Toronto’s city councillor resigns hours after appointment

Rosemarie Bryan

Just hours after Rosemarie Bryan was appointed a Toronto city councillor on Friday, she has resigned.

Councillors called for her resignation after it was revealed that she had repeatedly shared anti-LGBTQ content on Facebook.

Bryan, a Salvation Army community and family service manager, announced her resignation on Friday night in a written statement, saying she did not want to make anyone in the city feel like they are not loved and not part of the community.

“I am so devastated that past social media posts I have made are now being thrown against my decades of commitment to the community,” she wrote in the statement.

She said she is proud of her work in the Etobicoke community, “my commitment to my religious beliefs, and my charity work here and in Jamaica.”

Several city councillors expressed their disgust over the views in the posts shared by Bryan.

Councillor Brad Bradford says nobody on Toronto city council shares “these abhorrent views.”

“Had we been made aware of them prior to voting, she would not have been supported,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Councillor Josh Matlow says he doesn’t believe anyone who supports hate and bigotry should be a Toronto city councillor or hold any public office.

Mayor John Tory

On Friday, Toronto City council appointed Bryan as councillor for Ward 1, Etobicoke North. The seat was previously held by Michael Ford, Premier Doug Ford’s nephew, who on Friday was sworn in as Ontario’s new minister of citizenship and multiculturalism.

Bryan’s appointment took effect immediately, and was to run until the current term expires on Monday, Nov. 14.

In a statement, Mayor John Tory said while Bryan made a “strong case” to council for her appointment, her past social media posts are “not acceptable.”

“I totally disagree with any homophobic or transphobic views. I absolutely support our 2SLGBTQ+ residents. City Councillors are expected to set an example when it comes to consistency with our shared values,” Tory said.

“I would not have voted for this appointment had I been aware of these posts and I know that is the sentiment of the vast majority of council who also voted today.”

He said it was appropriate for Bryan to resign.

“The upset this has caused everyone involved is extremely unfortunate. This is especially unfortunate on the very weekend when we are celebrating the progress we have made together,” Tory said, adding that he has asked staff to review the overall appointment process.