Wynne concerned Ford’s personal problems distracting from real issues in Toronto

Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford grabs a photographer’s lens as he charges through a media scrum at City Hall in Toronto on Wednesday January 22, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
TORONTO – Rob Ford’s personal problems are taking attention away from the real issues facing Canada’s largest city, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said Wednesday, a day after another video of the controversial Toronto mayor went viral.

The video shows Ford apparently incoherent, ranting in Jamaican patois and using profanities — at one point cursing out Toronto police Chief Bill Blair.

The premier said she had seen the latest video on television, and read transcripts in the newspapers, but declined to comment on the specifics of Ford’s behaviour.

“To the degree that this discussion about one person’s personal issues can detract and distract from the business of growing Toronto and making sure that Toronto is the best that it can be, then that does concern me,” Wynne told reporters.

“So I hope that Rob Ford is able to get the personal support that he needs.”

Ford was stripped of most of his powers last November after his stunning admission that he had smoked crack cocaine during one of his “drunken stupors,” which came after months of repeated denials of drug use.

Wynne has turned down Ford’s repeated requests for a face-to-face meeting, especially following a pre-Christmas ice storm that caused significant damages in the city, opting in stead to deal with deputy mayor Norm Kelly.

“It is my responsibility to deal with the decision makers at city hall and that’s what I’ve been doing and will continue to do,” said Wynne.

“I will continue to work with deputy mayor Kelly, who has been given responsibility by council to be their representative.”

Former prime minister Paul Martin, who appeared with Wynne at a news conference Wednesday to talk about pensions, declined to be drawn into the Ford affair.

“There are really certain great benefits of no longer being in public life, and not answering that question is one of them,” Martin said with a chuckle.

Shortly after the video was posted Tuesday on TouTube, Ford admitted he had been drinking Monday night with his friends, but said it was on his “own time.”

The mayor had repeatedly said he hasn’t had a drink since November.

Ford plowed through a throng of cameras and reporters Wednesday as he left a meeting at city hall, refusing to answer any questions about the latest video.

Many Toronto councillors have expressed frustration with Ford’s behaviour, saying the mayor is turning the city into an international laughing stock.

On ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the host quipped Tuesday night that Ford’s “streak of good behaviour appears to have ended.”

Just when you thought Ford couldn’t possibly “pull another nugget out of his bag of crazy, he gets drunk and speaks Jamaican,” joked Kimmel.

“Thank you Canada. This almost makes up for Justin Bieber.”




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Wynne concerned Ford’s personal problems distracting from real issues in Toronto

  1. While I’m not a big fan of Wynne, this is the sad truth about the Rob Ford era. Toronto has so many problems that need to be worked on, and the gong show has always been a distraction. The right needs to lay partisanship aside, and take care of their mess. Instead of Flaherty the enabler, I’d like to see him crack the whip and discipline his man-child. Family values indeed.

    • You are confusing the fact that he is a mayor, and not an MP. Flaherty cannot “crack the whip” on him…

      • I have not confused anything. Flaherty is a long standing friend of the Ford family, who has made it clear that he does not want anyone from the Conservatives to openly call a spade a spade. Kenney called for his resignation, and Flaherty muzzled him. Pretty pathetic. Flaherty is pretty much a father figure replacement for Ford Sr., and instead of cracking the whip of discipline, he’s not only turning a blind eye but discouraging others to speak their mind. Disgusting.

        • Do you mean Flaherty the child porn Libertarian?

  2. and nobody has a problem with ms.wynne being called premiere? when was she elected? I don’t recall an election taking place when the last fiberal quit!
    I don’t want to take away anything from this story that might misrepresent the truth, but really, when did we get a new Premiere? I am positive there was no election.
    now i’m starting to think maybe i’m on crack…

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