Toronto Mayor Rob Ford faced his first full day back at city hall after leaving rehab and a day after being cheered and heckled at a Canada Day parade in the city’s east end.
He attended Wednesday’s executive committee meeting, now chaired by Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, but did not take questions from reporters as he entered the meeting room.
The mayor also did one-on-one interviews with a handful of media outlets, including CBC News and CP24, on Wednesday afternoon. Click here to read the story.
CityNews was supposed to have an interview with Ford on Wednesday, but it was moved without consultation to Thursday at 12:30 p.m. CityNews.ca and 680News.com will live stream it.
“There are a few months before the next election is going to come. And the answer he gives or doesn’t give — his performance will be judged by the electorate very shortly,” Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong said.
Mayor Ford’s office also sent out a release stating he has reimbursed the City of Toronto for the salary he was paid while on leave for rehab. Ford’s time away from city hall was considered a medical leave, which meant he still qualified for his full salary.
“Upon returning to office on Monday, one of the Mayor’s first acts was reimbursing the City of Toronto for the full salary he received while on leave,” the release stated.
Meanwhile, there are renewed calls for Ford to resign, including one from the Toronto Sun, which has often come to his defence.
The editorial, which was published on Wednesday morning, questions Ford’s ability to step back into what it calls the “public and political pressure cooker” so soon after rehab.
The Sun also wrote Ford should have announced his resignation on Monday, which it said would have been the most credible sign Ford fully understands the nature of his addiction.
The mayor’s staff said Ford has been trying to line up sit downs with city councillors. However, Coun. John Parker said he was offered a chance to talk to the mayor on Monday, but passed on it because he thought it might be self-serving for the mayor.
“I’m not about to accept an invitation for a one-on-one without knowing just what the purpose of it might be,” Parker said.
At the East York Canada Day Parade on Monday, Ford was greeted with shouts of “disgrace” and “resign” from some in the crowd, which he brushed off by wishing them a happy Canada Day.
Ford returned to city hall on Monday after spending two months at a rehab facility in Muskoka. He apologized for his past behaviour, saying he was embarrassed by the things he has done while using drugs and alcohol.
In his nearly 20-minute statement, an often emotional Ford asked for a second chance and promised an “unwavering” commitment to living clean, before outlining his re-election platform.
With files from Momin Qureshi and Kevin Misener, 680News and The Canadian Press