Toronto Mayor Rob Ford won't step down after crack cocaine admission - Macleans.ca
 

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford won’t step down after crack cocaine admission

‘Folks, I have nothing left to hide’


 

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has admitted to smoking crack cocaine, but he is not stepping down.

“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” Ford told reporters, who were gathered outside his city hall office on Tuesday. “But am I an addict? No.”

When pressed as to when this crack smoking happened, Ford said he tried smoking crack “probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately one year ago.”

The mayor said that “I have made mistakes. All I can do now is apologize and move on.”

As reporters asked more questions, someone seems to have said: “Are you on crack right now?” The mayor then laughed, turned around and walked back into his office.

After his surprising announcement, Ford met with Deputy Mayor Norm Kelley, who emerged from the mayor’s office to say that Ford would address reporters for a second time later in the afternoon. Around 4:30 p.m., a red-faced Ford appeared in front of dozens of reporters to apologize again and say he would not step aside.

“Folks, I have nothing left to hide,” said Ford.

He then urged the city to get back to business.

“For the sake of the taxpayers of this city, we must get back to work immediately. We must keep Toronto moving forward,” Ford said, reading slowly from prepared notes. “I was elected to do a job and that’s exactly what I am going to continue doing.”

RELATED

He continued to say that he would run again for mayor and that people would have a choice in the next scheduled election, which is in October 2014.

“In 2010 I made a commitment to Toronto voters,” Ford said. “I have delivered on that commitment and I will continue to deliver on that commitment of saving taxpayers money. They have a choice. We live in a democracy. On October 27, 2014, I want the people of this great city to decide whether they want Rob Ford to be their mayor.”

The mayor admitted to crack cocaine use Tuesday after Toronto police chief Bill Blair said, on Oct. 31, that a video appearing to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine did, indeed, exist and that police had it. Blair made the announcement at the same press conference where he announced extortion charges against Ford’s friend and sometimes driver Alexander Lisi, 35. The charges against Lisi relate to the video of the mayor, police alleged.

One reporter from Gawker and two reporters from the Toronto Star had published reports in May saying that they had seen a video in which the mayor appeared to be smoking crack cocaine and making racist and homophobic remarks.

Up until last week, the mayor said that he could not comment on a video that “I have never seen or does not exist.” (Read the full statement Ford made to the media about the crack video in May here.)

In his first address to reporters Tuesday, the mayor said journalists just weren’t asking the correct questions about his crack use before.

“So I wasn’t lying, you didn’t ask the correct questions,” Ford said. “No, I’m not an addict, and no, I do not do drugs. I’ve made mistakes in the past and all I can do is apologize, but it is what it is and I can’t change the past. And I can apologize to my family, my friends, my colleagues and the people of this great city.”

Upon Blair’s revelations a week ago, Ford changed his response to questions about the video, saying that the police chief should release the video and show it to the public. After his admission Tuesday, Ford said he wants “everyone in the city to see this tape.” The video is currently before the courts and cannot be released.

Ford after his radio show on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (Mark Blinch/CP)

Ford began apologizing on Sunday during the weekly call-in radio show he hosts with his brother. However, during the radio show, he only apologized for “mistakes.” When a caller asked for specifics, Ford mentioned his widely reported drunken behaviour during two public events: the Taste of the Danforth festival in August and another incident on St. Patrick’s Day where, reports say, the mayor was asked to leave a downtown bar. During his radio show Sunday, neither Ford nor his brother Doug Ford mentioned drug use as part of the apology.

On Tuesday morning, Coun. Doug Ford appeared on several Toronto radio programs and held a press conference where he called for the police chief to step down, saying that he was biased in his investigations.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who had not commented on Ford or the video since Blair’s announcement on Oct. 31, broke her silence on Tuesday afternoon, saying she is concerned for the city of Toronto.

“My concern is that what is happening at city hall makes it very difficult for the business of city hall to carry on in a normal way,” Wynne told reporters. “That’s my biggest concern, as a citizen of the city, and as the premier. We want municipalities to be able to function, and there is a huge amount of turmoil at city hall right now.”

