Toronto mayor apologizes but refuses to step down

Share with others:

Print Email Read Later

TORONTO -- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford apologized Sunday for making "mistakes" and acknowledged the need to curb his drinking, but he didn't address allegations of drug use and said he will continue to lead Canada's largest city despite pressure to resign.

"I'm going to weather this storm," he said.

Mr. Ford made his remarks on his local weekly radio show three days after police said they had obtained a copy of a video that appears to show the mayor puffing on a crack cocaine pipe.

The video was recovered from a computer hard drive during an investigation of an associate of Mr. Ford's who is suspected of providing him drugs. Police have said they don't have grounds to charge the mayor with any crime.

Mr. Ford didn't address the contents of the video Sunday, saying he cannot comment on a recording he hasn't seen. "Whatever this video shows, Toronto residents deserve to see it and people need to judge for themselves what they see on this video," he said.

Police said the video will come out when Mr. Ford's associate and occasional driver, Alexander Lisi, goes to trial on drug and extortion charges. Mr. Lisi is accused of threatening two alleged gang members who had been trying to sell the video to the media.

Police have said they want to talk to Mr. Ford, but his lawyer so far has declined.

Mr. Ford on Sunday acknowledged making "mistakes" but declined to take a leave of absence or resign.

"I sincerely apologize, there's absolutely no excuse, no one to blame but myself," he said.

All four major Toronto newspapers have called on Mr. Ford to resign. Municipal law makes no provision for his forced removal from office unless he's convicted and jailed for a criminal offense.

The populist, conservative mayor also said Sunday he would agree to have a full-time city driver, a proposal he had rejected before as a waste of taxpayers' money.

Even before police announced they had the video, Mr. Ford had drawn criticism for erratic behavior.

He said Sunday he shouldn't have been drunk in public when he appeared at a street festival in August, calling it "pure stupidity."

He also said he got "a little out of control" after St. Patrick's Day in 2012, when city hall security guards said they witnessed a "very intoxicated' Mr. Ford having trouble walking and swearing at aides.

An incident report released last week said that at 2:30 a.m. that day, Mr. Ford "visited the security desk alone with a half empty bottle of St. Remy French Brandy." The mayor said his car had been stolen and he wanted to call police, the report said. Security told Mr. Ford his car was at home, took the bottle from him and found him a taxi.

Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse


Create a free PG account.
Already have an account?