Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is reportedly expected to return from his stint at a Muskoka rehabilitation facility in about a month's time, but some councillors say that not much will change at city hall when the scandal-plagued mayor returns.
Ford has been on leave for several weeks, so that he can undergo treatment for substance abuse.
He has been receiving treatment at a facility in Bala, Ont. The GreeneStone rehabilitation centre recently revealed that Ford was a patient there, with the consent of the mayor.
The mayor has told the Toronto Sun that he plans to leave rehab on June 30 and be back in the city for Canada Day.
But at Toronto City Hall on Monday, a pair of council members seemed nonplussed about the mayor’s pending arrival.
Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong said that council has kept up with its regular business in the mayor’s absence.
"Hopefully, he can come back and make a positive contribution to that," he said.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly had a similar reaction when asked about the timetable for the mayor's return to city hall.
"When he returns, I suspect it will be in political terms the same as it was before he left. That is, the legislative tools to drive the agenda still reside with the deputy mayor’s office and it will be business as usual," Kelly said.
Kelly also said he also hoped "the two months that he will have taken off will have benefitted him personally."
Ford was stripped of selected powers in the wake of a drug-related scandal that erupted last year when reports emerged that someone was shopping a video that showed the mayor using crack cocaine.
For months Ford denied the reports, as well as the existence of the so-called crack tape. But last November, he admitted to having used crack cocaine, after police said they had obtained a copy of that video and it was consistent with what had been reported in the media.
The story of Ford’s drug use was covered by media around the world. Stories about a video showing the mayor speaking in a Jamaican patois, as well as a video of him ranting bizarrely, also made headlines outside of Canada.
The election is on Oct. 27.