Letter asking to 'euthanize' boy with autism is deemed not to be a hate crime

Canadian Press

The Crown Attorney's Office in Ontario says a letter asking the family of a boy with autism to move or euthanize him falls below the threshold for a hate crime, despite the hateful language, Durham Regional Police Service said in a release Tuesday.

However, police will consider whether the letter violates other sections of the Criminal Code.
Max, a 13-year-old boy who has autism, is the target of a vicious letter calling the family to move or euthanize him.Max, a 13-year-old boy who has autism, is the target of a vicious letter calling the family to move or euthanize him. (CBC)

A criminal investigation is currently underway after the Newcastle, Ont., family of a 13-year-old boy who has autism received an anonymous letter telling them to either leave the neighbourhood or have the boy euthanized.

The boy's grandmother, Brenda Millson, said she was shocked when she read the letter, which arrived in her mailbox on Friday.

The author of the typed one-page letter claimed to be a mother who lived in the neighbourhood and was upset at the noises Millson's grandson Max made when he was outside.

The letter went on to say the boy's "noise polluting whaling (sic)," scared the author's "normal children."

It also included statements such as "he is a hindrance to everyone and will always be that way" and "do the right thing and move or euthanize him."

Millson said she immediately reported the letter to police.

She said Max lives with his parents and older brother in Oshawa, Ont., but he had been visiting her home in Newcastle.

She said the author of the letter may have assumed she is Max's mother.

"At first I couldn't believe what I was reading," she said, adding that she was shaking in disbelief.

"It's just so sick."

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