Rob Ford faces more calls to address crack allegations
Mayor talks at casino debate, but not about videotape allegations
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford went back to work after a holiday weekend, but he wasn't talking about an alleged video that two published reports say shows him smoking what appears to be a crack pipe.
Although the mayor spoke in council chambers on Tuesday, delivering his most lengthy public speech since the allegations arose last week, his remarks had nothing to do with his reaction to the purported video.
Ford spoke during a council debate on a casino, which led to a vote in which council rejected the building of a casino in the city's downtown area.
Councillors have urged Ford to address the substance abuse allegations head on after he briefly dismissed them on Friday as "ridiculous."
City councillors Mike Del Grande and Peter Milczyn joined a growing chorus of councillors Tuesday in urging that Ford clear up the allegations unequivocally, and soon.
"They're disturbing, they're sad, they need to be responded to one way or another," Del Grande said of the allegations.
'Come out and respond to it directly'
In an interview with CBC's Metro Morning, Milczyn also called on the mayor to deal with the matter so that the city can shift its focus back to municipal business.
"He needs to come out and respond to it directly, address the people of Toronto and give his version of the story. Either he's adamant that it's untrue or he has another explanation," he said.
Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti said that if he were the mayor, he would be trying to get a hold of the alleged tape.
"I think he should be asking for the video," Mammoliti said Tuesday, following the casino vote.
"If somebody's got a video out there, I think the mayor should be saying: 'Hey, where's the video? If you've got something, then show it.'"
With vote over, time to 'come clean'
Coun. Paula Fletcher said that with the casino debate now over, it is time for the mayor to provide a more substantive comment about the video allegations.
"He should come clean on this and we can wait and hear what is going to happen from that," Fletcher said.
Meanwhile, the purported video allegedly viewed by two Toronto Star reporters and the U.S. gossip website Gawker continues to be the talk of city hall.
According to the Toronto Star and Gawker reports, a video being shopped around shows a man they believe to be the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.
"The allegations are ridiculous. It's another story with respect to the Toronto Star going after me and that's all," Ford said to reporters on Friday.
CBC News has not seen the video and has not been able to validate any of the claims being made.
Gawker has been trying to collect funds through online donations in a bid to buy the video from someone in Toronto who has offered to sell it.
Ford was elected mayor in the fall of 2010. He turns 44 later this month.