TORONTO – Just days after being caught on video in a rambling, profane rant in a Jamaican accent at a restaurant, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is to address The Economic Club of Canada today.
Ford — who had vowed last year that he had given up alcohol — has admitted he was drinking and called Monday’s restaurant incident a “minor setback.”
The clip posted anonymously to YouTube on Tuesday shows Ford using Jamaican swear words and other profanities, at one point aiming his curses at Toronto’s police chief.
Ford offered no apologies on Wednesday and was defiant, saying he is entitled to a personal life, and what he does on his own time doesn’t affect his work as mayor.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she is concerned Ford’s personal problems are drawing attention away from the real issues facing Canada’s largest city.
And, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong said he agrees Ford is entitled to a private life, but pointed out that in this case the mayor was not in a private place.
“If this were happening at home in the privacy of his own home with his family I don’t think anybody would care, but since this is happening in a public place it’s a little bit different,” he said.
Ford had repeatedly said he hadn’t had a drink since November — after a month in which reams of allegations in police documents that he did drugs, drove drunk and consorted with gang members were released by the courts.
The mayor has denied those allegations, which have not been proven in court, but did admit in November that he had smoked crack cocaine, likely in one of his “drunken stupors.”