Watch above: Student with Asperger syndrome confronts Doug Ford about controversial remarks he made about the Griffin Centre.
TORONTO – A marketing student with Asperger syndrome demanded an apology from Doug Ford at an afternoon debate Wednesday for controversial remarks Ford made earlier this year about a centre for autistic kids in Etobicoke.
Evan Carter, a marketing student at George Brown college who has Asperger’s, stood up and asked Ford to either explain his comments, or apologize.
“Doug, I suffer from Asperger’s, which for those of you who aren’t aware today is a form of autism. Earlier this year, you had made some comments about a group home for autistic children in your community,” he said. “I never usually get too offended about stuff, but the fact that you reduced people like me to animals and common criminals is really insulting. So what I’m asking is for you to either explain yourself or apologize.”
Ford drew criticism in May when he said children from the Griffin Centre, a non-profit for autistic children, “ruined” an Etobicoke community and brought an influx of crime, police officers and fire trucks.
“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,” he said in May.
Ford refused to apologize during Wednesday’s debate and also suggested there were no autistic children in the Etobicoke home.
“The truth of the matter is, there isn’t any kids with autism in that house,” Ford said. “It was very clear, the police were being called every single second day, the fire trucks were showing up every second day, the windows were being smashed out, there were kids in backyards.”
Ford added that his heart goes out to Evan and accused the media of misleading the public.