9 employees fired from Quebec special needs care facility after violence complaints

LAVAL, Que. — Quebec's health minister is hailing the decision by a special needs care facility north of Montreal to fire nine employees accused of violence and harassment towards patients and colleagues.

Alexandre Lahaie, spokesman for Health Minister Danielle McCann, said Wednesday the administration of the care facility for disabled people sent a "clear message" by firing the employees.

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Mistreatment and harassment are "extremely serious and unacceptable," Lahaie said in an email.

The facility offers services to people with mental disabilities and autism. A spokesman for the health authority confirmed Wednesday the nine employees were fired following allegations they abused patients and colleagues.

The majority of patients at the centre in the Montreal suburb of Laval are adults, but minors are also treated there.

The spokesman, who didn't want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said police had begun investigating the allegations last January following a complaint.

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