TIME Canada

Rob Ford Has Cancer

Toronto Mayor Ford participates in a mayoral debate hosted by the Canadian Tamil Congress in Scarborough in this file photo
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford participates in a mayoral debate in Scarborough, Ontario, on July 15, 2014 Fred Thornhill—Reuters

The Toronto mayor has said he won't seek re-election amid health problems

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, his doctor said Wednesday.

Dr. Zane Cohen of Mount Sinai Hospital confirmed that Ford has a rare cancer that will be treated with chemotherapy, CTV reports. Ford is expected to make a complete recovery. Cohen said the mayor is in “some pain still” but that doctors are working to manage it.

Ford was initially hospitalized last week after complaining of intense abdominal pain and had been diagnosed with a tumor, but further details of his condition couldn’t be confirmed until a biopsy was conducted. Ford, who drew global headlines when he admitted to doing crack cocaine, said last week that he won’t be seeking re-election.

[CTV]

TIME Canada

Rob Ford Withdraws From Toronto Mayor’s Race

Toronto Mayor Ford participates in a mayoral debate hosted by the Canadian Tamil Congress in Scarborough in this file photo
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford participates in a mayoral debate in Scarborough, Ontario, on July 15, 2014 Fred Thornhill—Reuters

His brother Doug Ford is taking his place on the ballot

Embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford has ended his bid for re-election after doctors found a tumor in his abdomen.

“I’m unable to continue my campaign for re-election as your Mayor,” Ford said in a statement released Friday afternoon. “With the advice of my doctors I know I need to focus on getting better.”

“People know me as a guy who faces things head on and never gives up, and as your Mayor I have done just that. I derailed the gravy train, cut unnecessary spending and made government more accountable. I did this by facing these challenges head on,” Ford added. “Now I could be facing a battle of my lifetime.”

Ford family representatives rushed to file papers ahead of the 2 p.m. deadline Friday to allow Rob’s brother, City Councillor Doug Ford, replace him on the ballot, the Toronto Star reports. Doug Ford will now run for mayor of the city in Rob Ford’s stead. Rob Ford will, in turn, run for Doug Ford’s Ward 2 City Council seat, a seat Rob held until Doug’s election in 2010. The Fords’ nephew Michael, who had been in contention to fill the Ward 2 seat being vacated by Doug, is expected to pull his name from consideration.

Ford was admitted to a hospital Wednesday after complaining of stomach pains. Doctors found a “fair size” tumor in his abdomen but can’t know for sure if it is cancerous for at least a week.

The news marks a dramatic watershed in Ford’s tumultuous and scandal-plagued term in office during which he was censured by the City Council after revelations of drug use followed by repeated instances in which he made graphic and off color remarks in public.

TIME Canada

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Diagnosed With Abdominal Tumor

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford pauses while participating in a mayoral debate in Toronto on July 15, 2014.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford pauses while participating in a mayoral debate in Toronto on July 15, 2014. Darren Calabrese—AP

Doctors are not yet able to determine what type of tumor the Mayor has

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has an abdominal tumor, discovered after he was admitted to a hospital on Wednesday.

Ford entered Humber River Hospital’s Church Street facility in Toronto earlier in the day, complaining of abdominal pains, a problem that had plagued the politician for the last three months but had suddenly become “unbearable,” his brother, City Councillor Doug Ford said.

By Wednesday evening, doctors had given Ford a “working diagnosis of a tumor.

Councillor Ford said he could not comment on how the diagnosis will impact Mayor Ford’s campaign for reelection. Rob Ford is running for mayor despite having been in rehab earlier this year for problems with alcohol and drugs including crack-cocaine.

President and CEO of Humber River Hospital Dr. Rueben Devlin said during a press conference Wednesday that physicians won’t be able to determine exactly what type of tumor Ford has until they complete a biopsy. The full investigation into his condition is likely to wrap up by the end of the week, Devlin said.

A CT scan found that “it wasn’t a small tumor,” Devlin said. “But size is not as relevant as what it is.” The biopsy will determine if there are tumors anywhere else in Ford’s body.

Doug Ford said Wednesday that despite the diagnosis, his brother is in “good spirits.” Councillor Ford also asked for privacy until they know what the tumor is.

TIME E-Cigarettes

Toronto Bans E-Cigarettes From City Workplaces

An e-cigarette on March 05, 2013 in Paris.
An e-cigarette in Paris on March 05, 2013 Kenzo Tribouillard—AFP/Getty Images

Mayor Rob Ford reportedly voted against the ban

The Toronto City Council voted 36-2 in favor of banning e-cigarettes from all city workplaces on Monday.

