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Doug Ford on Allegations Rob Ford Smoked Crack: “Never Has a Canadian Politician Been Targeted by the Media This Way”

In a bizarre speech focused mostly on economic accomplishments, the mayor's brother refuses to tackle allegations that Rob Ford smoked crack cocaine in detail.

On Wednesday afternoon, six days after news first broke that two separate publications had reportedly seen video of what appears to be Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking out of a crack pipe, his brother and city councillor Doug Ford held a press conference to address the allegations.

Sort of.

In a bizarre, nine-minute appearance in which he read from prepared remarks and refused to answer any questions, Doug Ford spent most of his time giving a campaign-style speech extolling the administration’s economic accomplishments. Though the mayor has only devoted about three sentences in total to the allegations Doug proclaimed: “Never has the mayor been so accessible.” As for the allegations themselves, Doug said his brother told him they were untrue, and added that they were the result of questionable journalism. He targeted the Toronto Star for persistently targeting the mayor, and told Gawker its actions in starting a crowdfunding campaign to buy the video in question “disgusting.”

The full text of his remarks:

First off, I’m here today because you’ve been asking me for my comment. I’m here to give you my comments. I’m not speaking for the mayor. The mayor is my brother, I love him, and he’ll speak for himself.

He has already addressed these allegations three times on Friday; I don’t know how much more he can say.

My brother is an honest and hardworking man with integrity, a man who has dedicated his life to serving others. He is the people’s mayor. Never has the mayor been so accessible or cared so much for the issues facing residents. His attention to the needs of his constituents is what has made Rob Ford mayor of Toronto. Now our mayor faces yet another accusation, an accusation driven by questionable reporting from a news outlet that has proven they would do anything to stop the mayor’s agenda. Rob is telling me these are untrue, that these accusations are ridiculous, and I believe him.

I will always support my brother as the mayor of this city, because I believe in his track record. Under his leadership we have reined in out of control spending and turned the fiscal ship of this city around. We have successfully eliminated the budget gap. For a decade Toronto relied on prior year surpluses and one-time found money to balance its operating budgets. In 2013, that ended. Our 2013 budget was balanced for the first time ever, without using any prior year surplus.

We are the only government, the only government in North America, to pass a budget that spends less money year than it did the previous year. Because of our fiscal discipline, international bond rating agencies like Moody’s and DBRS have kept our credit rating strong—even while they lowered the rating of the province of Ontario.

Over the next 10 years we’re reducing our debt by $804 million that we inherited, while spending $1.2 billion more on infrastructure needs. We are investing $2.3 billion over 10 years to maintain our hard infrastructure. We have privatized garbage collection east of Yonge, saving the taxpayers $88 million while improving service to our residents. This mayor negotiated historic labour deals—and I say historic, that’s never been done—that are helping us improve efficiencies and save hundreds of millions of dollars without a single day of labour disruptions. We have changed the culture of entitlement and improved efficiencies and services for our residents. We have seen record years of development. We have more cranes in the air today, more than New York, L.A., Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami combined—that is combined, 184 cranes, in our city. We’ve had three consecutive years of job growth. Folks, that’s three consecutive years of job growth. And Toronto is currently seeing the highest employment numbers since 1990. I’ll repeat that: we have seen the highest employment numbers since 1990. We’ve almost created…40,000 jobs have been created since this mayor took office.

As mayor of Toronto Rob Ford has put more funding into arts than any other mayor, Toronto is a vibrant and beautiful city were people want to live, work, and play. We are seeing tourism in Toronto with over nine million hotel rooms sold last year—again, another record broken with 9 million hotels rooms sold last year. This mayor is fighting for the little guy, to keep taxes affordable and low. 136,000 in Toronto will get rent reductions this year ’cause we reduced property taxes for their landlords last year, and we are holding the line on their taxes this year as well.

We have come a long way in the past two years, we are turning the corner, and we are now on the right path.

All of this is overshadowed, of course, by the constant stream of accusations coming forward against this mayor. This situation reminds me of a story the Toronto Star, during the election—a story written based on credible sources—that the mayor hit his football players. What could be worse than abusing an innocent child? It turned out that there credible source was disgraced as a serial plagiarizer. The young man himself came forward and said these accusations were completely fabricated and false. Never, never has a Canadian politician or his family been targeted by the media this way. They zealously, and I say zealously, stalk my mother, my children, the media hides in the bushes at my cottage as they did this weekend [so] that my kids couldn’t even enjoy the weekend cause they were in the bushes taking video of them, and harasses our family at home. They have shown that they have no regard, absolutely no regard, for what they are doing to our family, who should have no part of all of this.

I am asking all of you today: please stop. Please stop harassing my children, please stop harassing my mother. Please leave them out of this.

People ask me why did I get into politics? I got into politics to give back my time, donate my salary, and do what I thought was right for Toronto. I never, ever expected that these were the rules of engagement, that we would go through this abuse and my family would suffer.

