amir attaran and twitter

— Amir Attaran (@profamirattaran) February 8, 2020 Peterson’s message is one that so many who hear it can relate to, and he’s travelled the world speaking to sold-out audiences. Meanwhile, Alberta hit a record-breaking 919 cases in a single day and called off contact tracing outside of high priority settings such as hospitals, schools, or continuing care. “Viral evolution can’t be bargained with,” Amir Attaran, a biologist and professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa, said in a recent Twitter thread. New cases are trending upwards, the percentage of positive tests is increasing, ICUs are becoming more full, and public health officials are increasingly unable to trace cases of COVID-19 back to particular sources—meaning it’s waiting to get you everywhere. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. Here are four things that must change. First, the COVID mess is Alberta’s own making, after ignoring mountains of advice. Our collective agreement prohibits discrimination, we have a joint committee with the employer on equity, diversity and inclusion, and we have a subcommittee that is working on discrimination in the context of the Canada Research Chair program. Lately she joined the mayor to lobby against the closures and said, “We need something that allows people to stay open, not close and open”. He has staunchly refused to impose restrictions, instead telling partygoers to “knock it off” and adopting a “personal responsibility” approach to public health. Despite this, Attaran claims all three fellow CRCs in his faculty — who are all white — were advanced to Tier 1 positions at the conclusion of their Tier 2 term. November 13, 2020, Ford arrives at a press conference at Queen's Park during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Nov. 3, 2020 (CP/Nathan Denette), Amir Attaran is a lawyer, biomedical scientist, and Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa, Lorian Hardcastle is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law and Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. But he did not dare fire them during a pandemic and cause a giant scandal, any more than Donald Trump had the cojones to fire the troublesome Dr. Fauci. Meanwhile in Ontario, the Toronto Star reported that politicians rejected the advice of the government, academic, and hospital scientists by setting the threshold for COVID-19 restrictions four times higher than they recommended, and when that dangerous decision became controversial, the politicians falsely blamed the scientists. Amir Attaran is a professor of Law and Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Even so, Dr. De Villa has never found the courage to curb nonessential trips out of the home, as she herself called for a month ago. A medical officer of health’s order can clearly target a specific individual or establishment, and they routinely impose these orders with little quarrel. She feared that “broad changes … may exceed my authority and therefore render me personally liable”. The national CRC program said each individual institution is solely responsible for CRC recruitment and decision-making, but stated Tier 2 chairs are not meant to be a “feeder group” to Tier 1 chairs. Please try again. Likewise close to Niagara Falls, the medical officer of health ordered farmers to empty overcrowded bunkhouses and make safe quarters for migrant farmworkers. He’s … “I do know that he re-activated an old complaint concerning racial discrimination when his position as Canada Research Chair was not renewed, though there are never any guarantees that such arrangements will be renewed. Attaran believes his case is supported by the similar experience of a fellow CRC chair, who is also a visible minority, and was likewise recently denied advancement of his university-appointed CRC at the conclusion of his term. Why? “At the University of Ottawa, we are not doing as well as we aspire to do in terms of the diversity among shareholders,” Rock said at the time. Prof. Amir Attaran, a professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, February 14, 2011 Some medical officers of health have shown courage and saved lives. In the letter, the researcher raised questions over the denial of his promotion, questioned administration on how Canada Research Chairs are appointed and renewed, and voiced his own concern, which he shares with Attaran, over the low level of representation for visible minorities among University of Ottawa CRC appointees. In June 2020, Attaran wrote on Twitter: "In my experience as a brown guy at a bilingual university on the Quebec-Ontario border, there is plenty of racism, and more often than not when it speaks to me the first word is “Bonjour”." There was an error, please provide a valid email address. The next issue of Posted Newsletter will soon be in your inbox. APUO has offered to support him at the tribunal.”. St. Joseph Communications uses cookies for personalization, to customize its online advertisements, and for other purposes. You don’t need to be a lawyer to grasp this, and Alberta’s law is pretty typical in saying that a medical officer of health: (i) take whatever steps the medical officer of health considers necessary  — Amir Attaran (@profamirattaran) July 7, 2019. Amir Attaran: Canada is mismanaging its most significant peacetime crisis in a century and the seeds of our failure are everywhere. These medical milquetoasts deserve at least as much scrutiny for the current predicament as the premiers—and arguably more, considering that public health is their only job—so it is important to discard their haloes and hold them accountable. “Generally, Tier 2 chairs are not meant to feed to Tier 1 chairs. No wonder that no medical officer of health has ever been held personally liable by a court. Read more about cookies here. But unlike Dr. Fauci, they have the superpower to make their word law. Every province in Canada equips their medical officers of health with the power to make systemic orders. Attaran is now getting totally ratioed on his attempts to defend the original Tweet, and Matt Gurney pointed out a big reason why it’s not going so well: “First, see his original tweet and his defence in combination. These provinces employ dozens of men and women who have the authority to defy the government and impose the necessary public health measures. Fear of personal liability is not an ethical reason for inaction when a giant city is in danger. First, the COVID mess is … Dekker said APUO “is working in various ways to tackle discrimination at the University of Ottawa. Rather the more surprising—and perilous—problem is underzealous abuse, because most medical officers of health are only rarely using their powers in the second wave, or worse, they are doing so only with the consent of politicians. That said, the day may come when the government’s leaders wish they had. The short answer is, an awful lot, almost everything needed to squash the second wave. When the province stepped in to shutter those businesses briefly she agreed—only to flip-flop again before the month was out. Like firefighters watching a lashing inferno and nibbling donuts, they are abandoning their authority and moral duties in the pandemic. … That is why our society entrusts them with sweeping legal powers. None of these officials needs to ask the government, much less the premier, for permission to act. ... Twitter… A firefighter can order occupants out of a burning building. Google Scholar Amir Attaran drew attention on Twitter last week with a number of comments regarding the province's pandemic plans. Amir Attaran is a lawyer, biomedical scientist, and Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa. “With regards to women who hold a CRC, we are at 75 per cent of our target and are confident that we will reach the 100 per cent mark by the middle of next year; finally, with regards to other two designated groups, the selection committees pursue their recruitment efforts since uOttawa is committed to meet those targets as well.”, Last week, following a full review of the CRC program at the 15-year mark, the national steering committee identified the diversity issue as a “high priority.”, The committee said future changes to the program would ensure the “equity gap” is addressed and, in the meantime, invited institutions to “sustain, review and intensify their efforts in order to address, as soon as possible, the under-representation in the program of individuals from the four designated groups.”. That sounds thoughtful, except as the city’s public health guardian and not its chamber of commerce or mayor, weighing business interests is totally outside her wheelhouse—and illegal. ... Share on Twitter; Forward by Email Weirdly it’s even been promised: Alberta’s premier, Jason Kenney, has pledged the province will not shut down businesses before the province reaches “absolute catastrophe”. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. “We have to redouble our efforts because equity and diversity are important to us as a university and a community.”. (B) prohibit a person from engaging in the person’s occupation, or  This old complaint is against the employer and not against APUO. Those two brave, ethical medical officers of health took a risk, knowing that Premier Doug Ford disagreed with their orders. Amir Attaran, a University of Ottawa professor of law and public health, says it was inevitable the coronavirus variant would find its way into Canada. In April, Rock appointed Martine Lagacé, a professor in the communication department, to head up a Diversity and Equity Office that will report directly to the president on diversity and equity issues. His views are rooted in western ideas, stem from our most ancient myths and legends, and embrace the Christian hero story of self-sacrifice as the ultimate strength. 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4. Canada’s provincial and local medical officers of health, of course. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. “There are more than 3,000 academics and exceptional researchers at the University of Ottawa and we have only 77 CRC chairs.”, While the university said it has appointed 14 women to CRCs (toward an equity target of 19 chairs), the university would not share exact numbers of visible minorities (target of nine chairs), people with disabilities (target of two chairs) or aboriginal people (one chair), invoking the Privacy Act, which, according to Mailloux-Pulkinghorn, “prohibits disclosure of small numbers for each designated group.”. “We are at 90 per cent of our target and will actually surpass it by year end,” wrote university spokeswoman Isabelle Mailloux-Pulkinghorn. “The program expects that institutions, when managing their CRC allocations, will develop a succession plan for their Tier 2 chairs to help them transition to a regular faculty position after the end of their terms.”, Attaran “is a full professor with all the privileges and responsibilities that entails,” wrote Mailloux-Pulkinghorn. None of the allegations against the university or the union has been tested in court. Biography. (A) to suppress the disease in those who may already have been infected with it,  27 M. Friedman, H. den Besten, and A. Attaran, “Out-Licensing: A Practical Approach to Improving Access to Medicines in Poor Countries,” Lancet 2003, no. Following a landmark 2006 settlement by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, all Canadian universities are required to meet “equity targets” in four under-represented groups – visible minorities, women, people with disabilities and indigenous people – when filling CRC positions. By Amir Attaran May 31, 2020 There is a lesson in that, because if Canadians are going to get through COVID-19 intact, Canada’s medical officers of health must find the morality and courage to stare down the politicians making dangerous errors. Morally and legally, this is hard to understand. Consider Dr. Vera Etches, who is Ottawa’s medical officer of health. Sign up to receive the daily top stories from the National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. A welcome email is on its way. Dr. de Villa pleaded last month with Ontario’s government to order people to stay at home except for essential trips, but when she was rebuffed, rather than order it herself, she refused. OTTAWA – Well, one thing’s already clear, there’s no way the mighty