This afternoon, Mayor John Tory announced the launch of Toronto’s Recovery and Rebuild Strategy that will be run out of a new office led by Mr. Saad Rafi and informed by a public health strategy being developed by Dr. David Mowat. The Office of Recovery and Rebuild will be leading planning for Toronto’s broader recovery with the goals of saving livelihoods and living safely with COVID-19. Dr. Mowat will consult with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, to inform the roll out of the Strategy until the current health crisis has fully passed and the City has returned to normal operations or better.
The Office of Recovery and Rebuild will report directly to the City Manager and comes at an important time, reflecting a reorientation towards proactive planning with a greater focus on the economy as Toronto appears to be effectively flattening its epidemiological curve. Toronto’s Emergency Operations Centre has been guiding most of the decisions being made throughout the COVID-19 crisis and the new Office of Recovery and Rebuild will begin working with institutions, communities and partners, including businesses, to develop a public health-informed strategy for restoring community life and social and economic infrastructure. Evidence-based best practices from Toronto and other jurisdictions will all be considered in this work and the office provides an important new channel for the needs of business and industry to be addressed in Toronto’s evolving COVID-19 strategy.
Mr. Saad Rafi was formerly CEO of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and served as Deputy Minister in the Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care, Energy and Infrastructure, Transportation, and Public Safety. He has also served as a Partner at Deloitte LLP, where he led Infrastructure and Project Finances and their Government and Public Service practices. Dr. David Mowat is a public health physician who has served as the Medical Officer of Health in Kingston and the Region of Peel. He also has experience working on emergencies including SARS, H1N1 influenza and Ebola, and served as Deputy Chief Public Health Officer at the Public Health Agency of Canada and twice as Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
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