Why trustee Nili Kaplan-Myrth is fighting back against the Ottawa school board that sanctioned her

Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth, a school board member in Ottawa, was sanctioned by the board in Dec. 2023—and is now fighting back. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth/X)

When the trustees of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board convene their monthly public meeting on Jan. 30, the trustee for Zone 9, Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth, will not be permitted to participate. It’s a result of the sanctions imposed on the high-profile physician, back in December, for what the board voted were breaches of the trustees’ code of conduct. In effect, the sanctions bar her from fully carrying out her elected role, which also means keeping her off five school board committees for the next three months.

Kaplan-Myrth maintains she did nothing to justify the punishments in what she calls an “Orwellian” situation. Rather, she feels the code of conduct has been weaponized because she was forcefully pointing out how the Ottawa school board and some of its trustees routinely ignore her situation as a victim of rampant antisemitism and sexism: she has been the target of constant hateful emails and even death threats, including several currently being handled by police.

Kaplan-Myrth has now asked for a leave of absence while she appeals the sanctions through the court system and elsewhere. But with two and a half years left on her term, the beleaguered trustee tells The CJN Daily why being in public life may not be worth it for Jewish women like herself.

What we talked about:

  • Learn more about the sanctions imposed on Kaplan-Myrth in December 2023, after an investigation into her conduct during meetings and during disputes with some of the other 11 trustees, in The CJN
  • Read about the threats Kaplan-Myrth has received for her stance on COVID and masking, and also for being a Jewish woman, in The CJN (from 2022)
  • Read the full report by the Ottawa school board’s integrity commissioner on complaints about the behaviour of three trustees, including Kaplan-Myrth, Donna Dixon and Donna Blackburn


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.