The mayor reaffirmed his commitment to sticking out the remainder of his term, and running again in 2014.
At a press conference in his office that began around 4:20 this afternoon, Mayor Rob Ford made his first formal announcement since admitting, earlier today, to having used crack. It seemed possible that he’d declare a leave of absence or tender his resignation, but instead he reaffirmed his commitment to remaining in office until voters can decide his fate in the 2014 mayoral election.
Ford, who opened his six-minute-long speech by saying that his admission had left him feeling like “a thousand pounds had been lifted off my shoulders,” didn’t look relieved. His voice trembling at times, he apologized repeatedly and then reiterated what he has already said several times since Toronto police confirmed that they had in their possession a video that shows him smoking crack: “the past is the past, and we must move forward.”
He also said, “I have nothing left to hide.” And then he left without addressing any questions from reporters.
The full text of his remarks is below.
With today’s announcement, I know I embarrassed everyone in this city, and I will be forever sorry.
There is only one person to blame for this, and that is myself. I know that admitting my mistake was the right thing to do, and I feel like a thousand pounds have been lifted off my shoulders.
I can’t explain how difficult this was to do. I hope—I hope that nobody, but nobody, has to go through what I have gone through.
I know what I did was wrong, and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do.
Folks, I have nothing left to hide.
I would do anything, absolutely anything, to change the past. But the past is the past, and we must move forward.
I want to be clear. I want to be crystal clear to every single person. These mistakes will never, ever, ever happen again.
I kept this from my family, especially my brother Doug, my staff, my council colleagues, because I was embarrassed and ashamed.
To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down. And I can’t do anything else but apologize. I apologize. And I’m so sorry.
I know—I know I have to regain your trust and your confidence. I love my job. I love my job, and I love this city, and I love saving taxpayers money, and I love being your mayor.
There is important work that we must advance, and important decisions that must be made. For the sake of the taxpayers of this great city—for the sake of the taxpayers—we must get back to work immediately. We must keep Toronto moving forward.
I was elected to do a job, and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue doing.
In 2010, I made a commitment to Toronto voters. I have delivered on that commitment, and I will continue to deliver on that commitment of saving taxpayers money. But they have a choice. We live in a democracy. And on October 27 of 2014 I want the people of this great city to decide whether they want Rob Ford to be their mayor.
Again, I sincerely, sincerely, sincerely apologize. God bless the people of Toronto.
Thank you very much.
And here’s a video of the press conference from Global News: