cbc.ca (© Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.html#Rss)
Updated: Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:56:37 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Rob Ford rejoins mayoral debates after rehab stint

Rob Ford speaks at Toronto mayoral debate in Scarborough on Tuesday night. David Donnelly/CBC

Rob Ford speaks at Toronto mayoral debate in Scarborough on Tuesday night. David Donnelly/CBC

Rob Ford is facing off with his rivals in Toronto's mayoral race in the first debate since his return from rehab, taking place in Scarborough on Tuesday night. 

- CBC Toronto will livestream the debate starting at 7 p.m. ET. Mobile users can watch it here.

This is the fourth debate the mayor has participated in, but only the second debate in which the most prominent of his mayoral rivals will have been present. He took two months off to go to a rehabilitation facility in Muskoka while the other candidates met for a debate.

Upon his return from rehab, the mayor admitted to alcohol and substance abuse problems, which he said he battled for years prior to becoming mayor. Ford had previously admitted to smoking crack while in office.

In the first debate, which was before main contenders John Tory and Olivia Chow filed to run for mayor, Ford caused controversy when he announced he would not take part in any Pride events. 

In the second debate, a televised affair that saw five candidates, including Tory and Chow, talking over each other, Ford's mayoral adversaries did not broach the subject of crack use.

The third debate — minus Chow, who said she had prior commitments and concerns about the fairness of the moderator, conservative lawyer Ralph Lean — was more contentious. Tory referenced the mayor coming late to work and "continuing relationships with convicted criminals and gang types. The various people he has pledged to keep off our streets."

The Canadian Tamil Congress is hosting tonight's debate, which will be held at Global Kingdom Ministries, 1250 Markham Rd. Five high-profile candidates are taking part, including Ford, Chow and Tory. David Soknacki and Karen Stintz will also participate.

Members of the public are welcome to attend. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the debate will get underway a half-hour later.

Dozens of candidates have registered to take part in the mayoral race. Municipal elections are being held across Ontario on Oct. 27.

A group of protesters who call themselves the Shirtless Horde plan to make an appearance outside the debate on Tuesday night.

Inspired by the so-called "shirtless jogger" who confronted Ford at a Canada Day parade, the protesters say the city is no longer willing to tolerate his "racism, homophobia and misogyny."

more video