Toronto's newest city councillor resigns hours after appointment over anti-LGBTQ social media posts

·3 min read
Rosemarie Bryan, left, was sworn in Friday as councillor for Ward 1, Etobicoke North. (Toronto Clerk/Instagram - image credit)
Rosemarie Bryan, left, was sworn in Friday as councillor for Ward 1, Etobicoke North. (Toronto Clerk/Instagram - image credit)

Toronto's newest city councillor has resigned just hours after she was appointed on Friday.

Rosemarie Bryan faced a growing chorus of calls for her resignation after CANADALAND editor Jonathan Goldsbie tweeted that the councillor had repeatedly shared anti-LGBTQ content on Facebook. The posts were shared between 2015 and 2021.

Bryan announced her resignation 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," Bryan wrote in the statement.

"I recognize councillors were not aware of those posts before today's discussion and now that they are, I recognize many would not have cast their vote for me," she said.

Several city councillors took to Twitter Friday afternoon to express their disgust over the views in the posts shared by Bryan.

"I want to state unequivocally that had I seen these posts before the vote, I would have never supported Rosemary. I believe that considering this new information, she should resign," Coun. Buxton Potts wrote on Twitter.

Mayor John Tory said the social media posts shared by Bryan are not acceptable for a Toronto city councillor.

"I totally disagree with any homophobic or transphobic views," he said in a statement.

"I absolutely support our 2SLGBTQ+ residents. City councillors are expected to set an example when it comes to consistency with our shared values.

"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," Tory added.

Appointment 'especially unfortunate' during Pride, Tory says

"This is especially unfortunate on the very weekend when we are celebrating the progress we have made together," Tory said.

Toronto is celebrating Pride Month and the 2022 Toronto Pride parade will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 26.

Tory said Bryan had made a strong case to council for her appointment and demonstrated years of community involvement.

Bryan, in her statement, referenced her work in the Etobicoke community, her commitment to her religious beliefs, and her charity work in Canada and in Jamaica.

Coun. 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. With the info we have now, I hope Rosemarie Bryan does the right thing and resigns," Bradford tweeted.

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

"This is disgraceful. Rosemarie Bryan shouldn't have been appointed and must resign immediately," Matlow said in a tweet.

On Friday, 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.

"I don't want to hurt all those who supported me and I remain committed to helping my community in any and every way I can," Bryan said in her statement.

"So I have resigned this appointment effective tonight — I believe that is the best way I can continue to serve everyone who loves and supports me and the people of Etobicoke North."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting