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article imageRob Ford has Toronto join 'Recovery Day in Canada' celebration

By Marcus Hondro     Sep 20, 2014 in Health
Thanks to two ambitious women and a filmmaker, each from the community of recovering alcohol and drug addicts, September 20, 2014, was Canada's 3rd Annual Recovery Day. The city of Vancouver leads the movement but Toronto is also involved.
The mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, himself a recovering addict, issued an edict late last week declaring the day to be 'Recovery' Day' in Toronto. The controversial mayor wrote "Recovery Day provides us with an opportunity to recognize the need to end stigmas around addiction, educate communities and celebrate the recovery of many who have made the choice of a life of sobriety."
Ford does not mention the national 'Recovery Day' in his edict but it is a day that sees rallies and gatherings in Canada to support, and to celebrate with, those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Two women from the Orchard Recovery Center on Bowen Island near Vancouver were the principal creators of 'Recovery Day' in Canada.
Orchard Treatment Center and Recovery Day
In 2012, AnnMarie McCullough, then from the Orchard, and Lorinda Strang, the center's executive director, connected with filmmaker and recovering drug addict, Greg Williams, and began working toward what is now unofficially known as Canada's national day of recovery. They had help from a number of others, including broadcaster, journalist, actor and recovering addict, David Berner.
In Toronto, 'Recovery Day' events were held throughout the day Saturday at Allen Gardens, one of the city's oldest parks. Speakers included Toronto city Councillor Kristen Wong-Tam and Native hand drummers were part of those entertaining the large crowds. On the day's Facebook page attendee Louise Kinney called it "an amazing and inspiring day."
Mayor Ford could not attend events as he remains in hospital, where he has been for 10 days. The 45-year-old was diagnosed with malignant liposarcoma, a rare and dangerous cancer that occurs in the soft tissues of fat cells. Currently undergoing chemotherapy, he has dropped out of the city's mayoral race; his older brother, Doug entered the race in his place.
Rob Ford and addiction recovery
For his widely reported substance abuse issues, including having used crack cocaine, Mayor Ford took an extended leave of absence from his job and spent time in a treatment center in the Muskoka area of Ontario last Spring. He says he has been clean and sober since and continues to take part in the recovery program.
Ms. McCullough, who now works at Edgewood Health Network, was a speaker at Toronto's 'Recovery Day,'. She went to high-school with Ford in Etobicoke and tried reaching out to him while he was in the throes of his active addiction. She was unable to do so as those around him would not grant her access. “It just shows me that people don’t understand addiction and a lot of people don’t know about recovery," she told CBC News at the time.
It's unclear when Mayor Ford will be released from hospital.
More about recovery day, Addictions, 12 step program, Rob Ford, kristen wongtam
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