Ford admits to drinking after new video surfaces
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted he was drinking Monday night after a new video showing him rambling and swearing surfaced online.
The video -- posted on YouTube -- shows Ford standing in a fast-food restaurant and ranting incoherently in an imitation of Jamaican patois.
It’s difficult to make out exactly what Ford is saying in the video, but he makes reference to “Chief Blair” – Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair – and being “chased around.”
Ford told reporters Tuesday that the video was taken Monday night. He said he’d been drinking, but said he doesn’t think his behaviour in the video is offensive.
“I was with some friends and what I do in my personal life with my personal friends … it has nothing to do with you guys,” he said as he left his office.
“I’d met some friends. If I speak that way, that’s how I speak with my friends.”
Ford did not respond to reporters’ questions about how he arrived at the restaurant.
Mayor Ford has repeatedly told reporters that he hasn’t had a drink since November, soon after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine sometime in the past year, “probably in one of my drunken stupors.”
The latest video appears to have been shot at Steak Queen, located in Etobicoke’s Rexdale neighbourhood.
Meanwhile, another video apparently taken at the same restaurant shows Ford sitting at a table with a man believed to be Alexander Lisi, a friend of the mayor who is facing drug and extortion charges.
Lisi was the subject of extensive police surveillance, which often included his interactions with the mayor.
It was unclear when the second video was shot, but the person who uploaded it to YouTube wrote: “Rob Ford was there no matter what anyone says but when I saw him he was not drunk and he was not even drinking, he was sitting with a friend and respectable. Not sure how long he stayed though.”
Earlier Tuesday, Ford’s brother, Coun. Doug Ford, denied that the latest video was shot Monday night.
Doug Ford told reporters at city hall that although the video “obviously” shows the mayor, it could not have been taken Monday.
“I know it wasn’t yesterday because I was talking to him last night,” he said, adding that “Rob’s a lot heavier in that picture.”
In November, a video showing Ford pacing around a living room, swearing and using threatening language was obtained by The Toronto Star. The mayor admitted that he was “extremely inebriated” at the time.
The scandal engulfing the mayor began in May 2013, with media reports about a video that appears to show Ford smoking crack cocaine. The video has not been made public, but Blair said it had been recovered as part of an ongoing guns and gangs investigation.
Ford has not been charged with any crimes and he has brushed off calls for his resignation.
However, council has stripped him of most of his mayoral duties, transferring much of the executive power to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.