Tarnished Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford has allegedly completed 2 months of rehab for substance abuse but, not without the usual controversy that he creates for himself.
The Toronto Star newspaper had interviewed Ford on his time in rehab. Ford told reporters that he did fine and dared the paper to go ask. They did. What they found was nothing short of simply more of Rob Ford’s antics and lies.
All did not go well at GreenStone Rehab Centre in Muskoka, Ontario.
“[Ford] was both verbally and physically aggressive during his two-month stay at GreeneStone in Muskoka, where he reportedly disrupted other patients and was kicked out of his therapy group for preventing people from sharing their stories,” The Toronto Star reports others have said about his stint in rehab.
“Ford broke things, got into fights with other residents,” said one person, cited in the Toronto Star’s article. “Other residents felt intimidated. They felt he was bully,” said another. “He was always saying he did not belong there.”
Others, including staff, seemed to have feared that Ford was still “using” during rehab, something that might not be quite so off the mark.
However, Ford has stated the opposite of what others have reported to the newspaper.
“I now know the staff at GreeneStone saved my life. They forced me to confront my personal demons,” Ford has said to mainstream media sources.
If Ford’s “demons” were anything like those the world has seen, it’s likely they came out spitting pea-soup and causing Ford to display 360 degree head spins.
Apparently, so disruptive and aggressive, Ford was kicked out of a therapy group during his rehab.
Meanwhile, freshly out of rehab and back in Council Chambers, Ford refused to stand up in a show of appreciation while the rest of council gave a standing ovation to Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s work in this year’s Gay Pride Week Celebrations and Parade.
A known social conservative who is against Gay Marriage and has been heard spewing anti-gay and transgender remarks, Ford remain seated while later, Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, mouthed off to other collegues regarding Integrity Commissioner Janet Leiper’s recommendation that Rob Ford apologize for incorrect statements he made about Councillor Paul Ainslie and robocalls. Rob Ford had left council chambers citing it as a “conflict of interest” because the topic was about him and left brother Doug to come to the rescue in his brother’s defense.
Doug Ford’s defense was that others say inaccurate things about his brother then, stated that his brother wouldn’t apologize until “hell froze over”.
Speaker, Francis Nunziata threatened to throw Doug Ford out of council unless he retracted his statement to her about “not knowing whether she spoke english or not”. Doug Ford retracted his statement.
Wait, there’s more. Yes, in just over a week since Ford left his debacle in rehab, he was also in the midst of yet another scuffle where a shirtless protester was shoved by Ford’s “rehab coach” this past weekend. All charges were dropped on both sides but, the stories just keep amassing and this is all in the midst of an election campaign in which Ford and his brother both hope to be re-elected back into their seats on October 27, 2014’s elections.
Much fuss has been made about the story of Ford’s rehab stunts being published by the newspaper. However, Ford himself, gave interviews to the Toronto Sun newspaper (a conservative backed paper) and challenged the Toronto Star to “go ask” how he did at GreenStone. They did.
When asked about remaining sober and keeping his sobriety should he be re-elected for another 4 years as mayor of one of Toronto, one of Canada’s largest cities, Ford replied that he couldn’t promise that he would. He could promise that he’d be fitter and leaner (weight wise) but, couldn’t promise to stay sober and clean.
While many who have gone through rehab programs know that the disease means an everyday battle and sometimes, moment to moment battle that one cannot say they will win, what’s clear is that Ford’s antics were not just the result of his substance abuse. His obnoxious, lying, in-your-face attitude is still very much there whether he’s sober or not and, whether he remains sober or falls off the wagon, as any recovering addict can tell you, it’s not a battle easily won nor, can it lend itself to promises of sobriety. That said, what would that mean to Torontonians to have the possibility of facing another 4 years of Ford and his brother’s abrasive, attack-mode tactics and attitudes running the city especially, if Ford slipped backwards in his recovery?
It seems that in watching both Ford brothers in action, the apples don’t fall far from one another. Neither set good examples of upstanding leaders for the city and most of Ford followers, are either simply intrigued with two jerks who can get away with their ill-tempers and disgraceful behaviours (sober or not) or, they are least likely to vote, period.
Late night talk show hosts have a field day with Ford. They love to use him as material for their opening monologues or make fun of him. It’s great entertainment, no doubt. Even Torontonians laugh at the jokes. Afterall, there is no other way to deal with it except through humor.
Somehow, there’s something inside of all of us…a tiny little piece of us somewhere…that kind of wants to see Ford succeed. In spite of the obvious fact that the man is not fit for such a huge role especially, given his own personal struggles which get in the way of an important position such as his, the fact remains that there is an underdog cheer leader in all of us. There’s something of wonderment in just how tenacious this fumbling mess of a mayor and man can go. How far can he and his almost equally disgusting brother can push things. Can they win? Will they win?
Most Torontonians hope both brothers will be out on their behinds but, there’s this nagging mystery as to how far they can go before they’re out of the running. Perhaps, it’s a bit of envy that neither of the two buffoons seem to care what the world thinks about them. They’re both like the old Timex watch jingle, “they take a licking but keep on ticking”. How many of us would have not only the tenacity to keep on going in the face of such public contempt, distaste and disgust but, the proverbial “balls” to do so? It’s almost unbelievable that they haven’t backed down and won’t give up. Many are shaking their heads in disbelief, wondering how much further they can go.
The latest poll puts Ford at a rather distant third, running at 22%, in the top 5 front-runners for the Mayoral Seat right now but, that’s still ahead of 2 other up-standing candidates who have clean records. It makes one wonder whether the 22% of people polled who would vote for Ford, are all behind the man and saying that his form of public disgraceful displays are acceptable to them or, whether they are simply rooting for the underdog because they’re in amazement that he’s still kicking?
Frankly, it would behoove Toronto to have a mayor who can run the city without the threat of more negative controversy, stays sober and clean so that they can do the job properly as well as having a mayor that isn’t a three ringed circus, in and of himself. I mean that quite literally.
It will be interesting to see what voters do on October 27th but, in the meanwhile, it’s certain that there’s a lot more Ford Stories to come. At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life.