POLITICS

Rob Ford Video: 'He Hasn't Changed,' Says Councillor

01/22/2014 09:28 EST | Updated 03/24/2014 05:59 EDT
Toronto city Coun. Michael Thompson says Rob Ford's latest drunken rant — captured in another online video — is further proof that Ford is unfit for the office of mayor and should resign for the good of the city.

"I was just dumbfounded," Thompson said Wednesday in an interview on CBC Radio's Metro Morning. "We'd heard from the mayor that he was turning over a new leaf. Everyone was hoping that he would change. We're learning now that he hasn't changed, he's not able to change."

Filmed Monday evening at a fast-food restaurant, the video shows an intoxicated Ford ranting and swearing while mimicking a Jamaican-style patois.

When asked about the video Tuesday, Ford admitted to drinking on the night the video was shot, but said he was on his own time and in the company of friends.

Rob Ford is 'imploding' says Coun. Thompson

Thompson said he heard about the video while working with Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly and other councillors to hammer out details of the city budget. Thompson told Metro Morning host Matt Galloway the video is proof Ford should step aside before causing more embarrassment to the city he represents.

"He needs to get help for his own well-being," said Thompson. "This is something we see in front of us where he's imploding."

In November, Ford told CBC's Peter Mansbridge he was "done" with drinking, had experienced a "come-to-Jesus" moment and vowed to change his behaviour.

Those comments came after a scandal-filled 2013 in which Ford admitted to smoking crack in a "drunken stupor," appeared drunk and ranting in another video, was the subject of a police investigation and made numerous inappropriate comments.

Last fall, Ford said he planned to get help with his weight problem but he didn't need help to stop drinking.

Difficult to quit without help, says addiction expert

Dennis Long, executive director of Toronto's Breakaway Addiction Services, said it's unlikely anyone with a chemical dependence problem can quit without professional help.

"People often say, 'Well I'm just going to stop.' In the vast majority of cases, that doesn’t work," Long said on Metro Morning.

"You can't just walk out and say, 'I'm done with drinking.' It's not that simple. Getting yourself free of a chemical dependency is a long-term project. We're not talking days or weeks or months. We're talking years."

Galloway asked Long what advice he would offer Ford. Long responded that he would advise the mayor to step away from the daily scrutiny of his job and get help.

"[I would say] 'This isn't working for you, you really need to step away for awhile, and sit down with somebody and figure out how you're going to change your behaviour.'"

Long said given Ford's behaviour, he isn't optimistic the mayor will take those steps. Ford is seeking re-election in October's municipal election.

In the meantime, Thompson said, Ford's antics, which have become regular fodder for television comics, have hurt Toronto's reputation worldwide.

"The position of mayor and councillors should be held in high regard," said Thompson. "We should … provide good governance and behaviour associated with our respective positions, and it's not taking place with the mayor."

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