NEWS

Rob Ford opponents wish Toronto mayor a speedy recovery

09/11/2014 09:50 EDT | Updated 11/11/2014 05:59 EST
A day after Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with an abdominal tumour, his fiercest political opponents expressed best wishes for his recovery.

At a breakfast candidates' breakfast Thursday, both John Tory and Olivia Chow said they hope Ford will make a speedy recovery.

"My thoughts go out to my missing colleague," said Tory. "As combative as we seem, we all love this city and I hope he's back soon."

Chow expressed similar sentiments.

"We pray for his speedy recovery and offer warm wishes to his family," she said.

Ford was admitted to hospital on Wednesday after doctors found what they believe is a tumour in his abdomen.

Ford's brother Coun. Doug Ford said the mayor had been experiencing abdominal pain for three months, and went to hospital when it became "unbearable."

The news has triggered speculation about Ford's status as a candidate with the Oct. 27 election now just weeks away.

Both Chow and Tory declined to speculate on what the news might mean for the mayor's race.

Candidates have until 2 p.m. ET Friday to decide whether to take their name off the ballot. That's also the deadline for any new candidates to enter the race for mayor or council.

A candidate can drop out after the Friday deadline, but their name would remain on the ballot.

There has been some speculation that Ford's brother, Coun. Doug Ford, may enter the mayor's race if his brother can't continue. Doug Ford, who is running his brother's re-election campaign, has opted not to seek re-election for his council seat.

Effect on City Hall

Coun. Norm Kelly, the deputy mayor, said he was "shocked" by the news of Ford's hospitalization.

"I wished him well right from the get-go," said Kelly. "It just seems to be one thing after the other."

As for how this will affect the way the city is run, Kelly said if Ford is unable to serve as mayor, his powers would be transferred to the deputy mayor.

However council already voted to transfer most of Ford's mayoralty powers to Kelly in a vote last November when the scandal surrounding the mayor's drug use was at its height.

"If it is serious, then [Ford] may have to write a note so that the authority that he does exercise is joined with the authority I already have to make the office whole," said Kelly.

Ford was away from work for two months over the summer as he underwent treatment for what he described as "a problem with alcohol." During that time, Kelly had full mayoralty powers.

Kelly said he expects Ford will announce a decision about his candidacy either Thursday or Friday.

"If it really is a serious problem, then his family is going to have to have a serious conversation about his candidacy, try to figure out what comes first and I hope it would be his health."

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