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politics

Slurring Rob Ford in New Video

Mayor speaks in what appears to be Jamaican patois in video filmed Monday.

A new video featuring a seemingly intoxicated Rob Ford was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday. The mayor, who earlier claimed to have quit drinking, confirmed he had “a little bit” to drink last night. An Instagram photo, since removed from the site, places the mayor’s visit before 10:00 last night.

The mayor did not show up to City Hall today until 2:15 p.m., long after the 12:30–1 p.m. estimate his staff provided reporters. This incident follows released emails from former mayoral staffers, showing an office that doesn’t know where the mayor is for days, tracks his whereabouts via social media, and warns one another when he enters the office around noon.

For his part, the mayor defended his actions, saying, “What I do in my personal life with my personal friends, that’s up to me…it’s my own time.”

The video, which is just over one minute long, appears to be surreptitiously shot on a cell phone. Slurring his words, the mayor speaks in what appears to be Jamaican patois, including using the word “bumbaclot,” a substitute for the word “fuck.” The video doesn’t run for long enough to show the context—we don’t know what might have led up to his actions. Ford has an alleged history of using racist language while intoxicated. Former staff members told police that Ford directed racial epithets towards a Pakistani cab driver on St. Patrick’s Day in 2012, and the Toronto Star reports that in the infamous crack video Ford refers to his football players as “fucking minorities.”

Near the end of the video, a young man tells Ford he is doing a great job and “deserves to be even better than Prime Minister Harper.” Ford then calls himself a “straight-up guy” and touts his outreach to marginalized communities, “Who goes to THC? Who goes to Jamestown, Jane and Finch, Malvern, all them (unclear)?”

Before the mayor made his admission late this afternoon, Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North), who is also serving as his brother’s campaign manager, claimed that the video could not have been from yesterday because the mayor is “much thinner now” and he was speaking with him at 10:30 p.m. last night. He also claimed his brother was focused on healthy living, arguing the mayor had turned the corner from the events of six months ago.

Ford addressed the media regarding the video at 4:40 today. Below is a transcript of the exchange:

Journalist: Mayor Ford, when was that video from?
Journalist: Were you drinking last night?

Ford: Yes, I was.

Journalist: You were drinking last night?

Ford: A little bit, yeah.

Journalist: Do you think that was offensive to people?

Ford: No, this wasn’t offensive. What I do in my personal life with my personal friends, that’s up to me.

Journalist (in background): Mr. Ford, you said stuff about the police chief–

Ford: –It has nothing to do with, it has nothing to do with you guys. It’s my own time, it’s with my own friends.

Journalist: Did you use drugs last night?

Ford: No, no.

Journalist: Have you installed a breathalyzer?
Journalist: Were you driving last night?
Journalist: How did you get there?

Ford: No, no, no, no.

Journalist: Mayor Ford, you said you quit drinking on November 1.
Journalist: When did you start drinking again, Mr. Mayor?
Journalist: Can you comment about the police chief?
Journalist: Did you ever stop drinking?
Journalist: How did you get there?
Journalist: Don’t you need help, Mayor Ford?

Ford: I answered all the questions.

Journalist: No, you didn’t!

Ford: Yes I did.
Journalist: That’s not true at all.

Ford: I’m telling you I was there. I met some friends. If I speak that way, that’s how I speak with some of my friends. I don’t think it’s discriminative at all.

Journalist: Did you lie when you said you stopped drinking?

Ford: Anything else?

Journalist: Did you lie? Did you lie when you said you stopped drinking?

Ford: That’s my own time.

Journalist: When did you start drinking again, Mayor Ford?
Journalist: Who drove you? Who drove you?

Ford: That’s it.

UPDATE 7:25 PM: A second video has surfaced on YouTube which appears to be from last night. In it Ford is seen only twice, for a few moments each; he appears to be meeting with his friend and sometimes driver, Sandro Lisi, who currently faces extortion charges in connection with alleged attempts to obtain the crack video.

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