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Mayor Rob Ford: ‘I really effed up;’ admits to buying illegal drugs

Councillors vote against the embattled mayor


 

TORONTO – An increasingly isolated Rob Ford admitted for the first time on Wednesday to buying illegal drugs while in office as council voted overwhelmingly to have the mayor take a leave of absence.

Despite the internationally televised admission that came amid word that more sordid details would emerge from court documents, Ford resolutely insisted yet again he was not an addict.

“I really effed up,” Ford said as the often heated debate ended.

“Apologizing and saying you’re sorry, you can only say that so many times.”

The 37-5 motion, however, was non-binding, although its sponsor has said he would ask the province to step in if Ford failed to heed council’s wishes.

Just before the vote, Ford failed to introduce a motion that would have forced all councillors to undergo drug testing. The speaker ruled it out of order.

Earlier, a more defiant mayor repeated he would not resign or step aside to seek help as councillors grilled him on his eyebrow-raising acitivities.

“Have you purchased illegal drugs in the past two years?” Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong asked.

The rowdy council chamber fell silent for a few moments.

“Yes, I have,” Ford answered.

Ford has previously admitted to smoking crack cocaine and binge drinking but in response to further questions denied having a problem.

The “few isolated incidents” of substance abuse were due to “sheer stupidity” rather than an addiction, Ford said.

The “mistakes” he had made, Ford said, were of a personal nature.

“I understand the embarrassment that I’ve caused every resident in this city,” Ford said. “I’m humiliated by it but I can’t change the past.”

The debate — CNN and ABC carried part of it live — began after 30 of 44 councillors signed onto a petition urging Ford to step aside. Council voted 41-2 to receive the petition, with even Ford’s brother, Coun. Doug Ford, voting in favour.

But Doug Ford, who has steadfastly backed his brother and frequently speaks for him, was soon on the attack.

“Everyone in this chamber is coming across as holier than thou, lily white,” the councillor said.

As council erupted in shouting, Speaker Frances Nunziata called a five-minute recess.

In a series of pointed questions from councillors — the mayor has refused to answer similar questions from reporters — Ford was asked about his links to a west-end home, where he was photographed with three suspected gang members.

A police informant has described the residence as a “crack house” and police have said it relates to a notorious video apparently showing the mayor smoking crack.

“That is not a crack house,” Ford said. “Have you been in that house?”

“I have no interest in being in that house,” Coun. Michael Thompson retorted. “I’m not a crack user.”

Answering questions about a widely published photo showing the mayor posing with three men — two of them accused drug dealers and one shot dead shortly after the photo was taken — Ford said the meeting was a “one-off.”

“I had never met these three men in my life. They came out and asked me to take a picture with them. I’m not part of gang bangers. I do not support them,” he said.

Asked about a 2006 incident at the Air Canada centre in Toronto when a drunk Ford hurled profanities, the mayor said:

“I’ve admitted to my mistakes and I said it would not happen again, and it has not happened again at the Air Canada centre,” Ford said to derisive laughter from the gallery.

Outside city hall, hundreds of noisy protesters called on the mayor to resign and chanted “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Rob Ford has got to go!”

“We’re here to show our dismay at our mayor’s behaviour,” said Robyn Beattie.

“Nobody else who would have committed all the things that he’s done would still be at their current job.”

The mayor also said he had declined to talk to police, who have said they have no grounds to charge the mayor, on the advice of his lawyer.

Also Wednesday, a judge ruled the public would be able to see previously censored information on a police investigation into the “crack” video.

It was not immediately clear when that would happen.

Parts of the 474-page police document released earlier showed frequent contacts between Ford and a friend Alexander (Sandro) Lisi, who also faces an extortion charge related to the “crack” video.

The document, containing allegations not proven in court, was filed by police to get search warrants in Lisi’s case.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Ian Nordheimer ruled only sections involving the mayor’s wife, other people’s personal information, and parts prejudicial to Lisi’s right to a fair trial should stay secret.

Also Wednesday, organizers of the city’s Santa Claus parade urged the mayor to reconsider his decision to lead the parade, saying they did not want the distraction.

With files from Allison Jones and Paola Loriggio


 

Mayor Rob Ford: ‘I really effed up;’ admits to buying illegal drugs

  1. If the occupants do crack, if people go there to do crack – it’s a crack house. It may be an “up-market” crack house, but it’s still a crack house.

    • Only Ford would insist it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.

      • Lol!

  2. I feel this story won’t end before we see Rob Ford’s crack.

    • Damn you.. there’s no way I’m going to be able to put that image behind me..

      AUGH!

      • The image that comes to me is Ford’s butt mounted backwards on his shoulders.

  3. Thank God we have a “tough on crime” and”mandatory minimums sentencing’ for drug crimes at the federal level courtesy Harper, Flaherty, and Toews of course..

  4. Today is a day for a bit of sympathy towards Ford’s long-term supporters. The smarter ones are feeling a little dumber, the dumber ones are.

    • No sympathy. They knew exactly what was going on, and for the last 10 or more years!
      Not dumb; not smart; complicit. Just one look was all you needed.

  5. Here is an article that looks at Rob Ford’s total compensation package for 2013:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2013/11/paying-rob-ford.html

    Since several Toronto city councillors have assured us that city business goes on with or without Rob Ford, here is an obvious place to save city taxpayers even more money.

  6. Ford going after Minnan-Wong was so incredibly offside, it beggars belief. That’s the story of the day. There’s absolutely no place for that in the council chambers. Completely indefensible.

    • And since much of the controversy is about crack smoking, it’s important for Doug to get an answer to his question, “Have you ever smoked marijuana?” Perhaps we can start calling him Doug the Deflektor.

      • I would think that many would answer, “Yes, when I was young, but then I grew up” – something that apparently the entire Freaky Ford clan seems unable to do.

  7. Nobody can change the past, Rob, but it would be nice to see you demonstrate even a rudimentary grasp of the present.

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