Councillor gets a little touchy about his masking practice and his Council meeting attendance

By Pepper Parr

August 17th, 2022



We all have little habits, beliefs, things we stand strong on.  They are part of what make up our character.

Rory Nisan appears to have a phobia with things medical.

Covid19 sent him for a bit of a loop – he wears a mask almost everywhere, he stopped attending Council meetings and was seen a number of time on the monitor with his son in his lap.

Joan Little, the Hamilton Spectator took exception to the Nisan behaviour and gave it some coverage in her column.

Rory was not impressed and responded.

The image below tells part of the story.

Nisan is right – it is a personal matter and when a personal matter gets in the way of your job you take a leave of absence.

Burlington Councillor Rory Nisan with MP Effie Triantafilopoulos at the AMO conference

The questions that come to mind are:

No word from the Mayor on the appropriateness of Nisan not being at council meetings but having his child on his lap while council debates?

The Clerk might talk about that issue as well.

If Rory Nisan wants to put his child before his job – good on him, take the time off that you need to care for the child.

Can you imagine how Nisan and the Mayor would squawk if Councillor Stolte showed up with a child on her lap.





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8 comments to Councillor gets a little touchy about his masking practice and his Council meeting attendance

  • Ted Gamble

    I am thankful Nisan does not represent my ward however his apparent lack of engagement, professionalism and judgement reflects negatively on Burlington.

  • Steve Warner

    Really, when you get right down to it, what we comment about here has no effect. It is the residents of Ward 3 that need to a) support and re-elect him at the next election or b) vote him out.

  • Blair Smith

    With all due respect, I think that some people are missing the issue here. It really isn’t about Rory’s “parental values” (those are a personal decision) or what he considers to be appropriate for attendance at Council meetings (bad judgement is still judgement of a sort). It is about his performance (which has been poor), his independence (which is questionable), his timing bringing this matter forward (why the lag time) and about the fact that the Mayor feels it necessary to publicly defend him – over a very inconsequential issue. It smacks of calculated and co-ordinated “spin” and misdirection – all hallmarks of Meed Ward’s campaign communications strategy. She can ill afford to lose Rory at the Council table where, as has been noted, his vote is automatic. One might also wonder, as has been noted several times on Twitter, whether Joan Little’s Editor received ‘the telephone call’ and Joan was told to stand down. We will never know but similarities to the past echo and resonate. Pity. History should not repeat itself and we should focus on performance, fulfilment of 2018 promised outcomes and the outlook for the future if change is not made.

  • Penny Hersh

    Totally agree with Councillor Nissan wearing a mask. I continue wearing a mask as well. Presently it is up to the individual to decide what works best for them.

    Should Councillor Nissan have been holding his baby while attending to city business? Personally, I feel NO. Councillor Galbraith has young children as well yet you never saw him holding his children during a council meeting.

    The pandemic resulted in people working from their homes. It should not have included babysitting their child during a meeting with colleagues to discuss city business. In the private sector this would not have happened even once, yet again in this situation happened multiple times.

    How could this councillor concentrate on the business at hand? How unprofessional. In fact an embarrassment?

  • Stephen White

    As an experienced political journalist and a former politician herself I would have expected Joan Little to be more focused and attuned to Councillor Nisan’s stand on the issues, not fixating on whether or not he wears a mask and similar optics.

    Many people continue to wear masks for all sorts of reasons (e.g. to protect older parents; personal health concerns; safeguarding young children; etc.). If we should have learned one thing from this pandemic is that people have the right to make their own personal health decisions based on what aligns with their personal beliefs, values and best interests. Frankly, Councillor Nisan could wear a hazmat suit for all I care. The issue is job performance as he quite rightly pointed out.

    Now, can we please focus on something more significant like the issues.

  • Lynn Crosby

    Well Alfred, I wasn’t replying here anymore, but to answer your question on another thread, is it coming to the dark side or seeing the light? Whichever, I’ve done it, as have many others.

    But this article here for some reason pushed me right over the edge. It was a minor mention in a Joan Little article where she talked about much more than this. I have no issue with Rory wearing a mask and in fact agree with him. I have more of a problem with the mayor posting selfies of herself with other people continually unmasked as I think it sends a message that if our leaders think COVID is over, it must be. It isn’t.

    But the reaction of Rory and now the Mayor to this criticism is over-the-top and embarrassing. But also right on character. They both conveniently don’t mention much of the point Joan made also – her main beef was not about masks nor working from home, but the fact he held his baby throughout the meetings. Whatever. It’s old news, not even recent, and it’s hardly Watergate II. But seeing their social media posts, you’d think it’s worse than that.

    I’ve been at Rory for a long time on twitter about his practice of closing his posts so nobody but his chosen friends may comment. He’s a PUBLIC servant. This morning I see the mayor has multiple posts on this Rory post too – also closed to comments. So, ok, I’ll reply here.

    Boy, not only is Rory overly sensitive (just watch that famous 3 hour video of him grilling Stolte to see just how irate he was, barely able to contain his misplaced anger), but so is the mayor. She’s even posting old posts about Karina Gould feeding her newborn at work. Apparently, today in Burlington (based on the most recent MMW tweet) is “Never Give Up Day.” On this issue, Mayor and Councillor: give it up.

    I want reimbursement for the number of hours spent by both of you on this issue – how about working on keeping some of those 2018 election promises, even one, instead?

  • James

    Perhaps the truth hurts, whether Joan crosses a line or not. Let’s face facts, re-electing Rory Nisan is the equivalent of giving the Mayor 2 votes for every decision. Unlike the other Councillors, he has failed to remove himself from the Mayor’s shadow during this term, offering nothing but a voice of support for whatever the Mayor tells him to support. Undeniably, a major disappointment. Luckily there are other candidates to consider in the upcoming election, which if successful, will free up Nisan to focus his attention on his child. And there’s no shame in that.

  • Carol Victor

    This is so small minded that one might think we were in the USA….