The first decade of the 21st century saw a series of major public health events in Ontario, including the 2000 Walkerton waterborne outbreak of E. Coli 015:H7, the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the food safety gaps raised in the 2004 report of Honourable Ronald J. Haines. In response, a number of reports were commissioned on the state of public health in Ontario and across Canada. These reports called for the renewal and revitalization of local, provincial and national public health systems.
A key recommendation for Ontario was the creation of a dedicated arm’s-length scientific and technical organization. In January 2005, the Agency Implementation Task Force was established to examine these reports and make recommendations to government on the design and implementation of the new agency. Its final report, From Vision to Action
, provided a blueprint for the way ahead.
Our founding legislation, the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion Act was passed in June 2007. It established OAHPP as an operational service agency of the provincial government. An inaugural board was appointed later that summer and OAHPP officially began operations in July 2008 when Dr. Vivek Goel was hired as President & Chief Executive Officer.
OAHPP adopted the operating name of “Public Health Ontario” and the tagline “Partners for Health” in June 2011 to better describe our mandate and position within the broader context of Ontario health agencies and health system partners. The tagline emphasizes our commitment to collaboration with others to achieve shared goals.
Since our early days, Public Health Ontario has grown significantly, expanding its capacity and reach across Ontario.
Agency Implementation Task Force
National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health, Naylor D.
SARS Commission, Campbell A.
Expert Panel on SARS and Infectious Disease Control (On.), Walker D.
Expert Panel on Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak in the City of Toronto, Walker D, Henry B, Young J.