Oshawa’s Bob Chapman is set to be Durham Region’s representative on the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa).
The Ward 3 city and regional councillor, who is chair of the health and social services committee, has been nominated to take the place of Pickering councillor David Pickles this summer.
Chapman will be nominated to be the Central East representative, and an election will be held by alPHa on June 9, 2020. In order to secure the nomination of Chapman as the Central East representative on the board of health, the nomination form must be submitted to alPHa by May 29.
Speaking with The Oshawa Express, Chapman explains alPHa is a not-for-profit organization which provides leadership to boards of health, and public health units.
He notes as Pickles was the chair of health and social services during the last term of council, councillors thought it would be better for him to finish up his time with alPHa.
“His time is sort of expiring this year, and we’re going back to what our procedural bylaw actually says – the chair of health and social services should be the representative on alPHa,” says Chapman.
Council voted to nominate Chapman at its most recent meeting, where it was unanimous that he be named the representative.
Chapman says he is excited to be named the region’s representative, but notes it’s an interesting time to join alPHa.
“Health is the major priority and major issue that we have right now [with COVID-19],” says Chapman, adding Pickles will remain the representative until the summer, so the situation will have changed by then.
However, Chapman notes with the current climate, he’s pleased with the work his health and social services staff has done.
“Our Health Department is really stretched and doing a great job,” he says. “[Medical officer of health] Dr. Robert Kyle and his team, and the other side of that is our social services team, because the social services team are the folks who look after our long-term care facilities, and our sheltered folks, they’re doing a terrific job.”
He added while he was talking to Kyle, and commissioner of social services Stella Danos-Papaconstantinou at the most recent regional council meeting, he could tell they’ve been working hard.
“We owe a lot of gratitude to all of that staff… a lot of our staff have stepped right up,” he says, adding there’s a number of background work being done, such as waste clean-up.
With his nomination, Chapman will be up for election to alPHa on June 9, 2020.