2 more nooses found at Michael Garron Hospital construction site
Hospital, construction company say Toronto police have been notified
Two more nooses were found on a construction site on the property of Michael Garron Hospital in East York this week, the top official at the hospital confirmed Friday morning.
The latest incidents come after five nooses were discovered on four different sites in Toronto — including two at the same location at Michael Garron — in June and July.
"These despicable acts of racism are not reflective of our hospital community. While we will not let incidents of hate define us, we will call out these insidious acts whenever they take place," said Sarah Downey, president and CEO of the hospital, in an email.
Both Downey and a spokesperson for EllisDon Corp, the company that manages the site, said that police have been notified about the nooses discovered on Thursday.
"We will work alongside Toronto Police Service to ensure that whoever is responsible for this act is identified and prosecuted. Anti-Black racism has no place in our hospital or anywhere in our community and it will never be tolerated," Downey wrote.
She said that after the June incidents, there was "outpouring of support" from employees, residents and local businesses. The fence that surrounds the site was covered in anti-racism messages, and a "healing ceremony" was performed before the final structural beam was put in place.
Downey added that the nooses found this week indicate a systemic problem.
"Although we have been reassured by the efforts made by EllisDon and others to address racism in the construction industry, it is clear that they need to do better," she said.
Dustin Luchka, spokesperson for EllisDon, told CBC Toronto that the company's leadership will be addressing workers at the site today and that workers are being offered access to counsellors if they need support. The company is also offering a $5,000 reward for anyone who provides information that leads to the identification of the person that left the nooses on the site.
Luchka added that EllisDon previously hired the law firm Rubin Thomlinson to investigate the previous incidents and advise on ways to address anti-Black racism within the company.
"We strongly condemn all acts of racism and we stand by our Black employees, subtrade workers and local community members," he said.
Premier Doug Ford also condemned those behind the act during a media briefing on Friday.
"I find it absolutely disgusting someone is doing this," he said.
Ford added that he's confident police will find the people responsible, vowing: "they'll face the consequences."
Police confirmed in late July that they are investigating the earlier incidents as possible hate crimes.