To say it was a gong show would be an understatement.
The first meeting of the new Ottawa-Carleton District School Board consisted of 3.5 hours of turmoil during which “defund the police” activist trustees — specifically chairman Lyra Evans and her sidekick NDPer Justine Bell — called police to remove angry parents from the board room.
The parental pushback was over a ridiculous attempt to implement yet another mask mandate on students, teachers and administrators.
In fact, one brave father stood up and begged trustees not to further “harm kids” by introducing another mandate.
“They make kids afraid of each other,” he said, getting emotional.
The draconian mask motion came from new trustee and obsessive masker Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth, who is becoming known for her impossible edicts and aggressive approach to those who challenge her.
She behaved rudely on a TVO interview in early September and subsequently in an Ottawa radio interview on Tuesday.
At 10:30 p.m. — after two lengthy recesses and a meeting that began 40 minutes late — the activist trustees did not garner the votes to continue.
They adjourned the meeting promising another kick at the can at a yet to be determined date.
Kaplan-Mryth, who has formed an unholy alliance with new chairman trustee Evans and vice-chairman Bell, moved that the mask requirement stay in place until public health deems the flu season over in Ottawa and until the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario pediatric ICU has an occupancy of 85% or less for at least two weeks.
She claimed in her motion that there is “no evidence of harm” to an adult or child’s mental health from wearing masks and that expensive N95 masks should be the ones mandated.
At the meeting, the activist doctor — one of five wearing heavy N95 masks — reiterated her sentiment that those who don’t wear masks don’t care about others and that sometimes doing what is difficult is good for the benefit of the most vulnerable in the community.
CHEO’s chief of staff Lindy Samson — who spoke like we were still in the thick of 2020 — seemed to suggest that masking would help reduce the wait times they’ve experienced “like never before” at the hospital.
“We’re looking to do whatever we can to stop the viral transmission,” she said.
“Universal masking leads to lower COVID transmission in kids,” Samson added, ignoring the fact that Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases is what is really bringing young patients to the hospital ER.
As the deadline to end the meeting drew near and it became obvious that the logistics of a new mask mandate were a nightmare, Kaplan-Mryth kept amending her motion to limit when they should be worn and to allow for cloth masks.
When enforcement became the issue, she proposed that students and teachers “self-identify” whether they have a problem wearing masks and require a mask exemption — effectively watering down the entire motion.
The outcome of the special meeting should tell them that they’re wasting their time.
If put in place, the Ottawa public school board would be the only one in Ottawa and throughout Ontario with a mandate.
And for what?
To appease the obsessions of the hypochondriac NDP trustees and a ridiculously out of touch doctor?
I think it’s time for Dr. Kaplan-Myrth to get off her high horse and leave the kids alone.