“I just hope the words he is alleged to have used are not true,” Trudeau said in Ottawa on Tuesday. “It’s a sentiment that a huge number of Canadians — and not just Canadians of the LGBTQ community — find reprehensible and unacceptable.”
In a cellphone video that seemingly everyone is talking about but few have reportedly seen, the embattled Toronto mayor is allegedly shown inhaling from a glass pipe. The Toronto Star and U.S. site Gawker have reported that Ford appears to be smoking crack cocaine in the clip, which is now being shopped around by a group of Somali men involved in the drug trade.
The clip also allegedly features a man off camera discussing the rookie Liberal leader.
According to two Toronto Star reporters, Ford appears to say, “Justin Trudeau’s a fag.”
At another point in the clip, Ford is allegedly asked about the high school football team he coaches and, again according to Star reporters, appears to say, “they are just f--ing minorities.”
Ford has said very little about the video but did call the allegations “ridiculous” on Friday.
"It’s another story with respect to the Toronto Star going after me,” he said.
Mayor Ford has not had a smooth relationship with Toronto's LGBT community. He has repeatedly turned down offers to march in Toronto's Pride Parade, saying that it conflicts with a long-standing family weekend at the cottage. Ford also came under fire in 2006 for saying, "If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably." He later apologized for that comment.
While Ford’s alleged drug use has garnered international attention — including mockery from popular U.S. comedians Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel — some have questioned why Ford’s alleged homophobic and racially insensitive comments haven’t spurred more controversy.
In a blog for HuffPost Canada, Rachel Décoste expressed frustration the reported comments “barely raised a stink” in a city as diverse as Toronto.
“The biggest stain this scandal brings isn't the possible addictions of a well-known politician,” she wrote. “It is the fetid stench of acceptance and normalization of blatant bigotry that stinks to high heavens.”
While Ford is keeping quiet about the video, a movement to purchase the clip in question appears to be picking up steam.
Gawker has already raised more than $100,000 through an online crowdfunding campaign.
With files from The Canadian Press
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