

Meanwhile, it’s not clear when exactly Moore, who also serves on Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine task force, will assume his new duties.

READ MORE: Expert rates Ford government’s communications as ‘solid C- performance’

Moore graduated with a medical degree from the University of Ottawa in 1985 and subsequently received specialty certifications in family medicine and emergency medicine. He also has master’s degrees in disaster medicine and in public health.

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Dr. David Fisman, a professor at the University of Toronto and a member of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, praised Moore’s appointment on Twitter Saturday evening.

“It’s hard to overstate what an excellent decision this is,” he wrote while thanking Ford.

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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