Today’s news: Everyone wants to see Rob Ford on video

Toronto’s mayor won’t step down no matter what his city wants


Nathan Denette/CP

“I have no reason to resign.” —Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Rob Ford is a news machine, pure and simple. Every single thing he says is newsworthy. Every movement is worth a photo. Toronto’s mayor blinks, or opens his mouth, and cameras capture his closed eyes, or his gaping jaw. His driveway cracks the evening news. Driveways don’t usually do that. Everyone in the city knows where he lives, or can find out with remarkable ease. He’s sometimes indignant, often aggressive, and always deferential to the great people of Toronto. His followers follow. His enemies grumble. He’s impossible to ignore. Indeed, he’s a perfect spectacle.

And now, a lot of people want him to resign.

This morning, the city’s four newspapers all demanded that Ford quit his job. His allies on city council are falling away, none of them particularly sympathetic. The police chief, Bill Blair, is “disappointed.”

All of this is because, as you almost definitely have already learned, there’s a video in police custody. The reconstituted digital files, exhumed from a hard drive thought to be wiped clean, are possibly damning. Blair confirmed that what he saw on those files is consistent with reporting, earlier this year, published by Gawker and the Toronto Star. That is to say, that alleged crack tape we all heard so much about is real. The cops aren’t talking about what specifically is caught on tape, but needless to say it’s some kind of damaging for the mayor.

No matter the optics, Ford won’t resign. Last May, when the infamous tape came to the fore, plenty of people called for the mayor’s head. He didn’t step down then. At the time, the National Post‘s Jonathan Kay was skeptical Ford ever would, no matter the guilt that engulfed the mayor’s office. “Like all true warriors, he will keep on fighting till the very day—if it ever comes—that he is led out of City Hall in handcuffs. And even then, I’m not so sure.” No less denial should be expected of such a perfect spectacle.

Charlie Gillis, writing yesterday for Maclean’s, wonders how long Ford can stay in office. Much of that answer depends on the reconstituted video that’s so central to the mayor’s saga. The video exists. Now, the public wants a look. The fight for the public’s right to watch is the next chapter in this slow-motion disaster. Settle in. This could take a while.


What’s above the fold

The Globe and Mail Toronto police confirmed the existence of the Rob Ford crack video.
National Post Ford friend Alessandro Lisi faces an extortion charge related to the video.
Toronto Star Ford refuses to resign.
Ottawa Citizen The mayor’s losing political support on all sides.
CBC News Ford’s lawyer says police can’t lay charges against the mayor.
CTV News Lisi is in court today, related to the extortion charge.
National Newswatch A poll says the senate scandal may be damaging Stephen Harper‘s brand.

What you might have missed

THE NATIONAL EI. Fraudulent EI claims jumped almost 25 per cent during the last fiscal year, and the feds paid out $158.8 million that never should have left federal coffers. An economist with the United Steelworkers, Erin Weir, said the improper claims may have been related to claimants being unaware of rule changes—or, he said, more aggressive federal investigators.
THE GLOBAL Iraq. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki hopes the United States can step up security assistance in the wake of increased terror activity all over the troubled nation. Civilian deaths have soared this year to the highest levels in over five years. Iraq Body Count estimates 1,095 civilians have died in October and more than 7,000 since the beginning of 2013.
THE QUIRKY Pumpkins. Mercedes Jerez Farias, 26, faced several drug-related charges in a Montreal courtroom. Jerez Farias was caught at Trudeau International Airport with three pumpkins allegedly containing two kilograms worth of a powdery substance that police believe is cocaine. The woman, who may or may not be a Canadian citizen, could face two years in prison.


Today’s news: Everyone wants to see Rob Ford on video

  1. Release the cracken!

  2. They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, “No, no, no”
    Yes, I’ve been black but when I come back you’ll know, know, know
    I ain’t got the time and if my daddy thinks I’m fine
    He’s tried to make me go to rehab, I won’t go, go, go


  3. Rob ford is my hero

  4. Appoint Rob Ford to the Senate, and put all the mess in one place.

    Abolish the Senate.

    Move on.

  5. Really, what’s the hold up now? If the video is legit it doesn’t matter in the least what was in that pipe. The mayor of Toronto was having a blast with known drug dealers and may have now been implicated in the death of one of them. Game over. Cue the sirens and the handcuffs…hmmm, maybe stop for a trial along the way to keep all the liberals out there completely onside.[ my inner tory is steaming today alright. I think i’ll head over to Wherry’s blog and complain he isn’t dissing JT nearly enough for a balanced and respectable reporter]

    • Even Ford’s lawyer wants the video released. It probably isn’t enough, by itself, to secure any kind of conviction. Charges against Ford won’t happen unless somebody caught up in the police sweep starts plea bargaining and provides solid corroborating evidence in exchange for leniency.

      It wouldn’t surprise me, given the stakes and some of the shady thugs lurking on the perimeter of this whole mess, if witness protection is in the cards for one or two characters.

      • All true. But politically he’s got to be dead in the water …this time.

        • I have a hunch:

          His advisers are probably, at this very moment, counseling him to seek rehab (although, clinically, his prognosis for treatment is – sadly – not good at this point). At the very least, it gives him an immediately credible place to hide.

          If, as I anticipate, he refuses this option, the machinery of civic government in Toronto will find ways to neutralize him. The municipal bureaucracy will continue to function and council will coalesce around new centers of influence and power. His own political agenda, whatever it was, is dead.

          Legally and politically, I can’t see any other scenarios.

          • He’ll have to deal with another problem too – just what is he going to do for fun if he can’t scream at reporters…GET OFF MY DRIVEWAY?
            That’s going to leave a large hole in his life.

          • There will always be a job for him at Deco Labels & Tags.

  6. Rob Ford apologists: “Aha! See! Don’t. You. See?

    It’s a reconstituted digital file, recovered from a wiped hard drive! That hard drive could have had a…a…yeah…an old Cheech & Chong movie on it and the recovery process put Rob’s head on Cheech’s body…Or Chong’s…Either way. Could happen!

    You lefties believe anything, don’t you?”

    • wow, your technical ignorance is showing.

      • ‘Fraid not, my friend…it’s a parody. Yours is.

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