Lambton’s MOH to step aside temporarily to run for Liberals in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex

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Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton's Acting Medical Officer of Health,

Election call expected Sunday with vote Sept. 20

Lambton County is on the hunt for an acting medical officer of health just as officials in Ontario say we’re heading into the fourth wave of the pandemic.

Dr. Sudit Ranade has been nominated by the Liberal Party as the candidate for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex according to a news release from Lambton Public Health. The nomination meeting was held Wednesday, and the news was first reported by Blackburn Radio.

Local party officials weren’t releasing any information this morning. “Dr. Sudit Ranade is notifying his friends and family and the entire LKM Liberal family will be please to speak to media soon,” said Lambton-Kent-Middlesex Riding Association President Dianne McDougall in an email to The Independent.

Lambton Public Health’s media relations team released the information this morning.

“I am excited to begin this new adventure,” said Dr. Ranade in the prepared statement released this morning. “Lambton Public Health has a fantastic team whose passion and dedication to our community has been evident throughout my tenure, but especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we have made great strides in providing the residents of Lambton County the information, tools, strategies, and vaccines to help combat COVID-19. I have no doubt the team will continue this work while I explore this new chapter.”

The news release, which listed the media relations team as the contact, goes on to say Ranade will be taking a leave of absence once the election is called. This morning, multiple news organizations say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to call the election Sunday with the vote on Sept. 20.

The release also says the health unit is “currently search for an Acting Medical Officer of Health to provide coverage for the county, on an interim basis, during the election.

“Due to the current pressures facing public health, the replacement of this legislated position is a priority.”

So far, calls to Lambton County administrators and Ranade had not been returned.

Medical experts across the province have said Ontario is already in the fourth wave of the pandemic. It’s expected to be driven by the Delta variant of COVID-19 which according to evidence around the world, spreads easier and faster the the virus which shutdown the nation in March.

Public health officials have said this will be the wave of the vaccinated. On Aug. 11, according to provincial data, only four per cent of the 51 people in intensive care units with COVID-19 across Ontario had been fully vaccinated.

Lianne Rood, a Conservative from the Grand Bend area, is the current Lambton-Kent-Middlesex member of parliament. She’s already been nominated to be the candidate in the coming election. Perennial NDP candidate Joe Hill is the candidate for the party.