Justice Minister Peter MacKay also weighed in on Ford’s admission Tuesday, saying it was “certainly a sad day for the city of Toronto.”

“I’m the Attorney General of Canada, I’m the justice minister, you know where I stand on the use of illegal drugs,” he told reporters. “As a human being I think that the mayor of Toronto needs to get help.”

Even before Ford made the stunning admission Tuesday, many councillors were urging him to step down, or at least step aside to deal with his personal issues. However, city councillors do not have the power to remove Ford from office.

With files from The Canadian Press


 

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford won’t step down after crack cocaine admission

  1. ok, I guess we can all leave the guy alone now.

    • As long as he leaves us alone and resigns.

    • hahahha, love that comment Stewart. Snorted my coffee.

      • At least it wasn’t crack, then we’d have to tell you that we were disappointed in you!

  2. Never saw THAT coming! (The admission, that is… thought it would take a trial to get that – if then.)

    • Better to throw yourself on the mercy of those who did vote for you, rather then on the mercy of a judge who almost certainly didn’t. Probably in Ford’s mind, the one will negate the other. He’s got another big shock coming in that case.

      • Sadly, maybe not… polls taken since the Oct 31 announcement showed Ford’s approval rating rise… Torontonians are truly a strange bunch where municipal politics are concerned.

  3. Hahaha and after all the morons saying we dont knw what is in the pipe

    Some people habe to double down on stupid because they are unable to admit they were wrong..like Ford voters

  4. Maybe Rob Ford should join the Liberal Party…nah never mind we don’t want him. It would be embarrassing.

  5. Maybe Harper can appoint him to Senate! I hear there may be some openings.

    • Harper should thank him for setting an example of coming clean with mistakes you’ve been covering up for a long time.

      • oh please, he was busted that’s why he had to come out of the closet… just like Harper when he gets caught with his malicious activities… and to think that Ford lied to all of us and when we find out he tries to blame it on the journalists, oh boy and you say he’s setting an example…

    • He has the right, er, profile.

    • Never know, he may help him find his missing 3.1 billion dollars!

  6. My goodness, how can Ford or his brother now excoriate Chief Blair ? He has admitted that he in fact does what the police are charged to investigate???

  7. What? No attempt to blame Nigel Wright?
    Rob Ford is a panty waist.

    • The last bullet in the gun i s’pect.

  8. “I have made mistakes. All I can do now is apologize and move on.”

    No Mr. Ford what you need to do is apologize and then be accountable for your actions. Their is a difference.

    • Talking accountability, Harper can’t account for 3.1 billion dollars, still, so stop complaining.

  9. “I don’t remember when. Man, do I get blind drunk a lot!”

    • I hear crack can help with that.

  10. Admitting it is the first big step. Now I hope he admits he has an alcohol problem and gets help. He can rehabilitate his own personal health, and in so doing, rehab his political career. Whether you like him or not, he seems to be getting his job done and his constituents seem to like him. But he can’t go on this way, IMO, it’s not fair to the people of Toronto. I hope I’m not accused of picking on a husky man, but his health is clearly in danger. There is a difference between being a big guy who needs to shed a few pounds and the Ford we see today. He is bloated and red-faced, and I believe he is headed for a serious health crisis if he doesn’t rein in his appetites. It is difficult to overcome denial, so I hope his family will stop the enabling behaviour and intervene.

    • There is no reasonable meaning to the term “getting the job done” that means what you think it means.

    • Sweet Jane. Where to start? First of all, his family is more of a victim and likely far more concerned about him than his loyal constituents, who do not even seem to care that their mayor smokes crack — CRACK, Jane. Secondly — “husky?” Really? Rob Ford is “husky?” Finally, I do not live in Toronto, but find your mayor to be a blustery embarrassment to all of Canada — and so I ask you to please explain to me the great things he’s done for your city, so much so that good taxpaying citizens readily overlook little things like their prime legislator partying with illegal drugs. He must be a fantastic mayor, I can tell, but national press is only writing about his many personal issues, not his accomplishments — so please, share a couple here.

