Earlier today Rob Ford broke eight days of silence regarding allegations that he’d been captured on video smoking what appears to be crack cocaine, convening a press conference to address the matter. He read from a prepared statement and took no questions, and as soon as he was done councillors from across the political spectrum began commenting. Their consensus: this isn’t over.
A round-up of some initial reactions from councillors and political observers:
Eight days after two outlets, Gawker and the Toronto Star, published reports that they’d viewed a video that shows Toronto’s mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine, Rob Ford has finally broken his silence about the allegations. “I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine,” a surprisingly jovial-seeming Ford said to dozens of journalists crowded inside his City Hall office. He maintained his stance that the story was the product of one outlet, the Toronto Star, which is out to get him, and failed to address Gawker’s role in the situation. Ford also declined to take questions from the press, leaving as soon as he was done reading his prepared remarks.
Rob Ford was flanked by Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday (Ward 3, Etobicoke Centre), and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North), who was stony-faced throughout the mayor’s speech. Doug Ford remained after his brother and answered a few questions; video of that exchange follows.
In a letter released moments ago, mayor Rob Ford’s hand-picked executive committee is demanding he break his silence on allegations he was filmed smoking crack cocaine and making homophobic and racist slurs. Ford has refused to directly address these allegations despite requests from the public, the media, and even his own advisors. Here’s a transcript of the committee’s letter: