He’s back. Rob Ford re-entered the role of Mayor of Toronto Monday, June 30th. That is, as much of a mayor of one of Canada’s largest cities as he can be, given that he’s been stripped of all real power except the title.
Yes, Ford has completed his 2 month stint in rehab and has apologized for a whole whack of things he’s done to the city and his family, fellow councillors as well as a competing mayoral candidate for the upcoming October 27, 2014 Municipal Elections.
“It was never my intention to embarrass the city or offend my fellow members of council. I deeply regret some of the personal choices I have made in the past,” Ford stated in what appeared to be a 15 minute, sincere apology in a media scrum.
Ford’s sudden departure for rehab, came on the heels of a realm of racist, sexist and homophobic comments that were recorded and made public just prior to him disappearing from the public eye.
“I had convinced myself that I did not have a problem,” Ford finally admitted. “But it soon became obvious that my alcohol and drug use was having a serious impact on my family, on my health, and on my job as mayor.”
Sadly, that statement rings rather hollow with a lot of Torontonians as Ford has uttered many an apology when his hand has been caught in the cookie jar and not until that point. Shortly afterwards, more unsavoury, to put it mildly, acts and utterances have come about, causing heads to shake in total exasperation, frustration as well as disbelief.
“They forced me to confront my personal demons,” he said today, crediting Greenstone Rehab in Bala, Ontario. “I learned that my addiction is really a disease, a chronic medical condition that will require treatment for the rest of my life.”
However, other addiction counsellors and specialists aren’t quite so certain that Ford will remain on the straight and narrow unless he changes paths, something Ford is not at all willing to do, it seems.
“When you come into recovery and you get out, you’ve got to change the people, places and things associated with your addiction. In his case, that means everything,” Mark Elliot, a Toronto based, addictions counsellor has stated. “When you come out of rehab, you come out on a high and you crash, and you build yourself back up.”
Elliot likened rehab to an “artificial world”, also stating that Ford would be best to drop out of the mayoral race. Many others have also called for Ford to resign from his position for his sake as well as the city’s well-being. Ford has refused to do so and went on with campaign style ramblings, something that a lot of pundits felt was far too soon for him to be doing.
“Rob Ford, save yourself,” Elliot said. “Toronto will still be here when you’re ready.”
Picked up from rehab this morning, Ford’s brother, Doug, stated that his brother is looking good, has lost weight and is ready to get back into the ring. This is something that everyone, including the experts doubt though his popularity in polls seem to have risen.
While pretty much all of us wish Ford well in his personal struggles and send him only well-wishes for him and his future health, many of us are concerned that it might not be long before Ford slips back into old patterns and habits. There was no mention of Ford dropping his criminal friends and their activities. He’s been well-known for his connections with drug dealers and worse. This is crucial to his recovery but, he hasn’t stated one way or another as to what he’ll do about that factor.
U.S. late night talk show hosts have had a field day with Ford’s antics. They find him amusing and funny, joking about wanting to have a beer with him. He does make great fodder for being the brunt of a joke and seems oblivious to the fact that during in person interviews on the different shows, he’s being made fun of. Painfully, the rest of us see it.
From my little corner of life, I see Ford rushing to do what he thinks will win him back his right to go into the mayoral race ring again with a decent chance of winning. He just may. However, I personally, see him as an accident waiting to happen. It’s not a matter of ‘if’, only ‘when’ he will slip up again. I hope this to not be the case. I’d really like to see another human being get and stay healthy but, from all prior indications, Ford protects Ford and is as stubborn as he is obnoxious. He’ll do whatever he has to do in order to hang onto his mayoral seat…even if it means upsetting and letting down those who put their faith into him by voting him into office. He plays us all like fools.
For his sake and ours, I hope that he’s able to hang in there and continue getting well but, if I were a betting person, I’d have to put my money on future events taking a turn backwards if he isn’t extremely careful and sincere about getting sober and staying that way. I just don’t see it happening but, that’s just my view from my little corner of life.