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[URBAN NOTE] “Rob Ford starting chemotherapy for new tumours”

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The Toronto Star‘s David Rider updates Torontonians on the state of Rob Ford’s tumours.

Councillor Rob Ford has started chemotherapy to shrink two tumours attached to his bladder.

Ford’s aide Dan Jacobs told the Star on Thursday that the “working diagnosis” is that the former mayor’s cancer is back.

“Councillor Ford has been at the hospital several times this week, undergoing additional tests and consulting with his health team,” Jacobs said in a statement. “He has now been admitted at Mount Sinai Hospital, and is undergoing chemotherapy treatment.”

Doug Ford told CP24 on Thursday evening that his brother has two tumours attached to his bladder — roughly 5 cm and 7cm long, that “almost look like a snowman, on top of each other.” He will undergo five days of chemotherapy, then take several weeks off before returning for another round, at which point doctors will assess if the tumours are operable, Doug Ford said.

“Rob’s in a massive battle right now, and we’re just going to keep fighting and do whatever we can, leave no stone unturned, and making sure he gets as much help as he needs,” Doug Ford said, adding that messages from supporters are helping the family stay positive.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 6, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Toronto, Urban Note

Tagged with , ,

[URBAN NOTE] “Mark Towhey, former Rob Ford aide, describes working for ex-mayor as ‘roller-coaster’

CBC’s Metro Morning reports on the many, many allegations by Rob Ford’s former chief of staff, Mark Towhey, about the misbehaviours of Ford while in office.

Mark Towhey, Rob Ford’s former chief of staff, told CBC News Thursday that working in mayor’s officer was “a roller-coaster” and that he warned his colleagues not to ride in a car driven by Ford, because he didn’t know when the now-former mayor had been drinking.

“My understanding is [Ford drinking and driving] happened more than once and was fairly well known among [senior police officers] at least,” said Towhey in an interview on CBC’s Metro Morning.

Towhey refused to name any senior police service members who said officers had driven Ford home instead of charging him with drinking and driving.​

“These are completely unsubstantiated allegations and are by now, fourth-hand gossip,” said police spokesman Mark Pugash on Wednesday when contacted by Metro Morning.

Towhey worked for the mayor during his election campaign and rose to chief-of-staff after Ford’s election in 2010.

Towhey has written a tell-all book about his turbulent times working in the mayor’s office. His 360-page account of the Ford mayoralty, Uncontrollable: How I Tried to Help the World’s Most Notorious Mayor, is set for release on Oct. 27, and contains some startling revelations.

The book is out.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 23, 2015 at 6:42 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Desperate Conservatives embrace the Fords as time runs out”

The National Post‘s Chris Selley notes the desperation of Conservatives in the Toronto area. I dearly hope this will cost everyone involved votes.

When news of the event first broke, Harper wouldn’t even utter the Fords’ names in response to questions about it. He called them “those individuals.” For that reason and because, well, it’s Rob Ford for God’s sake, it was an open question just how much of a role the chuckle brothers would play in Saturday evening’s proceedings.

It was a big role. Doug spoke for nine minutes, eventually handing over to Richmond Hill MP Costas Menegakis to introduce the prime minister; Menegakis spoke for 90 seconds. At 8:15 pm, Rob tweeted a photo of a beaming Harper with the Ford family — Rob, Doug, their wives, mother Diane and kids. Before launching into his standard low-taxes spiel, which of late invites audiences to imagine Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne running the whole country, Harper even deigned to utter his hosts’ names. He thanked all the volunteers “including the Fords.”

And if the Conservative campaign hoped to foreground Doug over Rob, Doug made short work of that. “I’ll tell ya, Rob came up with this phrase, but nothing I can remember in a federal election is any more important than respect for taxpayers,” he thundered. “And there’s only one party that respects the taxpayer. And that’s the Conservative Party of Canada. And there’s only one leader to lead this country to prosperity, and that is Stephen Harper.”

So there you have it. Respect for Taxpayers — Rob Ford’s well-worn slogan, slapped unceremoniously onto the Conservative campaign like a crooked bumper sticker on an Escalade.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 19, 2015 at 8:40 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “With friends like these: Ford revelations leave Tories under fire”

Charlie Gillis at MacLean’s notes that the Ford brothers are fast becoming an election issue for the Conservatives.

