Rob Ford will take a leave of absence from his re-election campaign to seek help for substance abuse, his lawyer said Wednesday as new media reports involving drugs and alcohol emerged. Ford will nonetheless remain on the ballot for the Oct. 27 mayoral election and has refused to step down despite the controversy.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford released the following statement late Wednesday night following news that he would take a leave of absence to address substance abuse issues.
For Immediate Release
April 30th, 2014
Tonight I want to take some time to speak from my heart to the people of Toronto. It’s not easy to be vulnerable and this is one of the most difficult times in my life. I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time.
Today, after taking some time to think about my own well-being, how to best serve the people of Toronto and what is in the best interests of my family, I have decided to take a leave from campaigning and from my duties as Mayor to seek immediate help.
I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. I know that I need professional help and I am now 100% committed to getting myself right.
I love the people of Toronto, I love being your mayor and I hope you will continue to stand by me.
With the support of my family, friends, professionals and the people of Toronto, I will conquer this.
Please keep me and my family in your prayers during these difficult days ahead.
I just want to say to the people of Toronto that I thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate it.
Mayor Rob Ford
A second video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking what has been described as crack cocaine was secretly filmed in his sister’s basement early Saturday morning.
The clip, which was viewed by two Globe and Mail reporters, shows Mr. Ford taking a drag from a long copper-coloured pipe, exhaling a cloud of smoke and then frantically shaking his right hand. The footage is part of a package of three videos that a drug dealer says he surreptitiously shot around 1:15 a.m., and which he says he is now selling for “at least six figures.”
Here is a still from the video:
In an audio tape released yesterday by The Toronto Sun, someone reported to be Ford is heard making comments about Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak, his mayoral rivals Olivia Chow and Karen Stintz, and how he is “sick of politics.”
The audio was recorded surreptitiously at an Etobicoke bar Monday night:
Derringer talks about addictions and Rob Ford`s move to go into rehab: