ABOVE: Toronto’s controversial mayor made his return from rehab – and as you’d expect, the circus followed right behind him
TORONTO – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been back in the public eye for less than 48 hours, and it hasn’t looked much like the triumphant return he and brother Doug Ford were expecting.
It could turn around for RoFo at the executive committee meeting Wednesday morning, but here are five misfortunes he’s already faced since returning from GreeneStone treatment facility in Muskoka.
1. Apology for “gross comments” denied
Ford entered rehab in May after the release of a photo taken from a video in which the mayor appeared to have been smoking what looked like crack cocaine and an audio recording of him allegedly in the midst of a drunken rant.
Ford made graphic remarks about councillor and mayoral candidate Karen Stintz in that audio recording—which prompted Stintz to hold a press conference May 1, declaring “Rob Ford’s comments are gross.”
She was the only person he specifically named in his apology on Monday—but it wasn’t accepted.
“If the mayor wants to apologize to me, he’s got my number and he can call. It’s a private matter for him to discuss with me directly.
“Mayor Ford has a lot more to apologize to the public for. I’d rather he apologize to the City of Toronto for years of dereliction of duty, abject failure to trim the budget, zero leadership on transit, and years of offensive antics, bigotry, and racism.”
2. Heckles and jeers cut short his Canada Day parade
The mayor abruptly left the East York Canada Day parade before making it to the finish line, amid heckles and jeers from angry members of the public.
Though some people were supportive, there were loud yells including: “Just go away, disgusting man!”, “Shame on you!”, “Liar”, “Get out of my neighbourhood”, and a group of children decked out in red and white, shouting “Boo!” as Ford walked by.
3. Confronted by an angry, shirtless jogger
Also during the East York parade, a Toronto high school teacher out for a jog stopped to (loudly) share his thoughts with the mayor.
“Answer the people’s questions,” shouted Joe Killoran. “It’s one thing to be sick, that is fine, but he has questions to answer for the people of Toronto,” said Killoran, who has written a number of opinion pieces for the Toronto Star on religion, social justice and education.“You're a corrupt, lying, racist homophobe.”
4. Ford’s November knock-over says she’s still in physio
When Ford saw his brother in a heated argument last November, he knocked over Coun. Pam McConnell in his rush to help. She said Monday she didn’t think he’d spent enough time in rehab.
“I’m not sure that Torontonians really want to hear from him that much,” she told reporters, adding that her hip hasn’t completely recovered from the impact. “But more importantly as someone who was crushed by the mayor and is still in physiotherapy, I wish you all good luck and I hope that some of you will stay well away from the crush.”
5. Ford-friendly Toronto Sun publishes op-ed calling for resignation
The column wished Ford well in his battle against addiction, but warned against the public and political “pressure cooker” that he’d be submitting himself to should he continue campaigning.
“That greatly increases the chances he will relapse into addiction and with it, the irresponsible behaviours he has exhibited as an addict, including lying, consorting with criminals and making racist, homophobic and misogynistic remarks,” said the column.
The Sun acknowledged he could win on Oct. 27, but suggested he’d have trouble moving forward with the council he has alienated.
“On a human level, we wish Ford well as he begins his life-long battle against addiction. But on a political level, we do not believe he should be the mayor of Toronto.”
© Shaw Media, 2014