Rob Ford again 'proves that he's unfit,' John Tory says

John Tory says that Mayor Rob Ford is not making himself truly accountable for the things he's said and done, which is one of many reasons he’s not fit to hold office.

Chow, Tory react to Ford interview

7 years ago
Olivia Chow and John Tory react to the interview Rob Ford gave to CBC News today. 12:29

John Tory says that Mayor Rob Ford is not making himself truly accountable for the things he's said and done, which is one of many reasons he’s not fit to hold office.

Today, Ford sat down for a one-on-one interview with the CBC's Dwight Drummond, in which he faced direct questions about his drug- and alcohol-use, his past behaviours and about the photo published within hours of his trip to rehab — that he confirmed indeed showed him holding a crack pipe.

CBC viewers can click here to watch the video of the interview.

In the interview on Wednesday afternoon, Ford admitted to drinking on the job and to having struggled with addiction for years.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was back at work on Wednesday, a day in which he granted interviews to some media organizations, including the CBC. (CBC)

"I was in denial, I convinced myself I didn't have a problem," Ford told CBC News.

Ford said he "hurt a lot of people…lying, conniving, hiding to cover up for this problem."

The mayor's interview was one of a handful he did with selected media outlets on Wednesday, including the CBC.

Tory, who hopes to win this fall's mayoral election, said Ford wasn't fully answering the questions being put to him, which he said doesn't cut it for the person serving as the mayor of Toronto.

"There were plenty of reasons he should have resigned himself before because he had rendered himself unfit to hold that office and be a role model and be a leader," Tory said.

"But I'm saying now he keeps adding to it by not answering questions. He just proves that he's unfit to hold this office, now, again on another basis by refusing to answer questions which is an integral part of governing."

The CBC's Dwight Drummond spoke to Mayor Rob Ford on Wednesday, asking the city's chief magistrate questions about the drug and alcohol use that led him to rehab. (Dave Seglins/CBC)

Olivia Chow, a fellow mayoral contender, had a similar view when she spoke to CBC News after the mayor’s interview on Wednesday.

"He hasn’t been a good mayor, even when he's clean and sober," she said.

Chow said she agrees with Tory and others that Ford should not be the city’s mayor at this point, but with no way to force him to go, voters should make that decision for him.

'Beneath what I would have expected'

In the interview with CBC News, Ford talked about the challenges he will face in staying sober.

"It's not just an addiction. Some people can drink, some people can casually use drugs. I have a disease, I have a chronic disease," he said.

Likening it to the hair on his head, Ford added: "I was born with blond hair, I'm going to die with blond hair. I was born with this disease, I’m going to die with this disease."

Several councillors suggested that any disease is only part of Ford's problems.

"To put the whole thing down to a quote 'disease' is beneath what I would have expected from Rob Ford, beneath what I would have expected from the mayor of the City of Toronto," said Coun. John Parker.

Coun. Shelley Carroll said that councillors want to talk about the problems facing the city, not the personal challenges of the mayor.

"To focus on the disease is good in terms of understanding for his own self that he needs to deal with this for the rest of his life, but for the city, it doesn’t speak to our leadership problems," she said.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, seen delivering a statement on Monday, sat for a one-on-one interview with the CBC's Dwight Drummond on Wednesday. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

Prior to Monday, Ford had spent two months at GreeneStone, an addiction treatment facility located in Ontario's Muskoka region. Upon his return to city hall two days ago, Ford read a statement to some members of the media about his time in rehab, but did not take questions until today.

The past year has been full of controversy for Ford.

In May of last year, reports emerged that someone had been shopping a video that allegedly showed the mayor smoking crack cocaine. For months, Ford denied the reports and also the existence of the video.

Nearly six months later, he would admit to having smoked crack cocaine, but only after police revealed they had obtained a copy of a video file that was consistent with what the media had reported.

Mayor Rob Ford returned to Toronto City Hall on Monday, following a two-month stint in rehab. The image above was captured as he left work that day. He gave his first interviews on Wednesday. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

The story of his drug use was widely covered by media in Toronto, the rest of the country, south of the border and around the world. Ford was mocked by many high-profile, late-night comedians and was spoofed more than once on Saturday Night Live.

Through it all, Ford ignored calls to step down. He publicly swore off alcohol and found himself making various apologies as other videos popped up showing the mayor acting strangely.

However, at the end of April, he announced he would seek help for substance abuse. That came within hours of The Globe and Mail and the U.S. gossip website publishing a photo of Ford holding a crack pipe.

In his interview with CBC News today, Ford confirmed that image showed him holding a crack pipe.

"I was smoking crack," Ford said.

Ford, who turned 45 while in rehab, is seeking a second term as mayor this fall. He is up against dozens of candidates in the Oct. 27 election, including Chow and Tory.

With files from the CBC's Jamie Strashin