January 5, 2015 7:47 pm
Updated: January 5, 2015 7:48 pm

Vulgar, offensive posters at Scarborough co-op spark human rights complaint


WARNING: This story contains material which could offend some readers. Discretion is advised. 

TORONTO – Several residents of a Scarborough co-op housing development say their human rights were violated by vulgar posters taped to the walls of their building.

Among the targets of the offensive poster was a 9-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who uses a wheelchair. And the issue is now before an Ontario Human Rights tribunal.

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The posters were put up anonymously during the summer of 2012 at Rouge Valley Co-Op and targeted Theresa Savoie and her son, calling her “inbred” and suggesting her son was a “retarded monkey” who should have “been put down when he was born.”

“It’s a cruel and unwarranted thing to do to an innocent child,” Savoie said during an interview Monday. “Someone who can’t defend themselves.”

The person responsible for the posters has never been identified.

Global News obtained all the posters Monday but chose to only put up a snippet from one of the posters due to their vulgar nature.

The residents allege the condo board didn’t take any action to remove the posters until they initiated their complaint. But the board’s lawyer disputes that, saying management installed security cameras, after which the posters stopped.

“The co-op board were shocked at these posters and the co-op did take extensive and immediate action to stop them,” Kiel Ardal, the lawyer representing the board said.

The tribunal can award monetary damages to the complainants, but they say that’s not what they’re after. Instead, they say they want it made clear what co-ops have to do in similar situations.

The hearing started Monday and is scheduled to finish Wednesday.

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