July 4, 2014 3:28 pm
Updated: July 4, 2014 3:37 pm

Autism complainant: ‘Who the hell’ does Ford think he is?

Toronto Councillor Doug Ford speaks to the media on April 1 2014.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

TORONTO – Tommy Lenathen is a 68-year-old grandfather, father of a 26-year-old with autism, complainant with the city’s integrity commissioner and, according to councillor Doug Ford (against whom he filed the complaint), a jihadist.

“He can go to hell. I don’t even care,” Ford told the Toronto Sun after Lenathen called on him to apologize and step down in the wake of comments Ford made denigrating autistic youth.

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“It’s a full out jihad against us right now,” Ford told the newspaper, referring to the complaint as well as freedom of information requests focused on him and his brother, Mayor Rob Ford.

“Who the hell does he think he is?” Lenathen asked in an interview Friday.

Lenathen filed a complaint with the integrity commissioner this week regarding the councillor’s comments about the Griffin Centre in Etobicoke – a home for developmentally disabled youth.

Ford was quoted in the Etobicoke Guardian in May saying the centre “ruined” the community.

“My heart goes out to kids with autism,” Ford reportedly said. “But no one told me they’d be leaving the house.”

Lenathen has a 26-year-old autistic son and took exception to the councillor’s comments. He’d asked for Ford to undergo sensitivity training, apologize and resign.

Now, he wants him thrown out of office.

“I got his reply this morning… he told me to go to hell,” Lenathen said. “He’s not just telling me to go to hell, he’s telling every parent with an autistic child to go to hell, he’s telling the process at city hall with the integrity commissioner, he’s telling her to go to hell.”

“A jihad against him and his brother? Who’s he kidding?”

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