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Rob Ford Apologizes to Daniel Dale

The mayor issued an apology to Daniel Dale at today's council meeting.

In the middle of a debate on water, Rob Ford issued an apology to reporter Daniel Dale from the council floor. Dale recently served Rob Ford and Vision TV with libel notice over comments Ford made during an interview with Conrad Black suggesting Daniel Dale might be a pedophile. “I have no issue with Mr. Dale personally,” Ford said. “I understand that he is an employee in the very competitive news business, and must do as his superiors instruct him.” “I do take issue with his bosses at the Toronto Star to put him and I into this situation,” he added, before turning to the matter of the insinuations:

“I do not mean to insinuate anything about Mr. Dale personally in my interview with Mr. Black. I certainly did not intend to suggest that he is a pedophile. I was merely commenting on the thoughts that went through my mind on the night of May 2012—before I had any idea that person my neighbour told me he saw peering over my fence was a reporter on assignment from the Toronto Star.”

Ford then managed to work in another reference to the media’s supposed complicity, before making a direct apology to Dale: “It is unfortunate that the word I did not say has been ascribed to me by the media, but I wish to sincerely apologize again to Mr. Dale if my actual words have caused him any harm or personal offence. And if Mr. Daniel Dale is here, I want to personally apologize to him.” No word yet on how or if this will affect Dale’s planned libel action.


  • dsmithhfx

    Doh! The Toronto Star made him do it!

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    You got yourself into this situation by mugging Dale in a public park, Robbie; the Star didn’t force this on you.

    • dsmithhfx

      The neighbor made him do it!

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        The neighbour must resign!

  • torontothegreat

    So in previous interviews, he says he saw Dale peering over the fence and had video proof. Now he says he personally didn’t see him.


  • vampchick21

    when is an apology not really an apology? When it comes out of Rob Ford’s mouth. Seriously though, can this man just simply apologize without all the damn baggage?

    • HotDang

      No one believes the Rob Ford myth more than Rob Ford himself. He thinks he can’t do wrong, so he can’t admit to any wrongdoing.

    • CaligulaJones

      What if he’s super, super, super, SUPER, sorry?

      • vampchick21

        Not enough supers, sorry.

  • Uno Raamat

    We have a sorry mayor.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      Yes, we do, and we are very sorry.

  • Dimetre Alexiou

    I think Dale should drop the suit now, because I don’t think he’ll win it. As far as I know, implications or insinuations are not grounds for libel or slander. I think he should take this apology as a victory and run with it.

    • dsmithhfx

      I think Dale should leave him twisting in the wind…

      • Dimetre Alexiou

        I really don’t think a judge will find in Dale’s favour, so it will be yet another victory for Ford which will only serve to legitimize Ford Nation inside their own heads. So I think Dale should just drop the suit now. As much as people like to watch Ford twisting in the wind, if he wins in the end, it serves no good.

        • Robert Bird

          If Ford (or his lawyers) agreed with you Ford would never have made this pseudo-apology.

        • torontothegreat

          Not if you base your decision on the U.S. Judicial system. In Canada, this is a slam dunk for Dale.

        • Lee Zamparo

          Well, if you really don’t think a judge will find in Dale’s favour, check out the top three posts by a lawyer who argues why Ford is in trouble: They might change your mind.

          • Dimetre Alexiou

            That was actually interesting and helpful. Dale may indeed have a case. Still, a judge has to remain objective, and it’s still a balancing act between protecting Dale’s reputation and Ford’s freedom of expression. But it looks like Ford will have a harder time than I previously thought.

    • Torontopoly
      • Dimetre Alexiou

        I didn’t read all of it, but it seems that it’s a balancing act between protecting the reputation of the complainant and the freedom of expression of the defendant. I really don’t see the judge, if he looks objectively at what happened in the interview, wanting to set a precedent and override Ford’s freedom of expression, because, while it’s likely that he was inferring that Dale was a pedophile, you can’t prove it. Conrad Black, in an interview with Carol Off, said that he didn’t get that inference. (I know Black is a bad example.) I think a judge would be reluctant to set such a precedent. And even if he did rule in Dale’s favour, Ford would certainly appeal. Dale should just accept the apology (such as it is) and just drop the suit now.

