SARS and the Global City

It has been two years since SARS devastated hospitals and communities in Toronto and around the world. But what happened to those communities that were affected most by the SARS crisis: the infected, the healthcare workers, workers in the tourism industry, groups and individuals that were subject to racial discrimination?

On Friday, April 29, from 2:30 to 4:30pm at Toronto City Hall Committee Room 1, there will be a panel discussion on these issues. This event is part of a research project, entitled, “SARS and the Global City: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Toronto” by York Professors Harris Ali and Roger Keil of the Faculty of Environmental Studies. The panel, titled “Two Years After: Perspectives from Affected Communities,” will have representatives from the nursing, tourism/hotel, health care worker, patient and airport security communities speaking about how their constituencies have been affected by the SARS outbreak, as well as what still needs to be done to address the ongoing psychological, social, economic and security impacts experienced.

Participants include:

  • Cynthia Pay, former president of the Chinese Canadian National Council;
  • Doris Grinspun, executive director, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario;
  • Mee Kam Ng, The Centre of Urban Planning & Environmental Management, The University of Hong Kong;
  • Randy R. Reid, assistant chief, Provincial Response and Recovery Programs Emergency Management Ontario;
  • A representative of UNITEHERE, an organization that represents hotel workers in the City of Toronto.

In Southern Ontario alone 44 people died from SARS; hundreds were infected and thousands were quarantined in two outbreaks in the spring of 2003. In the meantime, there have been government reports, medical reform and discussions about improved emergency measures in future outbreaks. Come and hear what happened to those communities that were affected most by the SARS crisis.

“SARS and the Global City” is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Those interested in attending this event should contact Joanna Bull at More information about the project can be found on the Sars and the Global City Project Web site.