Is Rob Ford really in rehab?
That's a question being asked after the troubled mayor of Canada's largest city broke his silence to a Toronto Sun columnist about a week after taking a leave of absence to deal with addiction issues.
Now, some are even claiming he's back in town.
Rob Ford told The Sun's Joe Warmington that "rehab is amazing" and reminds him of a football camp he attended as a child.
The mayor also told Warmington he's still making calls to constituents and vows to be on the ballot in October.
But Rob Ford would not tell the columnist where the rehab facility is located — or even if it is in Canada. The Globe and Mail has reported he did not officially enter the United States when he flew to Chicago last week.
Doug Ford told reporters Tuesday his brother is "in a rehab facility, 100 per cent" but wouldn't say where out of respect for the privacy of other patients. Doug Ford was also quoted in reports saying his brother is in "a rehabilitation program."
On Wednesday, Doug Ford said he received a call from his brother's doctors, asking he tell the media to back off.
"The doctor called me, they asked, 'Please tell the media to stop,'" Doug Ford told reporters at city hall, according to the Sun.
"This is not about just Rob, this is about all the other patients. You can't put their jeopardy at stake here of their recovery."
Rob Ford's upbeat attitude days after apparently hitting rock bottom and unwillingness to divulge where he is at the moment immediately sparked speculation on social media he isn't telling the truth.
If Rob Ford were truly in rehab, I don't think he'd be allowed to take calls from Councillors and engage in media interviews #topoli— Lisa Kirbie (@LisaKirbie) May 7, 2014
Sounds like Ford is having an awesome time in rehab. Which exactly how I imagined Week 1 of battling a serious alcohol addiction would be.— Chris Boutet (@chrisboutet) May 7, 2014
Rob Ford may or may not be lying, but there are many different kinds of rehab, and some of them allow you to take calls or come/go freely.— Steph Guthrie (@amirightfolks) May 7, 2014
And now some are claiming to have spotted him in Toronto.
A young woman took to Twitter Tuesday to say she saw the mayor at a Tim Hortons in Toronto's west end.
Rob ford is at the Tim Hortons by clendenan I'm dying— cayla (@caylaclarkson) May 6, 2014
@miribarry lol he was in all sweats and not in a good mood— cayla (@caylaclarkson) May 6, 2014
She told CP24 Wednesday she believes Ford changed his clothes in the coffee shop.
"When he went into the store he was wearing a black suit but when he came out he was wearing a grey, track suit," she said.
Two Tim Hortons workers also told CBC News they saw him.
However Doug Ford told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that it was actually him at the Tim Hortons.
Doug Ford tells @stephaniesmyth that he posed for photos with people for up to 15 minutes. Was him, not Rob, at the Tim Hortons in Junction— Katie Simpson (@KatieSimpson24) May 7, 2014
And Aaron Spivak, a Thornhill hockey player, tweeted that he saw the mayor driving in Richmond Hill.
Meanwhile, posters like this are popping up around town.
Doug Ford told reporters his brother is not in any kind of out-patient program.
Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti, a Ford family ally, told the Toronto Star Tuesday that Torontonians deserve to know where the mayor is receiving treatment.
"I would say to you right now that at the very least the city should know the city that he's in for treatment, and with some verification that he is in fact being treated," he said.
But Gord Perks and other councillors told reporters the public doesn't need to know where Ford is at the moment or the nature of the help he is getting.
"That's a private health matter," he told CBC News.
And Coun. Josh Matlow, who frequently clashes with the mayor, agrees it is best to leave the mayor be.
I respectfully disagree with those demanding to know where Rob Ford is. If he's in rehab, leave him be. If he's not, the truth will come out— Josh Matlow (@JoshMatlow) May 7, 2014
But The Globe published an editorial Tuesday also arguing Torontonians deserve more clarity in light of Rob Ford's previous lies.
"Given that the mayor's term in office has been defined by repeated violations of public trust, and by a record of evasiveness, lying and lying about the lying, the refusal to say much of anything on what the most senior public official in the country’s largest city is up to is a bit hard to swallow," it reads. "Just tell Torontonians the truth."
Toronto voters head to the polls on Oct. 27.
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