        • torontothegreat

          We don’t have “freedom of expression” in Canada. You should read up on Canadian law, I have no idea why you guys are discussing a DIFFERENT COUNTRY’S LAWS?

          • Stephanie

            Yes we do. Charter of Rights and Freedoms 2 (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication. That said, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to use US libel law to evaluate an Ontario case.

          • torontothegreat

            Yes, you are correct.

            I was replying to “protecting the reputation of the complainant and the freedom of expression of the defendant.” – to which the Canadian Chart of Rights and Freedoms does not side with the American read of that same principle on many levels. In fact the two are dealt with in almost exactly opposite ways.

            The 2 above are talking about the 1st amendment’s read of “expression”.

        • Robert Bird

          There is no requirement for everyone to believe the implication either. Suppose one out of ten believed Ford’s insinuation was pedophile. Suppose only one out of ten of those believers believed the insinuation was true. So one out of a hundred people believe Dale is a pedophile. Assume a million people saw the interview or its excerpts. That would lead to 10,000 people actively believing Dale was a pedophile based entirely on Ford’s lie-based insinuations. Personally, I would find that sickening if it was me.

          Another way of looking at it is to say that Ford’s hard-core supporters constitute 15 – 20% of the voters in Toronto. Most of them seem to believe everything he says even after being confronted with evidence to the contrary (or even a Ford confession). If a fifth of them believe his insinuations that is still a lot of people who would now believe Dale to be a pedophile.

          Worse, the people who believe the insinuations will still believe them after this “apology.” They will rightfully believe that this apology is not heart-felt and ignore it. So the damage Ford did still exists.

        • Lee Zamparo

          Thankfully, no one who is concerned with laws or judgement cares what Conrad Black thinks. I’m not sure anyone cares what Conrad Black thinks.

      • torontothegreat

        Similar? To what? Canadian defamation / libel laws are extremely different to that of our southern neighbours.

        • Torontopoly

          Sorry there sourpuss. I never claimed to be an expert just wanted to share some information I found.

          • torontothegreat

            I’m not sure who “Sorry” is or where “sourpuss” is.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            Here’s a recipe for banana bread. It has nothing to do with this defamation suit, but I just wanted to share it with you.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Innuendo meets the requirements of defamation in Canadian law.

    • ByronK

      Implications and insinuations are grounds for both libel and slander. Ford was asked directly by the press what the “word” was and whether it was pedophile and he refused to answer. Even after the initial media storm following the Black interview, he continued to lie about Dale’s actions and confirmed that he stood behind everything he had said. Ford’s speech today was not an apology, it was Ford trying to avoid being sued while not taking any responsibility for his actions. It was also late. He should not be allowed to get off the hook yet again with a “gosh, I’m sorry”. With no response from Vision or Zoomer, I predict the suit will proceed and I hope Ford gets roasted.

    • markfrancis228

      Implied meanings are very much actionable, whether meant or not by the speaker. Very well established law in Canada repeatedly supported by the Supreme Court of Canada. The law cares not about what Rob Ford says he meant. Libel law cares about what a reasonable person would think upon first glance about words broadcast or published.

    • rich1299

      Insinuations are grounds for libel/slander.

      It goes beyond that “interview” with Black, Ford has been making a point of keeping his accusations about Dale in his talking points about media persecution. I think if I were Dale I’d wait to see if Ford’s talking points about him change.

      Its still the case that whenever someone might google Dale’s name they will still find Ford’s insinuation that he’s a pedophile and that can’t be undone. He’s still a young journalist and it will still harm his reputation years from now when this is hopefully a distant memory. I’m not sure anything could change that.

  • bud latanville

    You’re named in a suit for libel, I think it’s safe to say that your words HAVE caused him offence, and possible harm to his reputation. There’s no apology here when you hedge with words like “If,” Rob…

  • Ian Tuck
  • Astin44

    None of the quotes I’ve seen do justice to the nonpology. He says something along the lines of “my neighbour told me” at least 3 times. He stammers and dodges and excuses the entire time. All while reading the statement off a piece of paper. It was pathetic.

    And of course, now when confronted later on, he’ll say “I apologized. I didn’t mean to offend Mr. Dale. I never said the word I’m being accused of insinuating! It’s in the past, and I apologized, What more can I do? This is just another liberal media witch hunt.”

