November 22, 2021

Vaccine Statement

When I wrote an opinion article last week, it was a genuine effort to promote dialogue and civility in an increasingly polarized debate over public health measures during the pandemic. In the process, I unfortunately made an honest mistake with the information I shared from an August 2021 memo from the Chief Medical Officer of Health. That memo is outdated and the context in which I shared it was misleading and left the wrong impression.

For that, I am very sorry. Let me try to correct things, calling upon the most recent information from Toronto Public Health.

In short, I believe the scientific evidence is clear: vaccinations are an essential tool in ending the pandemic. Everyone who is able should get their shot. The more vaccinated people we have, the less transmission we have. I regret that my inclusion of inaccurate information distracted from my main reason for writing the article.

I shared a deeply personal story about my parents and their initial refusal of the vaccine when it came to their turn. They were following every single health protocol and just wanted more time to consider their options and felt tremendous pressure to take a vaccine that they were not ready for. I thought it was important for me as a Board of Health member to share how hard these conversations can be even among family members. Not everyone who has delayed getting the vaccine is a rabid “anti-vaxxer.” People who have genuine concerns should be treated with respect, not disdain. Yelling at each other does not help.

I also spoke recently about the issue of vaccine mandates. Again, I believe we should do everything we can to get everyone vaccinated. But I am honestly conflicted about vaccine mandates, given that I want to do everything we can to protect essential public services while recognizing that BIPOC communities are broadly represented in those who are unvaccinated. I want them to be vaccinated as soon as possible, but I do not like seeing them lose their jobs and I do not like seeing the City having to reduce public services that benefit the communities that need them most. 

My appointment as the Vice Chair ends in December and I won’t be extending it. Should my fellow council members agree, I would be honoured to continue serving as a general member of the Board.

Robin Buxton Potts

Share this page

Connect with Kristyn

Take action

Invite Me To Your Event
Community Resources
Contact 311
Phone: 416-392-7903
Constituency Office: 100 Queen St W, A5, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2