A mysterious pro-Rob Ford billboard apparently set up by members of "Ford Nation" is being investigated by the City of Toronto for the unauthorized use of the municipality's logo.
The advertisement was spotted on Friday in a west-end neighbourhood in Etobicoke, the heart of the embattled mayor's support base. The billboard is located on Queen Elizabeth Boulevard, but has since been replaced with an ad for a cheese company.
The original ad bearing the city's logo included the phrase "We Support Mayor Ford" in red typeface, with a message below reading "Ford = Fiscal Responsiblity" in blue. The ad's typo for the word "responsibility" has spurred ridicule online.
The billboard also cites a Bible verse from John 8:7: "Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone," a phrase that makes apparent reference to anti-Ford protesters demanding that the mayor resign amid revelations about his crack-cocaine use, public intoxication and a bizarre, rage-filled video in which the admittedly "inebriated" mayor says he's going "to kill" someone.
We are aware of the billboard at Gardiner and Islington and are addressing the unauthorized use of the Toronto logo— City of Toronto (@TorontoComms) November 9, 2013
Through it all, Ford has declined to step down. His staunchest political allies have also encouraged him to either step down or at take a temporary leave of absence.
Ford's brother, Coun. Doug Ford, has said that the mayor is considering taking one or two weeks off before resuming work.
Doug Ford speaks to radio station
The councillor spoke with local radio station AM640 on Saturday, affirming his belief in his brother's ability to run the city in his current condition.
"[The mayor will] address a couple challenges he has and we've gotta move forward and continue working hard for the taxpayers, and I really do believe that Rob can still move the city forward. I honestly believe that," he told the station.
The councillor's radio interview came a day after CBC's the fifth estate aired a report interviewing the broker who came forward as the man who helped bring a video of the mayor to the media's attention. Mohamed Farah set up the meeting between two Toronto Star reporters and a man selling that video, which shows Ford smoking what's alleged to be crack cocaine.
The broker told the fifth estate's Gillian Findlay that individuals offered a "suitcase of money" to people in the Dixon neighbourhood for a copy of the video.
On Saturday, the mayor's brother told AM640 he was ignoring all media reports, but called the CBC report "far-fetched."
"I can't make a comment on those allegations. I think they're way far-fetched," he said. "But that's just my opinion on what you've told me today."