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      For Rob Ford, Life is a liberal media witch hunt.

  • Dinah Might

    “It is unfortunate that the word I did not say has been ascribed to me by the media.”

    If the word ascribed to you is different than the word you meant, then you shouldn’t be referring to “the” word… meaning there’s only one word in total, and what you meant and what we ascribed are the same word.

    “It is unfortunate that the media inferred a word from my statement that I did not mean.” See the difference?

    And really, Rob, what DID you mean with “I don’t want to say the word, but…”? Communist? Leftie? Shortstop? Botanist? What other word could possibly follow “I think this guy has an unhealthy interest in children”?

  • dsmithhfx

    Interesting that he thinks a sniveling, whiny statement in which he casts blame everywhere but on himself, made at the end of an unrelated Council discussion will somehow undo the damage of the fairly unequivocal remarks he made on a nationally-distributed cable channel, and repeated days afterwards to reporters.


    Now that he has apologized, maybe the police should consider laying a charge of Public Mischief against Rob Ford for causing them to enter into an investigation of an accusation he knew to be false.

    • dsmithhfx

      There’s also the assault, and robbery with violence charges.

  • candolf

    That was NOT an apology. And, it was 2 days too late.

    • Dave

      I can’t wait to hear Dale’s response. And if it’s late, whether or not the apology is satisfactory (it isn’t), doesn’t that in itself mean Ford failed to meet the conditions set out in the notice served last week?

  • Dave

    Classic disgraced politician’s non-apology. “I didn’t actually say it. But if Mr. Dale feels bad about the word I never said – even though I never said it – then I’m sorry he feels that way.”

  • The Man With No Name

    Rob Ford didn’t apologize. It was just another attack in which he used the A word.

  • Robert Bird

    “I do not believe that Mr. Dale is a pedophile.”
    True – Ford doesn’t believe Dale is a pedophile – he’s just smearing him.

    “I do not mean to insinuate anything about Mr. Dale personally…”

    “I have little kids. When a guy’s taking pictures of little kids, I don’t
    want to say the word, but you start thinking, you know, what’s this guy
    all about?”

    Clearly Mr. Ford did want to insinuate something about Mr. Dale personally. The only question is what is the word he didn’t want to say. I thought it was pedophile. Conrad Black suggested “Peeping Tom” and agreed possibly to “pervert” when prompted by Carol Off. Neither of those is better considering the target of the implied perversion or peeping is children, leading inevitably back to pedophile.

    So, Mayor Ford, what word were you thinking of? Take your time to come up with something. Keep in mind that it has to carry enough negative connotations that you were afraid for your family, your kids. So you can’t say you were thinking he’d do well as a family photographer at Walmart’s or something like that.

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    From Daniel Dale’s twitter feed:

    I asked Mayor Ford to 1) retract all of his false claims about my conduct and 2) issue an unreserved, abject, complete apology.His statement today didn’t come close. I’m proceeding with a defamation lawsuit.

    So, Robby will have to do better than this if he doesn’t want to spend some time in court when the Mayoral election is in full swing.

    • Robert Bird

      Thanks for posting that. Glad to hear Dale isn’t accepting Ford’s “I neither said nor implied anything wrong” apology.

  • Mark_Cidade
  • DMTO

    Although not quoted in this article Ford did say in his apology that he did not personally see Mr. Dale peeking over his fence or did he see him taking any pictures. He does state this is what was told to him by his neighbour and that is what prompted him to confront Mr. Dale – although at the time he did not know it was Mr. Dale.

    • torontothegreat

      A) That’s not what he’s apologizing for
      B) Ford has already stated: “My neighbour saw him, I saw him”

      The only thing that misstep will do for Ford, is further show the courts the intention of harm toward Mr. Dale.

  • 4ChanApologist

    Don’t people generally use words like “sorry” or “remorse” or “responsibility” when they apologize? Seems like this is just Rob saying once again that it wasn’t his fault and everyone is just out to get him.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      Those aren’t words in the Ford dictionary.

  • dsmithhfx

    A second, written apology was issued by Ford (apparently drafted by his lawyer), and Dale accepted it, so that’s that.