POLITICS

Rob Ford: 'I'm Not An Alcoholic, I'm Not A Drug Addict'

11/04/2013 11:10 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
One day after offering a vague apology on his weekly radio show, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford arrived at City Hall early Monday morning and repeated his demand that the video at the centre of the scandal surrounding him be released.

Last week, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair revealed that investigators had seized electronic devices during a series of raids months ago and recently managed to restore a deleted video file, containing images of the mayor he said were "consistent" with widely publicized reports.

The Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker had each reported in May that someone had been shopping a video that allegedly showed Ford using crack cocaine. The mayor denied both the video’s existence and using crack cocaine.

On Sunday, Ford called on the police chief to release the video so the public could see "whatever this video shows" and judge its meaning for themselves.

He also apologized for "mistakes" he has made without offering any specifics about the reasons for apologizing.

Ford arrived at City Hall uncharacteristically early at 7:30 a.m. Monday and spoke briefly with CBC's Steven D'Souza as he waited for an elevator.

"If they have a video, I want everyone to see the video," Ford told D'Souza. "I want the police to release the video right now."

Meanwhile, reaction to Ford's Sunday performance from his council colleagues was mixed.

Coun. Sarah Doucette said the mayor's apology is too vague.

"Is he sorry that he appears to be using drugs? Is he sorry that he appears to be dealing with drug dealers?"

Coun. James Pasternak, a member of Ford's executive committee, said Ford's comments failed to give Toronto residents "the comfort zone we really need."

"The game plan he outlined yesterday doesn't really address the political crisis we're facing," he said on CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, who held a private meeting with the mayor on the weekend to talk about Ford's behaviour, said he believes Ford's apology was sufficient.

"I think that he has done enough to merit support going forward but that support is conditional on him living up for the standards that he has set for himself," Kelly said.

Ford also made a Monday morning appearance on Talk Radio AM640.

He again didn't address specifics about the contents of the video but told host John Oakley that he will change his behaviour in light of incidents of public drunkenness at the Taste of the Danforth festival in August and in a 2012 St. Patrick's Day party in his office.

'I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a drug addict'

"I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a drug addict," Ford said. "If I had I problem, I'd be the first one to say I'm not fit to run the city."

Ford admitted he does enjoy "a few cocktails" and said he will try to curb his drinking in the future.

"Have I drank a little too much at times? You're absolutely right. Am I going to curb that? Absolutely I'm going to curb that."

Ford refused to answer questions about charges of extortion and drug trafficking against his friend and driver Alexander Lisi, saying it's a matter "before the courts."

Ford also said he plans to get a driver, something Coun. Kelly has implored him to do.

Ford also said he will not resign or take a leave of absence and again vowed to run for re-election next October.

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