According to a Toronto Sun reporter, Mayor Rob Ford was one of the two votes against the ban.

The vote was part of a marathon session for the city council which could last several days and will address some 400 items from e-cigarettes to traffic lights.

Toronto is not the first major city in North America to issue a prohibition on e-cigarettes. In March, Los Angeles became the third city after New York and Chicago to outlaw e-cigarettes at the office, and Philadelphia followed soon after.

But the L.A. ban extended further than city workplaces with bans in place for bars, restaurants, and parks. In New York, e-cigarette smokers cannot vape anywhere where conventional smoking is also banned, and in Chicago, there’s an indoor smoking ban in place. Smaller cities have also taken up the issue, and it’s expected that more cities will consider similar bans.

Health Canada, the government’s public health department, advised Canadians not to buy e-cigarettes as long ago as 2009, CTV News reports, but there are no formal prohibitions on the sale of e-cigarettes unless they are “expressly intended” for nicotine delivery. That allows many retailers to circumvent a crackdown by regulators.

Earlier this year, the FDA said it would increase its regulation over e-cigarettes, and on Sunday night, the American Heart Association called for stricter oversight, especially when it comes to marketing to kids.

TIME photography

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TIME celebrities

Deadmau5 Took Toronto Mayor Rob Ford On A Coffee Run In His Nyan Cat Ferrari

Mayor Ford's coffee order explains a lot

Have you ever wondered what embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and superstar EDM producer deadmau5 would talk about during a coffee run? Football, for starters. The difficulty of left turns, Nyan Cat and the importance of taking care of Toronto’s pot holes were also on the agenda for their conversation and it’s all captured on tape for the whole internet to gawk at.

The video was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday by deadmau5 as part of his new Coffee Run series. In the clip, the Canadian mayor and music producer take deadmau5’s so-called Purrari — a Nyan Cat-wrapped Ferrari 458 Italia — for a spin through the city streets with a quick stopover at a Tim Horton’s drive thru window, because where else would two Canadians go?

While both men are known for creating controversy, Ford’s Horton’s order of five espresso shots in a single cup is the most jaw-dropping moment of the whole 30-minute video.

MORE: Kevin Spacey Just Made Rob Ford’s Day

MORE: deadmau5 Sounds Off on DJs, Antagonizing Everyone and His Label: Q&A

TIME Canada

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Promises to Stay Sober

Toronto Mayoral TV Debate
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Lucas Oleniuk—Toronto Star/Getty Images

"I have begun the process of taking control of my life"

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford vowed to stay sober and continue to work for the people of Toronto on his first day back in office after a two-month rehab stint.

“I have begun the process of taking control of my life,” he said at an invite-only press conference Monday. “No matter what I do, I will never change the mistakes I have made in the past.”

Ford, who entered a rehab facility at the end of April, said he “deeply regret[s] some of the personal choices” he made in the past, which included smoking crack cocaine, using vulgar language and appearing in public while intoxicated.

“I want to to sincerely apologize not just to the people of Toronto, but every single person who was hurt by my words and my actions,” he said.

Ford called his commitment to living clean “unwavering” and said he has removed the negative influences from his life.

“I was blind to the dangers of some of the company I kept,” he said. “Those associations have ended.”

Ford thanked his family for their support, apologized to the city council for his embarrassing actions and thanked the media for giving him privacy during his stint in rehab.

Though the city council stripped him of most of his mayoral authority following revelations about his drug use, Ford, who was first elected in 2010, will continue to serve in office unless he is voted out of office on October 27.

“I am not asking for your forgiveness,” he said. “Substance abuse is a vert difficult thing to overcome, but I will keep battling this disease for the rest of my life.”

TIME Canada

Rob Ford Returns to Office After Rehab

Toronto Mayor Ford arrives at City Hall in Toronto
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford arrives at City Hall in Toronto June 30, 2014. Mark Blinch—Reuters

Toronto's notorious crack-smoking mayor is back — but for how long?

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford returned to office Monday following a two-month stay in rehab for substance abuse, CBC reports.

Ford’s return comes after a year of scandalous behavior including public drunkenness, using obscene language and smoking crack cocaine. He agreed to attend rehab at the end of April, releasing a statement that said he had “a problem with alcohol” for which he was seeking help.
Toronto’s city council stripped him of most of his powers and budget following news of his drug-taking, rendering him mayor in name only. Nevertheless, Ford has refused to quit, saying voters will decide his fate in the municipal elections on October 27.

