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Councillors Urge Mayor Rob Ford to Respond to Drug Allegations

Many of Toronto's elected officials think Rob Ford needs a break—at the very least.

rob ford crack allegations

Rob Ford addressing allegations he was caught on video smoking crack on Friday, May 24.

In the wake of the stunning revelation that Toronto police have recovered the infamous video of Mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack cocaine, a growing number of Toronto city councillors are openly questioning the mayor’s ability to lead. Many councillors are also condemning Ford’s close dealings with Sandro Lisi, his friend and driver, who has been charged with extortion in relation to the seized video.

The emerging details of a lengthy police investigation, which included extensive surveillance of Lisi and Ford’s interactions, threatens to further erode the mayor’s dwindling credibility. Ford has said he can’t comment on any of these discoveries, and that he will not resign.

Here’s what 22 of Toronto’s 44 city councillors have said about the troubling news:

“The mayor has a totally unique approach to these personal crises of any politician we’ve ever seen…[But] we’re now at a juncture where nothing he can do can make this go away.”

Councillor Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East)

“He has lost moral authority…I think the honourable thing for any honourable politician to do is to step aside.”

Councillor Mike Del Grande (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt)

“That is not what we needed to hear, we needed to hear a decisive statement from the mayor…There’s no reason he can’t address the allegations…We want to celebrate the city that we live in, and this doesn’t do any good for our reputation.”

Councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25, Don Valley West)

“If you’re being followed around and you don’t know you’re being followed and somebody is taking , how’s the mayor to know that he was lying?”

Councillor Frank Di Giorgio (Ward 12, York South-Weston)

“Toronto deserves a mayor who will put our city’s residents before himself. Mayor Ford should honestly answer questions or resign immediately.

I believe the Mr. Ford is entitled to, like any resident, fair and due process. However, the allegations about his conduct are so concerning that I believe the public also deserves an honest response about the facts and details of these allegations from our city’s mayor.”

Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22, St. Paul’s)

“I am disappointed in today’s revelations about Mayor Ford and saddened for the wonderful City of Toronto. It has been an ongoing distraction from the important work that Council is doing here at City Hall.”

Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32, Beaches-East York)

“…we have very robust procedures and laws for continuing to govern whatever course Mayor Ford takes. The business of the City will continue…elected office is an enormous privilege and a profound responsibility. Acting dishonestly and divisively is damaging to everyone in the City. I hope the Mayor keeps that in mind as he decides what to do next.”

Councillor Gord Perks (Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park)

“I think it’s very disappointing and he shouldn’t be hiding behind the defence ‘it’s before the courts.’”

Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby (Ward 4, Etobicoke Centre)

“The Mayor of Toronto has a profound credibility problem. He is going to have to face Torontonians, and Council. Our City deserves better.”

Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul’s)

“I think Chief Blair’s understated and simple words are perhaps the best response to today’s unprecedented revelations. It is a sad day at City Hall, a sad day for Toronto…As a city we must rise above the behaviour and the allegations that have now defined the Mayor and we must remember that Toronto remains a good city despite the deplorable conduct of the Mayor that has now been so clearly documented.”

Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina)

“Perhaps the mayor hasn’t really been telling us exactly what he has been doing…I believe the mayor has to act in the best interest of this City of Toronto and of the citizens and I’m leaving that up to Mr. Ford to decide what that is.”

Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 30, Toronto-Danforth)

“If these allegations are true, it will be a big disappointment to all those people who support the mayor’s agenda.”

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East)

“It’s time for the mayor to really think about the city and also his family and his personal issues. He should take some time away to reflect and to give some space to the city as well.”

Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18, Davenport)

“I’ve said all along it would be in his best interests to be clear and I still feel the same way. I guess now more than ever.”

Councillor John Parker (Ward 26, Don Valley West)

“In light of recent developments, I am looking forward to speaking with Mayor Ford, privately, and sharing my best advice with him.”

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly (Ward 40, Scarborough-Agincourt)

“It has an impact on the city, obviously…But the fact is it’s just one person and no one person can represent the city the way that all the citizens do.”

Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough-Centre)

“I, like many of you, am extremely concerned but not completely surprised at what we heard today from the unsealed court documents. I would like the Mayor to give a full and honest explanation to the residents of our city.”

Councillor Sarah Doucette (Ward 13, Parkdale-High Park)

“For some people, they might find comfort in the fact that council can kind of shoulder the load, and you do what you can. But in our system, you have to have a mayor, because there’s that important role. So that’s the dilemma.”

Councillor Josh Colle (Ward 15, Eglinton-Lawrence)

“I wish I could say that I’m surprised today.”

Councillor John Filion (Ward 23, Willowdale)

“Well, let’s see the video. The chief said there’s a video and I believe the chief. But again, when you’re the mayor, and people are taking tens of thousands of video shots of you and pictures, and if it happened a year ago, year and a half ago…do you remember the video that you took?”

Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North)

“He has to clear the air—he has to acknowledge that there’s a problem here…It’s very concerning the mayor of this city is under surveillance.”

Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10, York Centre)

“I can’t imagine the pressure that he is under…I don’t think I could withstand it.”

Councillor Peter Milczyn (Ward 5, Etobicoke-Lakeshore)


  • raindogxx

    Re: Di Giorgio–I just can’t take it. The stupid is overwhelming.

  • OgtheDim

    Doug’s comments are whacked. Rob is not guilty of lying about a video because he can’t remember a video being taken?!?!

    • dsmithhfx

      For a video he “can’t remember”, he certainly went to a lot of trouble to retrieve it, and that is now the crux of his legal difficulties.

    • Lee Zamparo

      It’s a Hail Mary. But it’s pretty audacious to suggest you can’t recall a video where you’re smoking crack in a private residence with your dealers. I even really tried to listen to the interview, and after 1:23 I just had to stop. It’s too painfully stupid. My sympathy goes out to all those in Etobicoke that are sick and tired of being represented by such a painfully stupid man.

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        ..and yet he’d get re-elected. The Fords are very popular in their area.

    • grinning dog

      I dunno. He might have a point. I don’t recall being in a video where I’m smoking crack cocaine. Of course, that might just be because I’ve never put myself in a position where I have to wonder if someone had the camera on while I made homophobic and sexist comments and was dragging on a crack pipe. Hard to say.

      • Lee Zamparo

        Homophobic and *racist* comments, allegedly.

  • Dogma

    So Ford’s lawyer is going to try to whittle this down to an argument about what might or might not have been in the pipe. If there is a straw that remains ungrasped at, Ford will find it.

  • HotDang

    The councillors should just not go to council until the mayor resigns.

    • Lee Zamparo

      That would result in their removal; the only way to remove a sitting councillor (short of a conviction for conflict of interest under the MCIA, amirite?) is for them to miss 3 consecutive meetings without just cause.

      • HotDang

        I believe that a council boycott could be orchestrated to shame the mayor into action. Council requires a majority of seats to be filled for quorum. IIRC a councillor can’t miss 90 consecutive days without losing their seat. So rotating in councillors so no one misses 90 days, while never having enough sit to have quorum would stop the mayor from having a vote in council. This wouldn’t remove his committee privileges, but it would send the right message to the mayor and to the public.

        No councillor can ethically provide the mayor a platform to continue doing his job in light of what he has done.

        • Lee Zamparo

          But at the cost of bringing all council business to a halt? I’m not sure this is right.

        • dsmithhfx

          IIRC, if they can’t get a quorum for 60 days, the province can dissolve council and call a municpal election.

          • Testu

            That’s basically the nuclear option though. There’s no way a bunch of sitting councillors are going to jeopardize their seats to make a point about Rob Ford.

          • HotDang

            But they should.

          • dsmithhfx

            The chances of Ford’s patsies being wiped out in the next election are improving by the hour.

        • blearghhh

          The last time this went around, someone brought up the idea that they could remove all resources from the Mayor’s office, including staff and office space. He could still pretend to be mayor, but he’d have to do it from the foyer with staff he paid for out of his own pocket…

  • dsmithhfx

    ““If you’re being followed around and you don’t know
    you’re being followed and somebody is taking [video], how’s the mayor to
    know that he was lying?”

    What? W. T. F. ?

  • dsmithhfx

    I want to hear a quote from this idiot scumbag.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Pathetic, Doug.

  • torontothegreat

    Careful what you wish for Doug Ford

  • Mark Dowling

    Nothing from my councillor (Fragedakis). Wondering how much it matters.

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    “The guy has a city full of gravy to eat,”

    So that’s why that weight loss thing a year or so ago didn’t work out. Too much gravy.

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    Well, at least Mammolitti hasn’t jumped ship yet…….

  • wip1968

    If Rob Ford isn’t willing to speak to the media or make any statements on his own, and with the vast majority of Toronto City Council wanting answers, including the mayor’s own executive, I wonder why the councillors do not convene a special session specifically to ask Ford to answer to Council. As Doug Ford says himself, the Mayor is one vote, so it should be Council’s right to demand answers fromone of their own. A special session is warranted and desired since asking Ford during a regular session gives him an out; he’ll simply say he will stick to the agenda. I thnk all Torontonians should contact their councillor and demand that such a special session be held. Council needs to ask Ford to explain the his presence within the TPS investigation, including the video(s). More specifically, Council should demand Ford account for the calls and out-of-office activities that TPS have documented, when Ford is clearly not working in the capacity of a mayor for the people of Toronto. Just as he has demanded that heads should roll for that city employee sleeping on the job, Council should demand an explanation and ask whether heads should roll for Ford not doing his job.