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Petitions to remove ‘Muzzo’, but hospitals respond they won’t

TORONTO – The name Muzzo is there to stay. In the aftermath of the news of the suicide of Edward Lake, father of the three children killed in 2015 by Marco Muzzo driving drunk, from many parts and with increasing insistence citizens ask for the removal of the family name from the hospitals to which they have given millions of dollars in donations. But hospitals in Toronto and Vaughan responded in spades. Meanwhile, the two petitions, which on change.org (one and two) urge that the name Muzzo disappear from the walls of hospitals, continue to collect more and more signatures. 

Both Mackenzie Health and the SickKids Foundation, associated with the Hospital for Sick Children, told CTV News Toronto that they have no plans to remove the Muzzo family name from their hospitals. A spokesman for Mackenzie Health acknowledged the enormity of the family’s loss and the public reaction that followed the recent tragedy.

“We understand the strong emotions people feel, accept and respect their concerns,” a Mackenzie Health spokesperson said, “however the hospital has no plans to remove the family name from the hospital.” Family that together with that De Gasperis donated 15 million dollars for the construction of the new Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital in 2017, a period in which Marco Muzzo was in prison.

“We have no plans to remove the surname Muzzo from the building as it recognizes the family’s long history of philanthropy, including many generous donations to Mackenzie Health. Their contributions have helped build an exceptional health facility for the community and for this we are very grateful,” the spokesperson concluded. On the same wavelength is the SickKids Foundation that while recognizing the “unimaginable pain” that the Neville-Lake family is experiencing has no intention of removing “the small plaque in recognition of the donation that is located in a corridor”. In 2006, spokeswoman Sandra Chiovittit said, the Muzzo family donated a large sum of money to the SickKids Foundation “in support of our project to modernize the operating rooms.”

In essence, even if Muzzo is a surname that until 7 years ago was associated with one of the richest families in Canada and that after the tragic accident instead brings also to mind the death of Daniel, 9 years old, Harrison, 5 and Milly, 2 and their grandfather, the hospitals intend to continue to show their gratitude to the family.

In the meantime, the two petitions continue to gain more support by the minute. The first, launched by Barbara Anne Smith, reached over 7,800 signatures. “Marco Muzzo is responsible for the death of 5 people including 3 children from drunk driving. Her family should not be honored with buildings named after them,” Smith wrote.

To kick off the second petition, which asks in particular for the removal of the name of the wealthy family from Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, was Daniela Palma. The signatures collected until yesterday were about 1,800. Edward Lake, the father of the children, committed suicide on Monday, June 20, 2022, a day after Father’s Day. After the accident in which his children lost their lives, Edward suffered from anxiety and harbored suicidal thoughts – wrote Palma – it is morally and ethically wrong that the name of the Muzzo family is imprinted in our hospitals in Vaughan and Toronto. Hospitals should save lives, not be supporters and promoters of criminals who have killed innocent people, especially children.”

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