kristyn wong tam

Toronto politician leaving health board after backlash over vaccine comments

A prominent Toronto politician has decided to step down from the city's Board of Health after some controversial comments she made about vaccines. 

Ward 13 city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam recently wrote an op-ed for the Toronto Sun in which she talked about how to develop compassion for the difference of opinions between the unvaccinated and vaccinated.  

The column, published November 18, faced a great deal of backlash from people assuming the city councillor was supportive of anti-vaxxers and spreading misinformation. 

"Those who are vaccinated can still get COVID-19 and can still transmit it to others just as easily as those who are unvaccinated," Wong-Tam wrote. 

This statement in particular was controversial to many.

Wong-Tam backed up the comment by tweeting a memo from Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.

However, Wong-Tam took this back in a public statement she made on Monday, saying the information in the memo from August was outdated and shared within the wrong context. 

"I regret that my inclusion of inaccurate information distracted from my main reason for writing the article," said Wong-Tam. 

The councillor went on to say that she still believes the science is clear behind vaccines and that everyone who is able to should get their shot. 

She also reiterated her thoughts about labelling people who have yet to get their vaccine. 

"Not everyone who has delayed getting the vaccine is a rabid 'anti-vaxxer.' People who have genuine concerns should be treated with respect, not disdain. Yelling at each other does not help," said Wong-Tam. 

Despite apologizing for misinforming people, many Torontonians were furious about the outcome of the article.

Others talked about how Wong-Tam's column caused more harm than help.

The councillor's term as Vice-Chair of Toronto Board of Health ends in December. Although she has decided not to continue, Wong-Tam says she's still willing to be a part of the board as a general member. 

Lead photo by

Kristyn Wong-Tam

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