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Duly Quoted: Bill Blair

Police chief won't say whether or not the mayor is under investigation.

Matt Galloway: Is Rob Ford under investigation?

Bill Blair:
“Again, I’m not going to comment on this or any other investigation. We will do our work, we will present our evidence in the appropriate forum. The truth will come out.

Galloway: Yesterday you could have very easily exonerated Rob Ford—you could have explicitly said the mayor has nothing to do with the investigation we’re involved in right now. Why didn’t you do that?

I’m unable to answer your question without violating the terms of the law and the spirit of the law. All of the information, all of the evidence we have collected…will be properly disclosed in a court of law.

—Toronto police chief Bill Blair on CBC’s Metro Morning, commenting on yesterday’s major police action in the neighbourhood where Rob Ford allegedly smoked crack cocaine. Blair emphasized that he was distinguishing between serving the public interest (trying to get guns and drugs off the streets and keep a neighbourhood safe) and the interest of the public (namely persistent questions about whether Rob Ford has a substance abuse problem or is other otherwise involved in illicit activity). As a Torontonian he is concerned about the toll the crack allegations are taking on the city and its reputation, Blair said, but as police chief he needs to follow due process and refrain from “indulging myself in hypotheticals or speculation.”


  • andrew97

    I’m not the first one to point this out, but Blair sure wasn’t afraid to comment about evidence during the G20.

    • Sabocat!

      He was also not afraid to lie about laws about fences that didn’t really exist. But maybe this time he thinks he can actually get a conviction.

    • dsmithhfx

      Ford and Blair are both blatant, shameless, serial public liars. They will stand up in front of the microphones and lie about anything if it suits the momentary purpose. The only question is, do their respective purposes happen to coincide in this case? And what would/wouldn’t Ford do to ensure they coincide?

      • rich1299

        I have no doubt that Blair hasn’t always been honest with us, but it still pales in comparison to the chronic lying of Rob Ford though perhaps thats just because its much easier to prove Rob Ford a liar than it is with Blair. For all his faults I still think Blair is a far better police chief than Fantino. But I agree with another poster, I forget where I read their comment, that the police union under that thug… also blanking on his name, need more coffee! I’ll never forget seeing a disgusting ad years ago from the police union saying they were the biggest baddest gang in the city. I suppose it was meant to send a message to other gangsters but I really don’t want a publicly funded, uncountable gang acting as our police force, i want anti-crime professionals instead.

        I also find the Toronto cops latest “crackdown” posters from the TO cops I’ve been seeing in some store windows that just say “We’re watching you” with a pair of eyes staring out. That’s extremely disturbing message and has no place in a truly professional police force.

  • Torontopoly

    As someone pointed out on another post, why not take this opportunity to troll him. “Chief Blair, we are hearing reports that there is evidence that the Hamburgler is being targeted this investigation. Can you confirm or deny this allegation?”. I would die if he gave the same scripted response but it would also make me worry the Mayor is not actually a suspect. I guess if you subbed in a non-fictional character the litmus test would be more valid

    • Zoom Slider

      It would compromise their ongoing investigation as to whether Rob Ford is actually the Hamburgler.

      • HotDang

        He’s Mayor McCheese!

  • vampchick21

    It’s fairly interesting for sure. He could have clearly stated “Project Traveller has nothing to do with the allegations against the Mayor”, which would not affect any aspect of the investigation or the cases against those they arrested. After all, this is hardly the first time police have conducted raids of this nature. But he didn’t.

  • anyway….

    So we have swirling around ROB and DOUG FORD, murders, attempted murders, long history of abuse/use/selling of illegal drugs, weapons, criminal friends, thugs in the mayors office,violent home invasions and on and on. Oh ya, under Rob Ford we have seniors being kicked out of Public Housing to die a cruel death, thanks to his appointee from …wait for it….wait for it….wait for it….DETROIT! As to the cops, I’m wondering if they are just trying to get their hands on the tape to protect Rob and Doug Ford at this point? I think the Ford’s besties TIM HUDAK, and STEVEN HARPER should try to clear things up for us.

  • Jacob

    If I were the police chief of a big city, and had evidence that the mayor, who is the public face of the city, was involved with drug gangs, I would be seriously angry.

    He’s got his “poker face” on. If this is all true, things are going to get even uglier at city hall.

    But anyway, if they have the video, I’d love for it to be used as evidence in court, and have Rob Ford brought in as a witness:

    “Sir, can you please identify the man who sold you the crack cocaine in the video? Remember, you are under oath.”

    • dsmithhfx

      “If I were the police chief of a big city, and had evidence that the mayor, who is the public face of the city, was involved with drug gangs, I would be seriously angry.”

      Another way of looking at it is that the police and drug gangs enjoy a symbiotic relationship.

    • rich1299

      I highly doubt taking an oath would prevent Rob Ford from lying. Keep in mind this is the man who continued to lie about what he had been charged with in Florida even when presented with the charge sheet from the Florida cops which clearly stated that he was charged with possession and DUi while Ford continued to claim he had only been charged with failing to give a breathalyzer sample. I’m sure if/when prosecuted for lying under oath he’ll claim he had never read the oath and didn’t understand what it meant.

      • allisonjayne

        “I don’t understand these elitist words like ‘truth’ and ‘oaths’, I’m not a latte-lover!”

      • dsmithhfx

        He never read the truth manual…

  • Mark Dowling

    Dear Chief Blair, via your media monitoring folks whom you presumably have/contract with. I listened to your answer to Matt Galloway about why it’s okay to triumphantly display captured drugs, guns, money but not something like say a crack video. I didn’t buy it.

  • JV

    How about a Chicago connection? The Ford’s Deco labeling and tag printing company (inherited from their father) has an office in the “Windy City”. Now, how often have the brothers or their reps been to Chicago, and if so, did they drive there via Detroit? Just wondering.

    • OgtheDim

      Doug Ford drive to Chicago?

      No way.

      The man would get driven to the airport in both towns.

  • JV

    BTW Has anyone seen the apparent brains behind the outfit? Haven’t seen Doug’s mug on the tube of late.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      He just announced he won’t be running for council so he can babysit help Rob’s re-election campaign.

      • JV

        Ja. That was announced before the raids. Did he know they were coming to get ahead of it? He is the City Councillor for the area. You think he’d be at the scene after the fact…he’s never been shy of cameras or at a loss for words!!!

    • dsmithhfx

      Doug’s been advised by his lawyers everyone to STFU. Maybe he listened?

      • JV

        Or he’s packing his bags to take charge of operations in Chicago. HA.

  • Mark

    My fear is that the police now have the phone with the video and we won’t see it for years until some trial, or we’ll never see it. Depending on your tendency for conspiracy theories, this is either a coincidence or a favour for the mayor.

  • OgtheDim

    My questions are:

    Will the TPS pull an RCMP and lay this out officially in January in order to undercut Ford at the knees?

    Is there a defence lawyer with a copy of the tape, or at least a client with very incriminating testimony, trying to figure out how best to use this?

  • adamd1

    What is missing from this Duly Quoted segment are the lengthy, uncomfortable silences that preceded Mr. Blair’s responses, most notably on that second question (“Why didn’t you do that?”) I think it’s kind of admirable that Mr. Blair showed up, but the non-answer answers were definitely frustrating to hear.

    • JV

      AT Thursday’s news conference he appeared to stutter a wee bit, was he nervous or is that his normal speaking style?

  • JV

    Who shot that KFC video…Daddy buying munchies for his boys heard snickering in the background.

  • Lee Zamparo

    Q: “Yesterday you could have very easily exonerated Rob Ford—you
    could have explicitly said the mayor has nothing to do with the
    investigation we’re involved in right now. Why didn’t you do that?”

    A: “I’m unable to answer your question without violating the terms of the law and the spirit of the law.”