Taped copy of Sun editorial meeting found, presented in Rob Ford trial
Published Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:00PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:55PM EST
A Toronto courtroom found out Wednesday that an audio recording at the centre of a $6-million defamation lawsuit launched against Mayor Rob Ford does in fact exist.
Court heard Tuesday that a recording of a Toronto Sun editorial board meeting that Ford attended in 2010 had been erased.
But on Wednesday, court heard that a former Sun journalist who ran the meeting had a copy of the recording. Lawyers representing Ford and plaintiff George Foulidis are currently reviewing the tape.
Foulidis, the owner of the Boardwalk Pub, is suing the mayor, claiming that Ford's 2010 civic election campaign-trail comments damaged his reputation.
It is alleged that in August of that year, Ford -- then city councillor and mayoral candidate -- told the Toronto Sun's editorial board he thought the awarding of the sole-sourced, untendered contract extension to Foulidis's Tuggs Inc. was corrupt.
Some of Ford’s remarks were later printed in an article in the newspaper.
"I can’t accuse anyone, or I can’t pinpoint it, but why do we have to go in-camera on the Tuggs deal?" Ford was quoted in the paper as saying, referring to the deal that city council approved behind closed doors. "These in-camera meetings, there’s more corruption and skullduggery going on in there than I’ve ever seen in my life."
On the stand Wednesday, Foulidis describe the impact of the Sun article on his business. He recalled protesters outside his business and his 10-year-old daughter asking him if he had done something wrong. He said he felt like a criminal.
While Foulidis said he didn’t like the general media coverage of his contract with the city, the Sun article took it to another level. He also said he believes Ford’s comments were made for political gain.
However, Ford’s lawyers question whether or not the words used in the article were actually said by Ford, or whether they were simply the journalist’s interpretation.
They also argue that Ford’s comments were not directed at Foulidis, but rather at the way city council was operating. They say the only reason Foulidis was named was because the pub owner held a press conference demanding Ford back off.
Ford criticized the deal after the business, located in a high-traffic area near Woodbine Beach, was awarded a 20-year contract extension.
The trial is expected to last through the end of the week and into next. Ford is expected to be called to testify on Friday.
With files from CTV Toronto's Natalie Johnson