      • I don’t live in Toronto, don’t envy Me, Naheed Nenshi is my mayor, lol. If Rob Ford was my mayor, I’d want him gone. But so many people in TO seem to love him as mayor. His approval rating actually went up last week! Since they seem to want to stand by their mayor, the best outcome would be for him to take a leave, go to rehab, and hopefully come back clean and sober. The alternative, as I see it, is the guy stays in office for now, stays on the same destructive path, and dies as a result of his sick lifestyle. The situation is pathetic, and is going to continue to make laughing stocks out of Torontonians, unless he gets help.

        • I really admire Nenshi — lucky you. The whole Ford saga seems surreal to me — I likely seemed like an attack dog but I keep reading people defending him and saying how much he has done for the city — but nowhere have I read of these great things. The guy needs help, and the city needs a mayor.

          • Yep, totally agree. On a human level, I feel very sorry for Ford because he is sick. So I hope for his sake, he faces his addiction, gets help, and gets on with being a contributing member of society, whether in or out of office.

  11. So, has he personally apologized to Sarah Thomson yet?

    • Doesn’t count, he was in one of his drunken stupors.

  12. Alright, let’s get a mayor in there now. The crackhead’s had his day in the sun.

  13. So the one and only time he EVER smoked crack, it just happened to be caught on video? Imagine that.

    • And then felt such great remorse over the incident that he proceeded to hang out with crackheads and thugs for the next year to atone for his mistake – or wait, he didn’t call it a “mistake” yet, did he?

    • Love your comment. How are we the people suppose to believe only once in his lifrtime real fairy tale

  14. This just in: Major Accident at Toronto City Hall. Two Fords Involved in Wreckage.

    • Will they be able to Dodge this one though?

      • Oh sure…he’ll just issue a mayor’s Fiat declaring it never happened.

        • Audi u come to that to that conclusion then?

          • Dunno’…with this story, it’s hard to know what’s Acurate.

          • I know. It’s hard to stay focus-sed at all. Lex-us just move on to the next topic eh?

        • A Ford would never fit in a Fiat.

          • During his presser, the mayor looked like he had been kicked in his Skoda.

      • They would have if not for those media Gremlins.

  15. OK, Ford Nation, altogether now;
    “I’ve got cocaine runnin’ around my brain ( Dillinger)”

  16. The guy is a joke and his brother is a damage control, loyal coverup mouth-piece, who are supported by spineless puppets to go against the grain! The Ford brothers are unfit to serve as their rat pack cronies who support them. Perhaps the Federal Government Conservatives, under Stephen Harper’s joke leadership, are grooming the Ford brothers for laughable Senate appointments like he did with undeserving others who now are in the spotlight of public condemnation. After all the Fords have the same denials and questionable characters as Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau, Max Harb, Nigel Wright, Pamela Wallins and some in the PMO or higher up the food chain. The Toronto Police Chief, Bill Blair is a funny controversial querstionable character too, as under his topsy-turvy leadership there were many civil right law violations by his unruly cops in the G8 Summit who abused their powers. The police force is congested, like most police forces, with unfit and poorly chosen recruits with bungling unskilled clowns in recruitment since the Bill McCormack “family business” monopoly and legacy. There is no shame and honour in overpaid public servants and often the bad ones grovel for their salaries, get slapped wrists and snuggle each other to protect their dirty laundry while laughably claiming innocent.
    Policing and politics go hand-in-hand, both lack accountability, honour and integrity. They want our trust and respect but neither deserve it. Glad to see Toronto get the “bad rap” as a Gong Show, karma! Their police shafts better qualified and experienced applicants from other provinces while hiring underqualified ones (including unfair double standard affirmative action that are documented) in Ontario just like other forces including a small northern community which hired poor locals cadets – seen the same nonsense in OPP! My ex-fiance from Ontario was fingered by a BC male in the 1980’s after seeing her license plate. I did not know why he said, “go back to Ontario.” Now I understand after personally seeing alot in Ontario including east-west attitudes, job discrimination and disgusting police recruitment. Canada is the laughing stock of the world and too many “loose cannons” are dragging us down who need job losses, lawsuits and jail. Clean house at city hall and then scrutinize the police profession with their cohesive membership, scandals and lawsuits. How many cops in Canada have criminal code records, joke suspended or conditional sentences or convictions and they keep their jobs? It pays to be bad and dishonest and if you are good, you don’t fit in or are silenced by the majority…

