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Ford in hospital for throat infection: report

August 8, 2012 - News

Mayor Rob Ford, who was admitted to Humber River Regional Hospital Tuesday night, has a throat infection that makes it hard for him to swallow, the CBC reported.
It quoted a source as saying other than the throat infection, the mayor is fine.
Earlier today, his press secretary George Christopoulos told reporters outside the hospital, “He’s undergone a number of tests, he’s being treated and he’s feeling much better today.”
He said he would provide additional updates this afternoon.
Ford’s mother returned to visit him this morning after leaving the hospital with his brother, Doug Ford, late last night. She stayed there until about 1 p.m.
His wife, Renata, is believed to be with him. All media have been banned from entering the hospital.
Christopoulos said on Tuesday evening that Ford admitted “himself to hospital after feeling unwell. The Mayor is currently under observation as a precautionary measure and is expected to make a full recovery,” he said in an email.
Earlier on Tuesday, the mayor was absent from a 10 a.m. news conference about Green For Life, the private waste firm that has begun collecting trash between Yonge St. and the Humber River. The mayor’s spokesperson said he had a stomach ailment.
While Ford was admitted to the emergency department, his family, including his mother, sister and brother, city councillor Doug Ford, visited him on Tuesday.
Doug Ford arrived at the hospital around 11 p.m. and when asked how the mayor was doing, he said: “He’s fine. I’m going in to see.”
He declined to say why exactly the mayor was in the hospital or when he may be able to go home.
Ford’s mother and sister spent most part of the evening at the emergency’s waiting room.
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday, the conservative pre-amalgamation mayor of Etobicoke, can temporarily step in for Ford if Ford is unable to immediately return to work. With a minor exception, “the deputy mayor has, and may exercise, all the rights, power and authority of the mayor,” according to the city website.
Holyday, who could not be immediately reached Wednesday, said earlier in the summer that he would be attending the Olympics in London. The rules are unclear on who would take over in the absence of both the mayor and deputy.
However, the rules may not be relevant because Mayor Ford can still do his work from his hospital bed as long as he can use a phone and sign papers, said Councillor Michael Thompson, a member of Ford’s inner circle as chair of the economic development committee.
“I don’t know that the mayor is so ill that he can’t pick up the phone and have a conversation,” Thompson said. “If he’s able to be on the phone to speak to folks, that allows him to do his job.”
As for public events, the mayor can assign a councillor to attend on his behalf. It’s common for councillors to attend functions as the mayor’s representative.
“The mayor could obviously ask someone to stand in or represent him at functions, or if there are dignitaries coming in,” Thompson said.
City hall is currently on summer break, with no committee meetings scheduled until Sept. 10. The next council meeting takes place Oct. 2 and 3.
“The good thing now is it’s a slower period,” Thompson said. “I don’t see it as being a big problem.”
Ford cited a concern about his health as one of the reasons he launched the “Cut the Waist” weight loss campaign in January. “I’ve got young children, and this is not healthy. You can’t be running the city, you can’t be doing all this, at 330 pounds,” he said upon its launch.
Ford appears to have scaled back his itinerary in his second year in office. The Star reported in May that Ford was doing less than half the official work he had been doing at the same time in the previous year. The mayor’s office did not comment on the story. There has been no indication the reduced schedule was health-related, and Ford has been highly visible at public events in recent weeks.
— Torstar News Service

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