Rob Ford's SUV spotted in Muskoka woods days before it was impounded
Mayor Rob Ford's black SUV pictured parked on a secluded road in Muskoka (Image: Andrew MacIver)
Published Saturday, May 24, 2014 3:07PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 24, 2014 6:41PM EDT
A Muskoka resident who lives near the rehab facility where Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is seeking treatment says he spotted Ford’s black SUV parked in a wooded area near the facility a few days before it was impounded by police.
Andrew MacIver, a 22-year-old university student, says he saw Ford’s black Escalade parked in a secluded side road just a few hundred metres away from GreeneStone Clinic, the rehab facility where the mayor is undergoing treatment for substance abuse.
MacIver, who works as a bartender in Bala, Ont., says he first spotted the SUV at about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning after he was returning home from a night shift.
The car was no longer parked in the area later the next morning, but MacIver says he spotted the SUV again on Monday.
“On Sunday, (I) went to work and returned at 4 a.m. Monday – the SUV was back on the road,” MacIver told CP24 on Saturday.
“We went and got a better camera, waited a while to see if anyone came back, but we left before anyone arrived,” he said.
He says he did not see any occupants in the car.
A day after MacIver spotted Ford’s SUV, the vehicle was impounded Tuesday by police after reports that the car was seen driving erratically.
Police found 36-year-old LeeAnne McRobb behind the wheel and charged her with impaired driving. Ford was not in the vehicle at the time of the incident.
The SUV remains impounded at a Muskoka-area lot, with its license plates removed.
McRobb reportedly seen at Muskoka-area impound lot
In a video published on YouTube on Tuesday, a woman who appears to be McRobb is seen at the lot. She is heard telling an attendant that she is there to pick up some personal items from a car that was impounded.
"Well, it’s not my vehicle but all my stuff is in it," she says in the video.
The woman is also heard mentioning Rob Ford's name a number of times.
When asked in the video if she is staying in rehab with the mayor, she responds: "No, I’m not anymore."
"I was but I’m out of there," she says.
Ford took a leave of absence in late April to seek treatment after new allegations of substance abuse surfaced in the media.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, GreeneStone Residential Addiction Treatment Facility in Bala, Ont., confirmed that mayor Ford was “undergoing treatment” at their clinic.
The facility, which provides various in-patient addiction programs, asked that the media respect Ford’s privacy.
Ford spotted in Midland
Earlier on Friday, Ford was spotted posing for a photo with a local resident from Midland, Ont. – a small town about an hour’s drive away from the GreeneStone clinic.
Local resident Kim Masin told the Midland Mirror that she saw Ford getting into a car on King Street in downtown Midland at around 5 p.m.
Masin says she chatted with Ford for a few minutes and said the mayor told her he was planning on spending another 30 days in rehab.
“He said he wants to do Toronto proud and clean himself up and get re-elected,” she told the Mirror.
Masin said that Ford was “just driving through” the small cottage country town and was accompanied by someone he identified as a counsellor at GreeneStone.
The mayor’s brother, Coun. Doug Ford told CTV Toronto on Saturday afternoon that he could not confirm whether Rob would be staying in rehab for another 30 days.
Coun. Ford would not comment on whether the mayor would be returning to Toronto after his stint in rehab is over. He said the mayor’s return to office is ‘undetermined.”
With files from CP24 and CTV Toronto’s Colin D’Mello