Doug Ford defends comments about new ‘nightmare’ youth group home in Toronto
Coun. Doug Ford told TV station CP24 that his “heart goes out” to families with autistic children, but he said this issue is about kids in the residential home who have “violent tendencies.”
“I’ve been a Rotarian for 25 years helping kids with challenges, but you can’t disrupt the neighbourhood like that,” Ford said.
It’s turned into a nightmare for this community“Anyone who wants to criticize, I’d be more than happy to take their address and we’ll put the house right next door to them and see how they like it.”
Community newspaper the Etobicoke Guardian reported that Ford’s office organized a public meeting on Thursday concerning the facility run by the Griffin Centre, described as a non-profit multi-service mental health agency.
The paper reported that some residents in Toronto’s west-end complained about the facility’s presence in their midst and that they weren’t given sufficient advance warning.
“You’ve ruined the community,” Ford reportedly told the facility’s staff.
“You can’t destroy a community like this. People have worked 30 years for their home…My heart goes out to kids with autism. But no one told me they’d be leaving the house. If it comes down to it, I’ll buy the house myself and resell it.”
The comments drew condemnation on social media, including former Ontario premier turned Liberal MP Bob Rae, who weighed in with a tweet on Saturday.
“This is the opposite of leadership on mental health. Doug Ford should be ashamed of himself – hurting not helping,” Rae tweeted.
Ford shot back at Rae in the interview, saying he “doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in that neighbourhood.”