Toronto Mayor Rob Ford returned to the campaign trail Tuesday after spending over two months in rehab, but he didn’t exactly get a warm welcome back.
While marching in the East York Canada Day parade, Ford was accosted by a series of hecklers who shouted criticism about his drug use. Ford’s most persistent antagonist was a shirtless jogger who yelled at him about the many unanswered questions in the wake of Ford’s admission he needed help for his substance abuse issues. The jogger chased after Ford and his entourage peppering them with questions about allegations the mayor used his office to help company’s that did business with his family and videotapes showing him using racist and homophobic language.
“Answer the questions, answer one of the million questions people have for you,” the jogger yelled. “People have a million questions about your lying, your corruption. “You’re a corrupt, lying, racist, homophobe! Answer the peoples’ questions you liar! You racist! You’re a disgrace!”
A video of the confrontation captured by Global Toronto showed Ford’s aides pushing the jogger away from the mayor. They attempted to placate the jogger by giving him Ford’s business card and encouraging him to call the mayor’s office with his complaints.
“I don’t want his card. Nobody wants his card. Give it to somebody who cares,” the jogger responded, adding, “I’m just out for a jog. This guy here, he’s a joke, he’s a liar. It’s one thing to be sick, that’s fine, but he has questions to answer to the people of Toronto and he simply won’t do it. He’s racist, he’s homophobic, it looks like hes corrupt.”
Members of Ford’s entourage, which included his brother, Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford, could be heard challenging the jogger by accusing him of working for a rival campaign in Toronto’s mayoral election and saying he needs “anger management.”
“I’m not with a campaign. You go ahead and check. I’m out for a jog buddy. Do I look like I’m with a campaign?” asked the man, who was nude except for a pair of running shorts. “I’m not violent, I’m not slurring people. I’m expressing my democratic opinion.”
Global Toronto identified the jogger as “East York resident Joe Killoran.” Mayor Ford did not respond to a request for comment about the incident from Business Insider Wednesday.
Ford’s poll numbers took a hit after he entered rehab after new allegations about his use of crack cocaine surfaced along with videos of him using racist, sexist, homophobic, and violent language in late April. According to a Forum Research poll conducted just before his scheduled return from rehab, his approval rating had recovered slightly from historic lows and he is running in second place behind his main rival, former Canadian member of Parliament Olivia Chow.
Watch a video of Ford’s confrontation with the shirtless jogger below.
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