Toronto mayoral candidates have expressed disgust and disappointment in the wake of troubling new revelations surrounding Rob Ford.
The Globe and Mail reported Wednesday night that Ford was caught on tape last weekend smoking what was described as crack cocaine, while The Toronto Sun released an audio tape of the Toronto mayor ranting and swearing in an Etobicoke bar.
The Sun also reported Ford will "take a break" and seek help for his issues.
At one point in the audio clip released by The Sun, Ford can reportedly be heard making lewd, disparaging comments about mayoral rival, Coun. Karen Stintz.
"I'd like to f**king jam her, but she doesn’t want… I can't talk like this," he said.
At other points in the clip, Ford can reportedly be heard making off-colour remarks.
The audio can be heard here:
Stintz told Global News Wednesday night that Ford's comments are "deeply offensive" to all Torontonians.
"That a sitting mayor would make such shocking and bigoted remarks is disgusting," she said.
John Tory released a statement calling on Ford to step down but said that, on a personal level, he is relieved the mayor is seeking help.
"Like Torontonians across the city, I am deeply disappointed by these revelations of Mayor Ford’s behaviour. For the good of the city, I call on Mayor Ford to resign," he said in the statement.
Tory urged Torontonians and city councillors to support Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, who assumed most of Ford’s powers in November.
"Toronto is a great city. Our best days lie ahead of us," Tory said in the statement. "We're bigger than any one person, we will emerge stronger from this."
David Soknacki released a statement calling Ford not just a bad mayor, but a "disgrace".
The campaign for Olivia Chow, who is arguably the frontrunner in the mayoral race, declined to comment Wednesday night.
"Olivia's campaign just learned of this development and has no comment this evening," Chow campaign press secretary Eiman Zarrug told The Huffington Post Canada in an email. "An announcement of Mr Ford's nature deserves a considered response, and we will not prematurely speculate."
At one point in the Sun's audio clip, Ford can be heard saying he would rather lose to Chow than anyone else.
Ford released a statement to the media late Wednesday night.
Tonight I want to take some time to speak from my heart to the people of Toronto. It’s not easy to be vulnerable and this is one of the most difficult times in my life. I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time.
Today, after taking some time to think about my own well-being, how to best serve the people of Toronto and what is in the best interests of my family, I have decided to take a leave from campaigning and from my duties as Mayor to seek immediate help.
I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. I know that I need professional help and I am now 100 per cent committed to getting myself right.
I love the people of Toronto, I love being your mayor and I hope you will continue to stand by me.
With the support of my family, friends, professionals and the people of Toronto, I will conquer this.
Please keep me and my family in your prayers during these difficult days ahead.
I just want to say to the people of Toronto that I thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate it.
Mayor Rob Ford
Toronto voters head to the polls on Oct. 27.
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