Nine people employed at a rehabilitation centre in Laval have been fired in the wake of allegations they mistreated intellectually handicapped and autistic patients.
The nine were employed at the Centre de réadaptation en déficience intellectuelle et troubles du spectre de l’autisme Louise-Vachon, on Saint Martin Blvd. W. in Laval.
The allegations claim the workers were not only violent and intimidating to patients but also to fellow employees.
According to its website, Centre Louise-Vachon offers “specialized adjustment, rehabilitation and social involvement services.” The centre also deals with those exhibiting serious behavioural problems.
While most of the centre’s clientele are adults, some minors are also treated there.
A Laval police investigation was launched last January following a complaint from the local health authority, which had been conducting its own probe of the allegations.
Anyone who used the centre and came into contact with the nine fired employees is being considered a possible victim.
Apart from the purge of its personnel, local health authorities say they have launched a complete revision of its clinical practices and treatment plans for each of its users.
Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann reacted by email to the dismissals, praising the “clear message sent by the administrators of the establishment with these firings,” and adding that mistreatment and harassment “are extremely serious and unacceptable.”