To the folks at Gawker: what you are doing is disgusting and morally wrong. Giving away prizes to try to give away money to drug dealers and extortionists is disgraceful. When the mayor faces serious accusations, by no means will we be pressured by the Toronto Star to answer their questions on their timeframe. We spoke to our family and our lawyers before deciding how to proceed. If the mayor stopped and held a press conference every time the media made up a story about him, we would never have accomplished anything that we have. If the mayor wants to make a statement his press secretary will notify the media. There is no reason for you to be staking out his house and following him around town.

I also want to say that the story wrongfully generalizes and tarnishes the reputation of Toronto’s Somalian community, a hardworking community of good people, thousands of whom I represent in Etobicoke North.

Lastly, I want to thank the thousands of supporters out there who believe in the job Mayor Rob Ford and this administration is doing. Without your support, encouragement, and kind words, this would be even more difficult than it already is.

Folks, please remember that we will continue fighting for the taxpayers, and remember one thing: we’re down here to work for you.

Comments

  • Comment_Book_Guy

    amazing.

  • scottld

    what a load. Ford has an agenda?

    • dsmithhfx

      Football. Crack. Ass-grabbing. Um… yeah.

      • http://twitter.com/teddy_refspin Mike Robinson

        You can take football off that list now thanks to the TCDSB

  • HotDang

    And we still haven’t seen Rob Ford deny or even directly address this issue. A lack of a denial after almost 6 days is not an admission, but it sure as hell isn’t a denial.

  • Jacob

    “Never Has a Canadian Politician Been Targeted by the Media This Way”

    Never before has a politician made himself that much of a target, either. He went out of his way to piss-off everyone who disagrees with him on his first day in office, and alienated The Star LONG before that. If you make that many enemies, you’re an idiot not to keep your nose clean.

    • Winkee

      Doug’s statement isn’t even true, has he heard of a man named Tommy Douglas… RCMP were all over him, for the simple reason of being progressive.

      • torontothegreat

        While I understand what you’re saying and I don’t disagree with you…

        RCMP ≠ media

  • Lee Zamparo

    “Never has the mayor been more accessible”

    Except at this press conference. And his schedule. And at council. And to the media.

    • Jacob

      But if you need a pothole fixed, by golly folks, he’ll be on your doorstep in an hour!

      • Comment_Book_Guy

        or a pile of dirt! Ford is like, THE Mr. Pile Of Dirt Get Rid Of Guy.

        • HotDang

          If by “pile of dirt” you mean “crack rock.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Walter-Lis/571716919 Walter Lis

        Rob Ford is supposed to be the mayor, not a 311 or customer service operator.

      • Whitebox

        Shovel in hand!

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        As long as you live on the same street as his family’s company.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek
  • XXX

    We’ll speak to these allegations when we are ready to, I love my brother, here is his public record and oh by the way leave our families out of this is a “bizarre” speech? I think you might want to look up the definition of bizarre in the dictionary because that speech isn’t bizarre.

    • OgtheDim

      Context makes it bizarre.

      • XXX

        The context is an older brother defending the younger one in a time of crisis, still not a bizarre speech.

        • Comment_Book_Guy

          the long list of “accomplishments” read like a stump speech and was bizarre for this context.

        • Operation Ivy

          Sure. And I’ll get my mommy and my older sister to help me out the next time I cross paths with my boss at work. I guess that;s how leadership works in “Ford Nation”. Evade the questions that people are asking and get big brother to deal with the mess.

    • dsmithhfx

      This whole thing is bizarre from the get-go. Rob running for mayor was bizarre. Rob being elected mayor was bizarre. Rob as mayor is bizarre. Rob’s flame-out is bizarre. Bizarre, bizarre, bizarre. Satisfied?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Walter-Lis/571716919 Walter Lis

        Rob Ford, bizarro number one.

        • Whitebox

          Bizarro mayor hate city. Bizarro Mayor love crack.

  • Babeserino

    Must be trying to get his PC nomination & electioneering in early. Since when is our mayor accessible to us, when he doesn’t put in a full work day & doesn’t post his schedule? As an elected official he is not fulfilling his mayoral duties & giving Toronto a lot of negative publicity world wide.
    Tell Rob Ford to man up & address the crack smoking allegations publicly & to the media, without getting his big brother to do it.

  • OgtheDim

    I’m surprised he didn’t end with “And God less Ford nation!”

    • OgtheDim

      Bless

      • Eric S. Smith

        Less every day, God willing.

    • Whitebox

      It thought it was the pinkos who were godless communists.

  • rickm81

    A speech like this is why I believe Rob Ford will win the next election. People who support him will love a speech like this.

    • dsmithhfx

      Yes, his mom and Frances Nunziata are totally pumped.

  • Operation Ivy

    Here’s a question: Which Ford brother is less articulate? This buffoon sounds like an eighth grader trying to give an oral book report on a book he hasn’t read yet.

    • dsmithhfx

      A book by Margaret Atwood?

