No word from Rob Ford during first weekend of radio silence

Mayor Rob Ford stayed silent over the weekend, following an astonishing series of days at city hall in which he admitted to having smoked crack cocaine and embarrassment over the disclosure of a bizarre video.
Mayor Rob Ford is followed by a trail of reporters after he received his flu shot in Toronto on Friday. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

The weekend passed without comment from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who until recently would normally have spent two hours of his Sunday talking local politics, sports and other issues with his brother on their weekly talk-radio program.

But with the radio show now cancelled, there was no scheduled opportunity for Ford to further address the astonishing events of the past 10 days.

Last week, Toronto police Chief Bill Blair revealed that investigators had obtained a copy of a video which he said was consistent with media reports. The revelation came nearly six months after the Toronto Star and the U.S. gossip website Gawker reported someone had been trying to sell a video that allegedly showed the mayor using crack cocaine.

Ford denied the video’s existence and denied using crack cocaine for several months.

But in the days that followed Blair's Oct. 31 news conference, Ford apologized for "mistakes," some of which were alcohol-related, called for the release of the video he previously denied existed and publicly admitted to having smoked crack cocaine.

Over that same period, a separate bizarre video of the mayor ranting and swearing was released. Ford said he was "extremely, extremely inebriated" when it was recorded and that he was embarrassed. The revelation came just two days after the mayor said he had "nothing left to hide."

Ford has rejected suggestions he take a leave of absence, even though a large number of councillors — including some of his closest allies — say he needs to take an immediate break from city hall.

Yet Ford appears set to forge ahead with a scheduled appearance on Remembrance Day as he carries on with his regular duties as chief magistrate despite the ongoing controversy.

Move to strip mayor of selected powers

Coun. John Filion has tabled a motion that calls on council to suspend normal rules that give the mayor the power to hire and fire the deputy mayor, as well as the city’s standing committee chairs.

The councillor told CBC News Network on Sunday that he believes the motion is council’s only option "to restrict the powers of the mayor and to try to take control of a situation that is clearly spiralling out of control."

Filion said it is not clear when the vote on his motion will take place, but it could be in the next few days.

"It may come to a vote in the next week or so, or it could be not until next month," said Filion, noting his motion has been tabled.

"It really depends on whether council wants to call a special meeting to deal with it."

Ford, a 44-year-old father of two, was elected as the mayor of Toronto three years ago after serving as a city councillor for a decade.

Just over a year into his mandate, Ford faced a conflict-of-interest challenge that nearly forced him from office. However, the mayor won an appeal that reversed a judge’s order to remove him.

Ford also faced a defamation lawsuit that was eventually dismissed in court.