05/05/2015 02:19 EDT | Updated 05/05/2016 05:59 EDT

Rob Ford has city's support as he prepares for cancer surgery, John Tory says

Mayor John Tory gave a tribute to his predecessor and sometime agitator Rob Ford as the former mayor heads into surgery for a rare form of cancer next week.

Ford, who turns 46 this month, is having a cancerous tumour located in his abdomen removed by doctors at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital next week. He said he will be in hospital for as long as two weeks.

"We know you're a fighter, we know that you're in the hands of a caring family and an excellent health care system," said Tory in council on Tuesday. "You have the best wishes of this mayor, this council and everyone who works in this building and in this city."

Previously, Doug Ford, a former councillor and brother of the former mayor, said he would take the Etobicoke council seat while Rob Ford was in hospital. Doug Ford was a fierce opponent of Tory's during the municipal election in 2014.

Tory made light of Doug Ford's offer to stand-in for his brother.

"If you're concerned about any constituency matters," Tory said, addressing Rob Ford, "we have all manner of internal help here in the building — councillors and staff alike — and there's no need to bring in any reinforcements."

The joke received a smattering of laughs in the chamber.

Tory said he wished Ford a "speedy recovery and rapid return" to his work as councillor for Ward 2.

Ford lifted his hand to acknowledge applause from council.

He goes into Mount Sinai on May 11.