Unbeknownst to you, a dirt clod is flying through the air, directly toward your head. You’d hope some bystander would see it in time to shout, “Duck!” But that doesn’t happen. So afterward, as you wipe the grit from your eyes, you’re inclined to a moment of self-reflection. Should you have known the clod was coming?

Here’s where the Harper campaign finds itself today. Hungry for votes in the Greater Toronto Area, they embraced the populist might of Rob and Doug Ford, welcoming them this week to a campaign event in the Fords’ stomping ground of Etobicoke, arranging to share the spotlight with them on Saturday at a rally for the Prime Minister in Toronto. The brothers’ propensity to share unwelcome thoughts (Rob mused in late August about Doug replacing Stephen Harper, should the Tories lose) mattered not. Nor did Rob Ford’s admission to using crack cocaine while mayor of Toronto. This was Team Blue closing ranks.

So Rob and Doug hit the pavement, cameras in tow, to knock on doors in key swing ridings such as Etobicoke–Lakeshore and Scarborough Centre. “I think we’re doing well out there,” Doug Ford boasted on Tuesday. “We’ve had a really good response.”

Then, within 36 hours, it was all up the spout. On Wednesday evening, Maclean’s posted on its website an excerpt from Mayor Rob Ford: Uncontrollable, a book written by Mark Towhey about his time as Rob’s chief of staff at city hall. The passage features a harrowing, damning account of Rob Ford in a screaming match with his wife, Renata, in which he berates and threatens her over drugs, money and, possibly, a gun in their house—all while their children were trying to sleep upstairs. Links to the item quickly spread on social media.

By Thursday morning, the Tories were under fire. At an appearance in Trois-Rivières, Que., reporters asked whether Harper was associating himself with Rob Ford, given that Towhey’s account painted a grim portrait indeed of life inside the Ford household. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said Harper should be “embarrassed that he’s having to count on the support of Rob Ford for his re-election.”

Written by Randy McDonald

October 16, 2015 at 10:14 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Coun. John Filion’s Rob Ford book to hit shelves in October”

CBC shares the news from the Canadian Press.

The antics of Coun. Rob Ford have inspired yet another book — this time written by a fellow city councillor.

Random House Canada says John Filion’s The Only Average Guy: Inside the Uncommon World of Rob Ford will examine “what drives him, why he acts the way he does, what’s important to him.”

Filion was a journalist before entering municipal politics, and Random House says he developed an unlikely camaraderie with the wildly unpredictable councillor from Etobicoke, Ont.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 30, 2015 at 10:05 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Rob Ford skirts law by using HOV lanes while driving alone”

CBC shares the Canadian Press article noting how Rob Ford breaks traffic rules for his personal convenience.

Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford admits he has broken the law by driving in special high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes set up for the Pan American Games while he is driving alone.

The Ward 2 city councillor told reporters Wednesday at city hall he watches out for the police as he moves in and out of the lanes that are reserved for vehicles with at least three people inside.

“Go in and out, obviously,” Ford said. “You gotta watch the cops over your shoulder… I have to get to where I have to go.”

[. . .]

The temporary lanes will be in operation from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the Games, which run in Toronto and surrounding areas from July 10 to 26. The lanes will be restricted to at least two people per vehicle during the Parapan Am Games from Aug. 7 to 15.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 9, 2015 at 10:31 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Toronto’s Mayor returns to Pride Festival”

The Toronto Star‘s Michael Robinson reports on a long-overdue event.

For the first time in five years, Toronto’s Mayor will be showing some pride.

When asked on Sunday his thoughts on why his appearance at the festival is newsworthy, Tory’s answer was clear and abrupt: “It shouldn’t be.”

“(Pride) is one of the biggest celebrations in our community, period,” he said during a phone interview Sunday. “We are celebrating what I think is at the essence of what makes Toronto a great city: how we live together.”

“And the leader of this city, if you believe as I do, if your core values as a person as mayor are consistent with that notion of embracing and respecting everybody . . . you should be there.”

Pride Toronto co-chair Aaron GlynWilliams referred to Tory’s commitment to participate in the week-long festival as “the start of a new relationship between, not just this festival and the Mayor’s office, but the broader LGBTQ community.”

Written by Randy McDonald

June 22, 2015 at 6:54 pm


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