Toronto’s mayor-in-exile Rob Ford may not be where is was believed to be, which could be concerning for the citizens of Toronto who are relying on blind faith that, this time, Ford is actually seeking treatment for substance abuse issues.
The latest round of "Where in the World is Rob Ford?" began in earnest Tuesday morning after the Globe and Mail reported that Ford was turned away at the U.S. border after flying to Chicago in a private jet last Thursday.
The Consul General of Canada told the newspaper that Ford "voluntarily withdrew his application to enter the USA," and that he hadn't been refused entry "per se." A Customs Border Patrol spokesperson said anyone entering the U.S. could be found inadmissible on criminal or security reasons.
Ford had been reportedly destined for a treatment facility when he flew out of Ontario after temporarily stepping down from office amid the latest round of reports of drunken, oafish behaviour and video recordings of the mayor allegedly smoking crack.
[ Related: Rob Ford reportedly turned back from entering U.S. ]
On Tuesday, allies would not comment on where he was, only reaffirming that he was in a rehab facility.
Lawyer Dennis Morris told reporters the mayor was in definitely in rehab, while Coun. Doug Ford, the mayor's brother and campaign manager, said he was doing well.
So the question is where is Rob Ford? It is doubtful Ford would return to Toronto, the chances that he would be spotted are simply too high. Sources told the Toronto Sun that one potential location is the Homewood Health Centre in Guelph, Ont. The source told the newspaper the location had the added benefit of being closer for Ford’s friends and family.
But another question to consider is, should the public know?
This is a double-edged sword. On one side, Ford needs privacy if he is seeking treatment for substance abuse. Heck, if he's going to have anything to do with governing this city, the people of Toronto need him to have privacy through his rehabilitation process.
On the other side, if Ford is going to have anything to do with governing Toronto, the people need to know he is actually in rehab. And there is no way the word of Rob or Doug Ford can be trusted on the issue. They have misrepresented Ford's attempts to seek help in the past, and Rob has even suggested he would never enter rehab.
Consider the situation under the most altruistic light possible. Rob Ford is an addict who says he realized he needed help, but that doesn't mean his struggle is over. And Doug has a blind spot when it comes to his younger brother's issues and has been tricked into undervaluing the depth of the problem for years.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is either in a rehab facility receiving treatment for substance abuse issues, or he's not. We should know for a fact whether he is or not, but we shouldn’t know where.