Kenney Government will shut down its so-called inquiry into “anti-Alberta energy campaigns” on the say so of Progress Alberta, a small Edmonton-based research and activist organization. Amir Attaran is a biomedical scientist, a lawyer, and a professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa. “We’re now a decade past that point and the CRC program is still not meeting those targets, and of all universities in English Canada, University of Ottawa is the worst – they’re batting zero-for-four on those targets,” said Attaran. He is still awaiting a response. Not only is that wrong, but it is dangerously foolish: the legislature gave Dr. Hinshaw the decision-making powers we quoted earlier in this article. Attaran suggested there has been some dissent in the union ranks over his grievance. We apologize, but this video has failed to load. Law professor Amir Attaran, who was recruited from Harvard in 2005 with a prestigious Canada Research Chair professorship, believes the university’s decision to deny him a renewal of that position was not based on merit, and claims the denial is evidence of discriminatory practices. It’s her abdication not to use them and self-demote into just an “adviser”. © Copyright 2021 St. Joseph Communications. Much like Dr. Tony Fauci staring down Donald Trump, each of these officials has a moral duty to speak truth to power and an ethical duty as a physician to follow science rather than political whim. Amir Attaran is a biomedical scientist, a lawyer, and a professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa. Your life, and those of people you love, depend on them not chickening out. This website uses cookies to personalize your content (including ads), and allows us to analyze our traffic. The University of Ottawa is the largest bilingual (English-French) university in the world. This is clearly stated by the CRC,” stated Mailloux-Pulkinghorn. Thus Doug Ford, Jason Kenney and Brian Pallister met no significant resistance in opening their provinces, and keeping them open as the number of COVID-19 cases shot into the stratosphere. In the wrong hands they are capable of tremendous abuse. A letter signed by over 70 doctors asking for a two week lockdown to damp down the cases and allow contact tracers to catch up was ignored. 9354 ( 2003): 341 –344. But there is more. 'There is a systemic problem with not enough visible minorities, women, disabled and aboriginal people getting into Canada Research Chairs,' Amir Attaran said. (C) prohibit a person from having contact with other persons or any class of persons. The legal powers are there in abundance; it’s just the courage that’s not. Amir Attaran is a professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine at the University of Ottawa. And the fear is overblown: for Dr. De Villa to be personally liable, angry Torontonians would have to persuade a court that she intentionally flouted the law and acted out of malice or bad faith rather than health protection—which is just impossible. Kenney, Shandro, and Hinshaw chose this. Now these powers are obviously vast. It never should have been this way. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. The law is crystal clear: “If a [public health] order is necessary, especially in circumstances where the risk is high,” explains Ontario’s Divisional Court, “then its financial impact is irrelevant”. Join the mailing list to receive daily email updates. Amir held the position for two five-year terms – the maximum amount of time that it is possible to have a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair. To contain what are quaintly called “communicable diseases”, or pandemic emergencies like COVID-19, the provincial legislatures have given medical officers of health legal powers that are expansive enough to issue orders across a whole city, region, or province—systemic orders, basically. To reach compliance with current targets, the University of Ottawa should fill nine of its 77 CRC positions with visible minorities. Other medical officers of health, like Dr. Eileen de Villa in Toronto, have issued some gentle closure orders, but shied away from doing everything they say is necessary. Amir Attaran, a constitutional and public health expert at the University of Ottawa, considers Trudeau’s response pathetically inadequate. Dekker would not confirm the sanction, nor disclose any internal union matters, citing a confidentiality agreement, while noting Attaran is also bound by the same agreement. “But in addition to that, they’re behind even other universities that missed all targets.”. We have less than half the minimum required by a legally binding settlement, and that number has consistently gone down.\, “When I was first recruited here from Harvard on a CRC position, we met the target — in the first reporting year in 2009, we were in compliance — but in each subsequent reporting year, the number (of visible minorities) is lower than the past.”, The university said professor Attaran held a Tier 2 CRC in law, population health and global development policy for 10 years with the university, with the two five-year terms “the maximum allowed.”. (C) to break the chain of transmission and prevent spread of the disease, and  Catastrophe is guaranteed. They can order just about anything to shut down a pandemic, without asking permission, and whether or not the government agrees. (B) to protect those who have not already been exposed to the disease,  The university provided no further comment on the researcher. The suit claims Attaran was “systemically denied equal inclusion” in the university’s CRC program. That subcommittee was struck by former university president Allan Rock, who acknowledged the diversity shortcoming in May, when a report identified the school as lagging behind other post-secondary institutions in meeting its CRC equity targets. After ignoring mountains of advice ), and whether or not the government ’ s boat @ profamirattaran July. Of tremendous abuse employ dozens of men and women who have the superpower make! Mess is Alberta ’ s leaders wish they had risk, knowing that premier Doug Ford disagreed their. 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amir attaran and twitter 2021