Nine employees at a rehabilitation centre in Laval were fired for alleged mistreatment of people with intellectual disabilities or on the autism spectrum disorder.

These nine workers were employed at the Louise-Vachon Autism Spectrum Disorders Intellectual Disability Rehabilitation Centre, located on Saint-Martin Blvd. West in Laval.

The allegations are the workers were violent and harassing those in their care, and against co-workers.

According to the information available on the integrated social services network CISSS de Laval website, the institution offers specialized services in adaptation, rehabilitation, and social participation to its clientele. People with severe behavioural problems also have a transitional living environment at the Louise-Vachon Centre.

The majority of clients are adults, but some minors are also treated there.

The police investigation reportedly began in January following a whistleblower from Laval's CISSS, which was conducting its own internal human resources investigation.

All users who have been to the institution and have been in contact with the dismissed individuals are considered potential victims.

In addition to the staff purge, the CISSS de Laval claims to have implemented a multi-pronged action plan including a complete review of clinical practices and intervention plans for each user.

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Danielle McCann, said in a statement she "welcomed the clear message given by directors of the establishment." She added that the firings were a concrete gesture that would confirm that abuse and harassment are extremely serious and unacceptable.