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April 20, 2007
City of Toronto statement on sexual assault charges
The City of Toronto and staff from Children’s Services are working closely with the Toronto Police Service and family agencies in the wake of criminal charges laid against a Children’s Services volunteer. As indicated by police, it is alleged that a daycare volunteer sexually assaulted and interfered with children in the City’s care. If proven, this is an unacceptable breach of trust.

The City directly runs 57 daycare centres in Toronto, serving 2,618 children and their families. Staff, students on placement, and formal volunteers undergo criminal background checks before they are permitted to interact with children. The individual, who was charged last Sunday, does not have a criminal record.

The City of Toronto is conducting its own internal review to ensure policies were adhered to. Volunteers in childcare centres are an integral part of the childcare setting. It is the City’s hope that the alleged actions of one individual do not diminish the excellent and caring work of both staff and volunteers, some of whom include parents. Families entrust their children into our care; the City works hard to maintain that trust, and will continue to do so.

Communication, including meetings with parents, has taken place, and social service supports have been offered where required, or requested. This is an extremely serious matter and the City requests the media’s understanding surrounding issues of privacy, the court-ordered publication ban, and the fact there are ongoing investigations, both by police and the Toronto government.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Brad Ross, Strategic Communications Division, 416-392-8937, (cell) 416-919-6503



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