The mayor is due to speak to the media at 3:30pm ET, though what he’ll say remains a mystery. Ford’s main electoral opponents, John Tory and Olivia Chow, have scheduled media addresses directly after Ford’s, at 4pm and 4:30pm respectively.

Councillor Doug Ford, brother of the embattled mayor, has been playing his cards close to his chest. He said Sunday his brother was “looking forward to coming back, that’s for sure.”

The councillor added: “He looks the same, but a little lighter. He’ll be hungry and looking forward to meeting the people.”

[CBC]

 

TIME Canada

Rob Ford Will Return to the Toronto Mayor’s Office Once He’s Done Rehab

A mock "missing persons" poster with a picture of Toronto Mayor Ford is seen in Toronto
A mock "missing persons" poster with a picture of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is seen in Toronto on May 7, 2014. Ford, who said last month he would take time off to get treatment for an alcohol problem, described rehab as "amazing" and said he would return in time for the upcoming city election, a Toronto newspaper reported on Wednesday. Mark Blinch—Reuters

He'll face a fresh mayoral election in October, and while he's behind in the polls, not all hope is lost for the controversial politician

Not long after Rob Ford’s “come to Jesus” moment in November 2013, when he declared to the Canadian press that he would never drink again, a video surfaced online of the Toronto mayor in a diner called Steak Queen, drunkenly swearing in a Jamaican accent on the matters of counter-surveillance measures and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Then there was the incident at a Vancouver bar, and another involving security guards at a Toronto Maple Leafs game, and a second crack cocaine video — all set to the tune of calls for his resignation from the mayoralty, which he’s held for four frequently scandalous years.

Now Ford is on the tail end of an “amazing” two-month stint in rehab, and he fully intends to stay in office once he’s out, the BBC reported Tuesday.

“Kindly be advised that I will be returning to work at City Hall on Monday, June 30th, 2014, in the later portion of the afternoon,” Ford wrote in a letter to Ulli S. Watkiss, Toronto’s city clerk. “Please make the necessary arrangements for my locks to be restored to their state prior to my departure.”

He’ll return to a post he mostly only holds symbolically: Toronto’s city council has stripped him of most political authority over the course of his recent controversies. In October his constituents will return to the polls to decide whether to keep him in office or replace him with either a conservative businessman or an ex-member of the national legislature — both of whom have turned to the incumbent’s personal failings to bolster their own campaigns.

Olivia Chow, the onetime parliamentarian, was ahead in the polls last month, but hope isn’t necessarily lost for Ford. Some 32% of his surveyed constituents said they would vote for him if he got clean, and though a different poll says his latest approval rating is about the same fraction, it’s more or less on par with that of other Canadian politicians, including Prime Minister Harper.

TIME Canada

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Rob Ford The Musical

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford reacts on the podium during his campaign launch party in Toronto
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford reacts on the podium during his campaign launch party in Toronto in this file photo taken April 17, 2014. Mark Blinch —Reuters

Producers are holding a casting call in Toronto

Call it Crack Rock of Ages, perhaps.

Rob Ford the Musical: The Birth of a Ford Nation, about the inebriate Canadian politician, is holding an open casting call in Toronto next Monday, according to the production’s website.

Toronto’s mayor earned notoriety after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine last fall, with the somewhat self-defeating explanation, “Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine… Probably in one of my drunken stupors.” Ford is currently taking a leave of absence, and has checked into rehab, but still plans to run for a second term as mayor.

In other words: His life story is crying out to be paired with song and dance.

Brett McCaig, P. Joseph Regan and Anthony Bastianon penned the book and lyrics. Bastianon has worked as a composer in Canada previously, and McCaig penned Nursery School Musical, though according to his LinkedIn page, he is also in real estate.

The auditions are being held at the resident performance space of famed comedy group Second City in Toronto, but a spokesperson for Second City told TIME that the improv group has nothing to do with the play—they are just renting out the audition space.

According to the casting call, the auditions will be “color blind,” so no resemblance to the robust mayor is necessary. The producers will cast the parts of Rob Ford, the mayor’s brother Doug Ford, as well as a character called “Tranny.” (Rob Ford once made offensive comments about transgender people.) The audition announcement boasts, “The media, the police chief and the city itself are not off limits.”

The musical is slated to open at Toronto’s Factory Theater on Sept. 16.

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