    • Whitebox

      “There are good people and bad people in this city and they are mad at each other”

  • Digidel

    How does this have anything to do with his mother or children??

  • torontothegreat

    “Rob is telling me these are untrue, that these accusations are ridiculous, and I believe him.”

    Way to distance yourself in advance from the shit-storm that’s about to hit your brother…

    • HotDang

      Maybe that’s why Doug is doing the talking. He takes the chance to act like a straight shooter before Rob confesses and / or the tape comes out. Then when Rob is disgraced Doug can deny any knowledge or involvement.

      • ShabbaRich

        Take it one step further. It looked like the launch of the Doug Ford for Mayor 2014 campaign.

        • candolf

          Oh, that was TOTALLY a campaign speech — this was about Doug Ford.

      • walrusaurus

        Didn’t either the Gawker or Star article indicate that the drug dealers said they’d sold crack to Rob *and* Doug, and various other “elite” Torontonians?

        • Testu

          They said that they had sold it to Rob’s brother. Rob Ford has two brothers, the other one runs the family business (Deco Labels) and is generally not mentioned in the press.

          The people interviewed also said that they had sold to a popular sports commentator, I’m curious who that might be.

          • dsmithhfx

            The one who acts like he’s on crack?

    • https://paul.kishimoto.name/ Paul Kishimoto

      Et tu, Doug?

  • torontothegreat

    “Rob is telling me these are untrue, that these accusations are ridiculous, and I believe him.”

    Way to distance yourself in advance from the shit-storm that’s about to hit your brother…

  • BeachDude

    Garbage collection was privatized WEST of Yonge. Since this is Rob’s big deal you would think that his own brother would get the facts straight. But when was the last time a Ford got the facts straight?

  • BeachDude

    Also “we created 40,000 jobs …” who? The City of Toronto or Deco Labels? I didn’t know the city was in the job creation business!

    • dsmithhfx

      Maybe he means in Bangladesh?

    • torontothegreat

      “I didn’t know the city was in the job creation business!”

      Really? This is the kind of statement that makes me shudder when I think of people voting at the polls.

  • David Spiller

    The people of the City of Toronto should leave the Ford family alone. As they should leave Rob and Doug Ford alone.

    These two people have utterly disgraced the City of Toronto in areas and to levels that will possibly be un-repairable. Yes people will forget certain instances but as with Mayor Mel’s calling in the army to clear snow we will be the brunt of many jokes for too many years to come.

    It’s a shame that the people of Toronto elected this individual in an effort to change the direction of the city for the better have now had to endure the many instances of disgrace that Rob Ford has singularly brought to their forefront solely buy his arrogance and stupidity.

    To have his brother act as his agent proves there is concern that Rob Fords statements made without proper preparation will only provide more disclosure into his inability to function in the position he has been elected to.

    His idea to “stop the gravy” is a clear joke if you have the knowledge of how un-unionized employees are receiving huge payouts to leave when their retirement is imminent.
    Toronto needs this person removed from office as soon as possible and someone who can speak and carry themselves with some respect elected to replace hiom

  • aurea

    “I also want to say that the story wrongfully generalizes and tarnishes the reputation of Toronto’s Somalian community, a hardworking community of good people, thousands of whom I represent in Etobicoke North.”

    It’s coming from a guy who is almost definitely racist and totally hypocritical, but this particular point is correct.

    • Nathanael

      It sure is. Really, drug dealers aren’t limited by ethnicity — they exist in all neighborhoods and ethnic groups. Doug Ford would know this, having been a hasish dealer himself, according to the Globe & Mail.

  • meshuga

    I’m wondering if anyone fact-checked the statement. Based on StatsCan data, we’ve had better employment rates more than a decade: 1997-2008. Not to mention that Toronto still trails the provincial employment rate.

    • Just a guy

      Yes Torontoist please fact check the Mayor’s record as presented here and let us readers know how it holds up

      • Brad

        Well for starters Matt Elliot (and Torontoist’s own Christopher Bird on Twitter) have done good work pointing out that the Ford Nation has pretty much completely mischaracterized any impact Rob Fox has had on the budget:

        http://metronews.ca/voices/ford-for-toronto/519262/debunking-ford-nations-favourite-budget-chart/

        Tl;Dr? Because of how municipal financing works, the actual change year over year in spending under the cities control since 2001 has been roughly the same as inflation (~2.5% ish). There’s been no (or nominal) change from Lastman to Miller to Ford regimes in terms of spending or efficiencies.

  • guest

    oh brother

  • mariposaman

    Sure let’s have Mayor Ford take a drug test, and while we are at it let’s take a drug test of his accusers and the rest of the city council. Maybe the commenters can also tell me they have never done drugs either. “Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone”. I hear a lot of gossips and hypocrites and nothing of compassion.

  • Nathanael

    After the Globe & Mail expose of Doug Ford’s history as a hashish dealer, it’s no wonder he wants to avoid discussing his brother’s use of drugs.