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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)

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