NEWS

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford should step aside, get help, politicians say

11/05/2013 03:26 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
The admission from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford that he smoked cracked cocaine has drawn swift reaction from local, provincial and federal politicians, with several urging him to step aside, at least temporarily.

"I think it’s time for him to take a break," said Toronto Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, who is a member of Ford's executive council.

Minnan-Wong has prepared a motion calling on Ford  to apologize, co-operate with police in their investigation and to take a temporary leave of absence.

Coun. Jaye Robinson echoed the call for Ford to give up his office.

"The real issue is getting the mayor to address his health issues, step aside [and] take a leave of absence, as I’ve been saying for six long months," she said. "And now he’s coming forward and he’s admitting that there is clearly a problem here."

Coun. Karen Stintz, who announced in late October that she would challenge Ford for the mayor chair's in the 2014 municipal election, tweeted: "Our city, even his supporters, have been betrayed by Mayor Rob Ford's crack cocaine admission. #Toronto deserves better leadership."

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said the issue is making it difficult for the city to carry on business.

 "We want municipalities to be able to function and there is a huge amount of turmoil at city hall right now," she said. 

"The police service and the judicial system have to take action. But the mayor will have to make his decisions about what is appropriate right now."

Doug Holyday, the former deputy mayor of Toronto and now an MPP, said: "Well, I'm saddened by that, and that's a problem that many families have gone through, but you have to seek help as many situations arises, and I think he should seek help."

Asked if he thinks Ford should step aside, Holyday responded: "I leave that up to him, but I think it would complicated and difficult to fulfil his job as mayor if he was receiving treatment for addiction problems."

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said: "I'm not going to give advice to Mayor Ford on what he should or shouldn't do. That's up to him and his conscience."

Several federal cabinet ministers also weighed in on Ford's admission.

Justice Minister Peter MacKay called it a "sad day" for Toronto, adding that he thinks Ford needs to get help.

"I'm the attorney general of Canada, I'm the justice minister. You know where I stand on the use of illegal drugs," he said.

MacKay wouldn't say if he thinks Ford should step down or be charged.

"I'm not in a position to direct the police. Those are beyond the purview of the attorney general and the minister of justice," he said.

Industry Minister James Moore tweeted: "Schadenfreude can be so incredibly ugly. Particularly in the context of the disease of addiction."

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, the MP for Whitby-Oshawa east of Toronto, said he had no comment on Ford's admission.

MORE:cbcNews