Rob Ford supporters deny report that Toronto mayor has an alcohol problem -

Rob Ford supporters deny report that Toronto mayor has an alcohol problem


Jon Blacker/Reuters

Those close to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford are denying a report in the Toronto Star that alleges that Ford has an alcohol abuse problem and was asked to leave a military fundraiser last month because he was too intoxicated.

A report from Toronto Star city hall reporter Robyn Doolittle and investigative report Kevin Donovan cites numerous unnamed sources who say an intoxicated Ford was asked to leave the Toronto Garrison Ball in February, an annual military black-tie dinner that raises money for the Wounded Warrior charity. Toronto Councillor Paul Ainslie also goes on the record in the story to say that he asked Ford to leave the ball, but he does not comment on why he thought Ford should leave.

The report also quotes former staffers who say they urged Ford to seek treatment for his drinking, but were unsuccessful.

The mayor’s brother, Coun. Doug Ford, responded to the report soon after it was published in Tuesday’s paper and online early the same morning.

Speaking on a Toronto talk-radio station, Doug Ford said that his brother didn’t have a drinking problem and that the Toronto Star was making up lies and was trying to bring down the mayor. However, Doug Ford said his brother would not sue the paper for its story: “Johnny, that’s their plan, they want to drag us into another lawsuit and then it’s going to be about Rob Ford suing the Star for the next two years. We have a job to do, we’ve been running the city very efficiently.”

Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday also told reporters at City Hall that he has never seen the mayor take a drink. “We do know with Rob Ford there’s a lot of people that are either for him or against him and they feel strongly no matter what side they’re on,” Holyday said. “And some people are prepared to say and do things to him to detract from him being the mayor. We’ve seen this time in, time out.” Former budget chair Mike Del Grande also told The Globe and Mail that he had never seen the mayor drink.

Rob Ford has yet to respond to the allegations in the Star story himself, but he is scheduled to make a public appearance to present boxer George Chuvalo with a key to the city later in the day.

This latest allegation is the second time in less than a month that Ford has been left to deal with public accusations that he has a substance abuse problem. Earlier in the month, former mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson used her Facebook page to post a picture of herself and Ford at a fundraising event. She went on to make allegations that the mayor had made inappropriate comments towards her and groped her while he appeared to be intoxicated.

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Rob Ford supporters deny report that Toronto mayor has an alcohol problem

  1. The left media in Toronto are still painting their picture of Mayor Ford. You just have to like the guy for the abuse he tolerates. Whether true or not, he is effective in getting under the skin of the establishment of the entitled. He would win my vote today.

    • Why yes, your wish to irritate people certainly outweighs the good of Toronto.

      • The only good thing in Toronto is Don Cherry.

        • Then I guess there’s nothing good in Toronto; Cherry resides in Mississauga.

          • Maybe he meant the restaurant.

    • So, when exactly did concern about substance abuse become a left vs. right issue? You’ll have to explain the ideological dimension for us.

    • He gets your vote for being drunk in public? Conservative values aren’t what they used to be, eh?

  2. This comment was deleted.

    • The difference is, he has witnesses claiming to have seen Ford drunk – whereas you just made things up (and, it should be noted, opened yourself up to a libel suit should JT so choose)

    • The Star no doubt had their allegations carefully vetted by lawyers before going public. Did you?

    • Donovan is a pretty credible Toronto Star investigative journalist (he broke ORNGE and the TDSB overcharging scandal for instance). He’s got like a 25 year career of exposing these things. If he has gone to print with an article its very, very, very, very likely to be true.

  3. As I said before, this is one dog that has not finished marking his territory.

    • …and crapping in his own doghouse.

  4. The Star wouldn’t put its reputation on the line w/o some pretty compelling evidence, regardless if no one will go on record. But having worked in the field many years ago, the pattern of behavior is the pattern of denial. Doug Ford/Holyday, if you are ‘enabling’ you also need rehab.

  5. I still wonder why he wouldn’t sue? After all, would this not be the perfect time to put the “left” and the Toronto Star “in their place”. My guess is that it would mean a lot of witnesses coming forwarded or forced to do so – many of whom would not be able to support what Ford and his supporters are saying. BTW…saying you never saw anyone take a drink is not the same as suspecting or knowing that someone may have had drinks before you joined them. It’s a very subtle distinction!

    • Your guess is a good one. I’m just glad the Star has broken the unwritten rule ‘hands off politicians’, someone had to do it and it’s about time.

  6. If Ford is behaving in public as if drunk, but does not have a drinking problem, there are other substances that could be to blame – or he could have any of a number of medical conditions.Severe hypoglycemia comes immediately to mind. Though if it is a medical problem it would be easy to dispel the rumours…

  7. The Star could publish a photo essay of Rob Ford drinking and passing out in a puddle of his puke, but his true believers would never accept it. Are there any other Canadian politicians for whom the battle lines are so clearly demarcated? Justin Trudeau, I suppose.

  8. Using unenamed sources undermines journalism’s sagging credibility and is simply not worth the price. If something is worth being said it should be said openly.

  9. Not judging, just saying.. Shouldn’t politicians be required to undergo a drug and alcohol test prior to entering public office. Many other agencies its mandatory…