Will masking return this winter COVID season? A doctor in Ottawa is fighting for it

Nili Kaplan-Myrth receiving her COVID-19 vaccine in Ottawa. (Photo courtesy Nili Kaplan-Myrth)

Last Monday, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board voted to determine if trustee Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth breached the board’s code of conduct by sending a series of arguably bullying text messages to another trustee in trying to garner allies as she attempted to reinstate a mask mandate in Ottawa schools. In her messages, Kaplan-Myrth wrote that trustees opposing her motion didn’t care “if Black and Indigenous children get sick… If children in poverty get sick… If children with disabilities and immunocompromised family members can’t safely go to school.” She later implored her colleague to not “vote with white supremacists.”

The chaotic special meeting devolved into a shouting match before the final tally, when the motion failed by a single vote.

In response to the debacle, The CJN’s political columnist Josh Lieblein wrote a piece criticizing Kaplan-Myrth—and she responded to our publication with a lengthy three-page rebuttal. We share a bit of her response in this re-airing of our conversation with Kaplan-Myrth from May 2021. With her name back in the news—and with COVID season starting up again—we wanted to revisit this interview, recorded during her rise to prominence as an outspoken proponent of masking, back when she was hosting large-scale vaccination events known as “jabapaloozas”.


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 intern is Ashok Lamichhane, and our theme music 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.