Our moment of social reckoning has arrived

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  • Valerie McDonald says:

    Thank you for your efforts to address the needs of vulnerable people during this pandemic. I agree with your observation that COVID has illuminated many inequities and offered us an opportunity to create more lasting change. Perhaps, to begin with, we could revive the cancelled guaranteed annual income program. I accept Dr. Oliver’s challenge and will try to find some way to contribute personally.

  • Sandy Buchman says:

    Thanks Gary for a superbly written piece that clearly makes the right diagnosis and prescribes the appropriate treatment.
    The pandemic has laid bare the gaps and weaknesses in our heath care and social support systems. The most vulnerable as always have borne the blunt of the impact. The human costs have been enormous, and now Canadian society has (as you say) to reckon with the far greater costs of this pandemic on providing adequate accommodation during the crisis (“the thousands of hours and millions of dollars to build a large bandage”). Will we? Will the memory of this experience soon pass and will we revert to our usual habits, especially as we reckon with the massive national debt and deficit? There may be a silver lining here in the new cooperation and collaboration you witnessed between government, health oversight agencies, hospitals, community health providers and homeless service organizations. We cannot let up on this advocacy. Now more than ever.

  • Catherine Oliver says:

    Bravo, well said. And to anyone reading this who agrees with what Gary has to say, I urge you to join with others who are working on these issues so we can leverage some real change. There are many organizations working on these issues that could use more volunteers in many different capacities. And if you don’t have the time or inclination to volunteer, these organizations also need monetary donations. I am not naming any specific organizations, because there are many good ones out there and I don’t want to leave any out. I’m talking about organizations that use a social justice lens to tackling poverty, racism, and all the other ills of our neoliberal society.


Gary Bloch


Gary Bloch is a family physician with Unity Health Toronto, Physician Lead, Equity and Social Interventions with the St. Michael’s Academic Family Health Team and an associate professor at the University of Toronto.

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