New video emerges of ranting Toronto mayor

November 8, 2013 | By | Reply More

Nov 08, – Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has apologised for a video of him making threats to commit “first-degree murder” against an unknown person. The leader of Canada’s biggest city told reporters he had been “extremely inebriated” in the clip, which shows him apparently blowing off steam.

hromedia New video emerges of ranting Toronto mayor intl. news2It is the latest video controversy to engulf the mayor, who admitted this week having smoked crack cocaine. Councillors are stepping up their calls for Mr Ford, 44, to resign.

‘Extremely embarrassing’

The latest footage looks as though it was secretly filmed on a mobile phone. obyn Doolittle, the Toronto Star reporter who has been on the story, told CNN the video appeared to have been shot over the summer, based on the context of some of the dialogue.

In the clip, an agitated Mr Ford paces a room gesticulating during a foul-mouthed rant.

The context of the clip is not clear, nor is the target of Mr Ford’s wrath. He vows to rip out the person’s throat, poke out his eyes and ensure his victim is dead.

The mayor appears upset at someone who has called him and his brothers “liars, thieves”.

“No hold barred, brother,” Mr Ford says in a raised voice. “He dies or I die.” An off-camera voice eggs on Mr Ford, saying: “Mike Tyson!”

After viewing the clip outside his office on Thursday, Mr Ford told reporters: “It’s extremely embarrassing and I don’t know what to say.” “I hope none of you have ever or will ever be in that state,” the mayor told members of the media.

“The whole world is going to see it,” he said of the clip.

Drink problem

Allegations of drug use by Mr Ford surfaced in May when journalists reported seeing footage of him smoking crack cocaine.  After months of ducking the question, Mr Ford acknowledged on Tuesday for the first time that he had taken the drug “probably a year ago” while in a “drunken stupor”.

He said he was “embarrassed” by his behaviour, but vowed to run for re-election.

The mayor has not been charged, but city police chief Bill Blair has said authorities are in possession of a video that apparently shows Mr Ford smoking crack.

On Sunday, Mr Ford admitted on his radio show that he had a drinking problem.

He acknowledged having been “hammered” at a street festival in August and “out of control” drunk at city hall during St Patrick’s Day celebrations last year.

On Thursday, Mr Ford’s mother and sister told a local television station he would not resign amid the scandal.

“These mistakes, they aren’t everyday mistakes,” Mr Ford’s sister Kathy said. “It isn’t like it has affected his work.” Asked whether she thought her brother was an alcoholic, she responded, “It depends on what you consider an alcoholic.”

Mr Ford’s mother Diane acknowledged her son’s behaviour was “not acceptable” as mayor, but said he had done good work for the city.

She said he had a “huge weight problem”, and said she had recommended to him he hire a driver and install an “alcohol detector” in his car. “You have to change, you have to show the public that you’ve changed,” she admonished her son. “There’s nothing that he can’t recover from, and he will recover.”

Mr Ford’s allies on the city council however say they have lost confidence in him. But officials in North America’s fourth largest city cannot legally remove the mayor unless he is convicted of a crime.

‘Extraordinary times’

City Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, a member of Mr Ford’s executive committee, said on Thursday he would amend a motion he has filed for the city leader to take leave of absence.  The measure would ask Ontario province to pass an unprecedented law to remove the mayor from office.

“Quite frankly extraordinary measures are needed in extraordinary times,” Councillor Minnan-Wong said.

“This situation is deteriorating, it’s not going away.”  Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who is a Ford family friend, appeared emotional when asked on Thursday about the scandal.

“At the end of the day he [Mr Ford] has to make his own decision about what he ought to do,” said Mr Flaherty.  “Certainly his family is helping him and wishing him well. That’s all I can say.”

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has expressed concern about Mr Ford’s personal issues, but she stopped short of calling on him to stand aside.

Press journalist for HRO media – Debi Campillos contributed to this report.

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Category: International

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