Does Rob Ford deserve another chance? See what Torontonians say

Mayor Rob Ford is coming back to Toronto on Monday. We spoke to people at Yonge-Dundas Square to hear what they had to say about his return.

Rob Ford returns from rehab

7 years ago
Toronto mayor is scheduled to be back on the job Monday, following 7 weeks in rehab for substance abuse 2:05

Mayor Rob Ford is expected back in Toronto on Monday. He's been away since early May to seek treatment for alcohol-related substance abuse.

His trip to rehab came about a year after reports first broke that someone had been offering to sell a video showing the mayor using crack cocaine.

Nearly six months later, Ford would admit to having smoked crack cocaine. He said his drug use had "probably" happened during one of his "drunken stupors."

He defied calls to step down and said he was finished with alcohol. Almost another six months would go by before he sought professional help following a series of drunken episodes.

On a sunny day late last week, CBC News spoke to Torontonians at Yonge-Dundas Square about whether they felt that voters would be willing to give the mayor another chance, and what they thought about the coming election.

From the response, it appears that Toronto is a forgiving place and a city that recognizes Ford has major name recognition with the public. But that doesn’t mean they'll all be voting for him on Oct. 27.

Bob, a recently retired Torontonian who did not want to give his last name, isn’t supporting the mayor. But that doesn't mean he thinks people should write off Ford as a contender.

"Everybody has a shot in a democratic society," he said.

Asked whether he expects to see anyone else throwing their name in the mix, Bob believes that's a possibility — pointing out that the ballot has in past provided voters with more than 100 names to choose from.

In getting your name on the ballot, "you're almost famous," he said.

Joanne Govas, the mother of a nine-year-old son who has just wrapped up his school year, said Ford deserves to have another kick at the can.

"I'd say one more chance for him," said Govas, who admits to having gone back and forth on how she feels about Ford.

But ultimately she believes he has battled legitimate substance abuse issues, which has won her sympathy.

"Over time, I've just, sort of found a little soft spot for him," she said.

The mayor shouldn’t count on support from Denise Booth this fall, as she’s not impressed with him at all.

"I will not be voting for him," she said.

She expects that Olivia Chow or John Tory will be taking over the mayor's office at city hall after Oct. 27.

"I think that one of those two have a real shot," she said.

Ford can probably take a pass on asking Karen Ensor for a moment of her time, if he’s out canvassing in the months ahead. Because she’s pretty certain about how she feels about him.

"He's not getting my vote, that’s for damn sure."

But she’s not counting him out as a mayoral contender, pointing to his many known supporters.

As to who might win the election? "I have no idea," she said.

Mel Alfonso thinks the mayor has done a good job in some respects, but there have been too many issues surrounding his time in office.

As to whether he should get another shot, Alfonso said, "I think not."

He said Ford could potentially take another stab at public office in a future election, but not this particular October.

Trevor King, a stylish Torontonian who works downtown, thinks Ford won’t be re-elected.

"I think people will give him a chance, but I won't," King said.

The mayor has admitted he’s made some mistakes.

Tania Quan said that’s the same reality for other people, whether it’s drugs, alcohol or something else. They make mistakes, too.

"I would give him another chance," she said.

As to who might win the election, Quan said, "It's pretty hard to say right now."

Blaine Morrison said he starts his day with his coffee and his paper.

"I read the Toronto Star every day," he said.

That means he’s pretty up to date on what has been happening with the mayor.

Morrison said the mayor shouldn’t be getting another chance.

What will happen in October? Morrison said it's "hard to say," but he thinks Chow is a probable winner.

As of last Thursday, more than 60 people had registered to run for mayor this fall.

Photos by David Donnelly/CBC.


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