Rob Ford in rehab, doctor confirms to CBC News

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is, indeed, in a residential treatment program for substance abuse at a clinic in North America and has been since last week, according to a doctor supervising Ford's care at the facility who spoke with CBC News.

Toronto mayor briefly left treatment facility for 4-day stay in hospital, rehab physician confirms

Rob Ford in rehab, doctor confirms

9 years ago
Duration 2:18
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is in a residential treatment program for substance abuse, according to a doctor and Councillor Doug Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is, indeed, in a residential treatment program for substance abuse at a clinic in North America and has been since last week, according to a doctor supervising Ford's care at the facility who spoke with CBC News.

The health care provider, speaking with consent from the mayor, told CBC News that Ford arrived at the facility late on the night of May 1 and has been enrolled in an in-patient program there ever since. Ford left the facility May 3 after a medical exam and was taken to a hospital where he was admitted for four days before returning to the treatment centre on May 7.

The doctor told CBC that while in hospital Ford received “concurrent care” with the treatment facility.

Rob Ford's week in rehab

April 30 — Ford confirms he is seeking professional help for alcohol-related issues after a photo of him holding what is alleged to be a crack pipe and audio of the mayor making lewd comments emerge in the press.

May 1 — Rob Ford is seen leaving his house and getting into a car driven by his nephew, Michael Ford. He had a suitcase with him. He travels from his home in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke to Buttonville, Ont., airport, where he takes a private plane to Chicago. He turns around in Chicago and flies back to Toronto. He is picked up by his brother, Doug, and driven directly to the treatment centre.

May 2 — Ford spends his first day as an in-patient.

May 3 — Ford is escorted to hospital for a four-day stay, receiving "concurrent care" with the treatment centre.

May 7 — Ford returns to the treatment centre, where he remains.

“I have every assurance and confidence he was nowhere else,” said the physician, who asked CBC to withhold his name in order to safeguard the privacy of his patients.

The mayor's brother, Coun. Doug Ford, arranged for CBC News to get confidential access to Ford’s doctor in order to confirm his enrolment in the treatment program amid a week of rumoured sightings, speculation and demands by some on Toronto city council for confirmation that the mayor was actually in rehab.

The speculation followed months of revelations, lies and evasion about Ford's drug and alcohol use.

"Mayor Rob Ford has been under medical care 24-7 from the time he arrived in Canada, from Chicago, and he has been getting treatment," Doug Ford told CBC News Friday.

CBC News has agreed to withhold the name and location of the treatment facility out of consideration for the privacy of Ford, other patients, the facility and its staff. 

CBC News contacted multiple staff at the facility, including the CEO. The CEO separately confirmed Ford's enrolment to CBC News. 

Doug Ford says he hopes the doctor's statement will quell speculation and stop some media organizations and paparazzi from trying to spot Ford or take photos of the facility.

Revealing the name of the facility "would be a tragedy for 20 to 25 families that are there, trying to get help, trying to get treatment," Doug Ford said.

"They don't want to disclose their locations or their identities," he said. "I think it would be a tragedy if the media swarmed in on a treatment centre and started taking pictures and started disclosing locations of other patients."

The mayor flew to Chicago last week in an effort to get to a rehabilitation centre but then flew back to Canada after a discussion with U.S. Customs.

He has since given two interviews to newspapers, saying his treatment is "amazing."

Meanwhile, his colleagues on city council have said they're doubtful he's in rehab.

Coun. Joe Mihevc has been one of the most vocal in calling for proof that the mayor is getting treatment.

"For that political redemption story to be born, he has to provide proof that it’s warranted," Mihevc said.

"I don’t know what that proof is. The onus is on him to provide that proof for Torontonians to believe him."

Doug Ford on why he agreed to speak with CBC

"Well, first of all, I respect the CBC. I believe they are one of the most credible organizations in Canada in the media, in my opinion. And that it will stop the speculation, for example, a 15-year-old young lady spotted Rob Ford at the Tim Hortons. Another person spotted him in Hamilton. Spotted him in Calgary. Spotted him everywhere. Just to stop the speculation to let the people of Toronto know that Rob is taking this seriously, is getting treatment and that he wants to continue coming back and serving the people."