Toronto police have arrested a man wanted in connection with a hate-motivated incident after two nooses were found at a construction site in the summer.
On June 10, police responded to a construction site in the area of Coxwell and Sammon avenues, which is near Michael Garron Hospital in East York.
It is alleged that workers assigned to a closed construction site, which is not accessible to the general public, arrived at work and found two nooses located on their construction equipment.
As part of the Service's commitment to tackling Hate Crimes, a task force was set up in response to several similar reports at construction sites across the city. This project team includes members of the Hate Crime Unit as well as investigators from 55 Division, 52 Division and 11 Division.
As a result of the ongoing investigation, officers were able to identify a suspect in relation to one of the nooses discovered on June 10 and a 34-year-old man was arrested on Friday, December 4.
According to police, Jason Lahay of Toronto has been charged with Mischief Interrupt Property Over $5000 and three counts of Criminal Harassment.
Lahay is scheduled to appear at College Park Courts, on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 2 pm.
"We appreciate the work being done by the Hate Crimes Unit and Toronto Police service," said Danielle Feidler, Senior Vice President, Brand Experience for Tridel.
"It's critically important that an arrest was made which demonstrates the commitment of the industry and the TPS, that racist acts will not be tolerated and people will be held accountable. Hate and discrimination have no place in society – at work, at home or in our community."
After several nooses were found at various Toronto construction sites this year -- in addition to the ones discovered at Michael Garron Hospital -- Tridel launched the “Built for Respect" campaign, which is intended to “tackle and ideally eliminate” racism within the construction industry.
Tridel's Built for Respect mandate will also work to provide clarity on what is expected and what will not be tolerated to ensure every workplace remains equitable and inclusive for everyone.
Feidler says the campaign provides on-going resources to support the City Declaration of Inclusive Workplaces & Communities, the BILD Diversity Equity & Inclusion Pledge and RESCON Construction Against Racism Everywhere (CARE) initiatives.
"While this specific incident has had closure, we know our work has just begun and we are committed to doing it," said Feidler.