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Rob Ford should ‘get help,’ Ontario Tory Leader says; leaves door open for Doug Ford

Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservatives have been watching what is happening in Ottawa with some degree of alarm, and worrying how it will affect their fortunes in an election likely to happen next spring.

FERNANDO MORALES/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Rob Ford should "get help," Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said in the wake of the Toronto Mayor's admission he smoked crack cocaine while drinking heavily.

"You've got to put your family first. You've got to bring your family together and get healthy," Mr. Hudak said Wednesday when asked about Mr. Ford at an unrelated Queen's Park press conference. "If that meant taking some time to do so, I would take that time. There's the man and there's the Mayor. You've got to make sure you take care of your family and yourself first."

Mr. Hudak has walked a fine line since Mr. Ford was first accused of smoking crack this spring. The Tory leader has made public appearances with the Mayor in the past.

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Mr. Ford's older brother, Councillor Doug Ford, planned to run for the Tories earlier this year. At the time, Mr. Hudak said he was "thrilled" to have Doug Ford on his team.

On Wednesday, Mr. Hudak left the door open to Doug Ford's candidacy, but gave him none of the endorsements he had earlier this year.

"I think provincial politics is probably the farthest thing from Doug Ford's mind at this point in time," he said. "We don't know what Doug's decision is going to be about his future."

Mr. Hudak stood behind Chief Bill Blair, who came under fire from Doug Ford earlier this week for confirming the existence of a video that shows the mayor allegedly smoking crack. Doug Ford accused Chief Blair of playing politics.

"I've got a lot of respect for Chief Blair. He's doing a great job," Mr. Hudak said. "He's in a difficult position, there's no doubt about it. I've known Chief Blair for a long time."

Asked whether he would continue to make public appearances with the mayor, Mr. Hudak would not answer directly.

"I'm not going to be playing this game, I'm not going to be politicizing an issue," he said. "The one thing I can do is offer my best advice, and that's to get help. Pull the family together. Do whatever it takes."

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About the Author
Washington correspondent

Adrian Morrow covers U.S. politics from Washington, D.C. Previously he was The Globe's Ontario politics reporter. He's covered news, crime and sports for The Globe since 2010. He won the National Newspaper Award for politics reporting in 2016. More

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