  17. He has done a good job so far, at what people elected him for, what he does in his personnal life is no one’s business, if we were to nab every politician that did drugs some times in their lives, offices would be nearly empty .

    • What about when he is in a drunken stupor at an event that is part of his job? Is that cool with Frod Nation?

    • Okay, let me ask you: what are the good things people keep writing about but never explaining? I do not live in Toronto and all the news I read is about his personal issues.

      • I live in Toronto and I can’t even tell you anything good he’s done.

      • One of the things characterized as “good” is that he privatized garbage collection in part of the city.

    • This wasn’t just “some time” in his life. It’s not a joint he smoked when he was sixteen, or a drinking binge when he was twenty. This was last year (by his account) while being the mayor. And the crack smoking and drinking doesn’t even begin to cover it. That the video contains racial and homophobic slurs coming from a man who is responsible for one of the most racially diverse cities in Canada, and one with a flourishing and proud LGBT community, what he says in his personal time most certainly reflects how he thinks about the people he was elected to represent. Add onto that substance abuse and he loses any credibility he had left.
      Maybe if we nabbed every politician that did drugs while in office, Canadian politics would be better off – leaving room for people who take the job seriously.

      • You ask a good question, about the racial and homophobic slurs. I am surprised there has been so little focus on that. If and when the video is made public, if it reveals any such slurs, I suspect Ford’s adoring fans may see that as the last straw. I can feel sorry for an addict who needs help, but a racist homophobe is a different story. Even if he was high as a kite, many will believe the comments reveal his true sentiments.

        • There’s been even less focus when you consider what he’s said before this video ever came to light. The fact is that he has been openly making grandly inappropriate comments about both race and LGBT people for a long time. He’s made inappropriate comments about the Asian community in 2008 at a debate, refused to attend the Pride parades and neglected to attend the Pride flag raising (just outside his office), and made seriously inconsiderate comments about transgender citizens. And that’s just to name a few. As someone who is part of the LGBT community it’s infuriating, and I can only cringe when he pipes up about those communities I’m not a part of. He’s managed to make the city of Toronto laughable in the eyes of other Canadians and to those outside of our country who think Ford when they hear Toronto.

          • You cringe when he ‘pipes up’? So do the rest of us.

    • But this is not about his past, it’s about his actions as the CURRENT mayor

  18. “As reporters asked more questions, someone seems to have said: “Are you
    on crack right now?” The mayor then laughed, turned around and walked
    back into his office.”

    lol Great line.

    Just don’t step in front of any vehicle containing a Ford brother for a while if i was you.

  19. Think i’ve finally figured this guy out. He’s on a time delay from reality…couldn’t say by how much though.
    If this isn’t the case, i fear there may be a black hole about to develop right under Toronto.

  20. “Stop the war on drugs.” That’s what will be said next, from Canada.

  21. MEDIA MAGGOTS, are you happy now?

    • Yes!

    • Oh no,

      You mean Rob Ford is not perfect, I’m sooooooooo disappointed , everybody else seems to be……..

    • They are not going away now, I don ‘t know if they multiple lots these maggots!

      • Do you exploiters?

  22. What a fairy tale we have been told. Only once rob????????

    • I have a better one…. Once upon a time the prime minister lost, and still looking for 3.1 billions dollars of taxpayers money, that he can ‘t account for.

  23. The unsettling thing about drug / alcohol abusers is their chronic lies that go hand-in-hand with their substance dependent personality. So much so that the offender no longer factors the truth into their thinking because everything they say is calculated to manipulate the listener’s opinion. Lying then simply becomes a matter of habit even when there is no need to deceive. The other aspect of irresponsibility is the hall-mark of a true narcissist which is to blame others instead of accepting responsibility. Good example is calling journalists “maggots” when all along this narcissist knew they were telling a truth that he, “couldn’t handle”. The bottom line here is that Rob Ford’s shortcomings are so severe that he is not fit to be an honourable municipal leader, people should stop making excuses for his chronic unacceptable criminal and morally bankrupt behaviour and most of all, demand that he leave office immediately – and in shame.

  24. The police don’t just have the crack tape, they also have a Rob Ford sex tape. Rob Ford will stubbornly refuse to resign until they release said crack tape, enabling him to officially launch his career as a D-list celebrity (following in the footsteps of Paris Hilton).

    • “a Rob Ford sex tape”
      Good god man – Halloween’s over! Don’t go scaring people like that!

  25. Is anyone else disappointed in this whole “I’ve made mistakes, let’s move on” attitude? In grade school, fine. As a civil servant or policeman, there is no room for these kinds of mistakes.

    I don’t want your apology, I don’t care about anything other than having an honorable, competent, and intelligent mayor that will do a reasonable job and not bring bad publicity to the city, time and time again.

    We’re not in school Mr.Ford! The role of mayor should be held to a higher standard, and the fact that it is not, reflects poorly on this society. Do the honorable thing, and resign.

    Torontonians, do not accept this BS!

    • But, you do with mcguinty, then k wynne. And Harper, …….. Cry me a river,

  26. Ok…is he delusional? It’s not that simple. You can’t “Just move forward and put all behind you” He needs to take a leave at the least, and go visit his Kinfolk, Betty Ford in California!! This is NOT going to go away until he does….

  27. Ok…is he delusional? This is not going to go away until he does! He needs to take a leave at the least, and go visit his Kinfolk, Betty Ford in California!

  28. Who cares if he smoked crack. Thats what its there for… Follow skrilla_wilkz on twitter

  29. I’m more worried about how he knows crack dealers well enough, and is comfortable enough around them, to drink and smoke crack with them. That’s hardly an “average Joe” kind of thing. His judgement is lousy.

  30. afternoon drug tests done daily will show Mayor Ford has changed his ways, prove he no longer lies and is worthy to keep on saving taxpayers mucho money …

    • Drug tests for politicians right across the board!… and Rob Ford is the perfect example why! After all, every truck driver is subject to drug testing and not just once a year but on a random basis with no advance notice. Considering the responsibility of anyone holding elected office who purports to be acting on behalf of taxpayers, let them prove that their judgment is not impaired and suspend them immediately in the same way that drunk drivers are handled.

  31. Am very eager to see the next front page cover of McLean’s! Remember the one they made representing the “Bonhomme carnaval of Québec” with regards to corruption? After all, Rob Ford has the perfect stature for replacing the Bonhomme.

  32. People Stop crying, it’s the military families that need attention here,

    • Exactly,it could be worse, you could have ottawa’s mayor Watson,

  33. What Rob Ford should say: “I will resign as mayor of Toronto once Kathleen Wynne resigns as Ontario Premier and calls an election over the OLPs theft of hundreds of millions of tax dollars to finance their re-election campaign.

    If she can stay in her office under the cloud of that kind of scandal, so can I. Accountability is a two way street”.

    There could be no greater service to GTA and Ontario taxpayers than getting rid of both of these clowns.

  34. Can’t get enough of this guy… Can you export him to the U.S. Makes me laugh with my morning cup of cafe….

  35. Don’t step down Mayor, finish the term and run for reelection. 100% you will win.

  36. Nobody in Toronto is surprised, MANY are amused.