Rob Ford heard swearing, slurring speech in new video
A new video has emerged of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford that reportedly shows him slurring his words and swearing, though the city’s chief magistrate is not confirming if he had been drinking on the night it was recorded.
CTV News broadcast a video on Sunday evening, which showed Ford interacting with people, including a woman who asked him if he would pose for a photo.
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The video was recorded outside Toronto City Hall on Saturday night, CTV reported.
CTV did not explicitly identify the person who recorded the video, though the network reported that a woman from Mississauga had noticed the mayor out and about near city hall — and her teenage son shot the video on his iPod.
Shortly after requesting a photo with the mayor, the woman reportedly observed him slurring his words and swearing — though the video shown on CTV bleeped out the exact words that he said. Some people can be heard laughing in the recording.
When the mayor was walking in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday, he was asked by a CBC News reporter if he was drinking last night.
"Guys, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, alright? It’s about St. Patrick’s Day," said Ford, who was wearing an oversized shiny-green bow tie and a shamrock necklace.
"Were you drinking last night?" he asked the reporter.
Ford did not respond to additional questions from CBC News as to whether or not he was drinking on Saturday night.
As word leaked out Sunday afternoon that the new video of the mayor had emerged, many Twitter users chimed in that such news was no surprise.
"Dear Rob Ford: You’re a fan of St. Patrick’s Day. What a shocker," tweeted Lisa Whittington-Hill.
Another Twitter user, Joshua Humewood, simply tweeted a question: "AGAIN?!"
Ford engaged in behaviour on a previous St. Patrick’s Day that drew the attention of security staff at Toronto City Hall.
On March 17, 2012, Ford was at city hall with some of his staff members, before going out and returning to the building hours later.
Upon his return, Ford came to the security desk "with a half-empty bottle of St-Remy French Brandy," according to an email that security staff wrote that night.
The details of this incident were contained in an email that CBC News obtained last year.
For the past year, Ford has faced continual questions about his drinking and use of other substances.
In May of last year, reports emerged that someone had been shopping a video of Ford smoking crack cocaine.
Ford long denied both using crack cocaine and the video’s existence, until police revealed at the end of October they had obtained a copy of the so-called crack tape.
Within days, Ford admitted that he had indeed smoked crack cocaine. He also admitted to a number of other behaviours, including drinking to excess and to getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.
In November, the mayor subsequently claimed to have had a "come to Jesus" moment and said that he had stopped drinking.
But Ford has acknowledged drinking since that time, after a bizarre video came to light in January that showed the mayor speaking in a Jamaican patois at an Etobicoke restaurant.
The story of the mayor, his crack admission and the related fallout has made Ford’s name known to people around the world. He has been mocked by high profile, late-night comedians and faced intensive criticism from the press and his colleagues on council.
Ford, 44, is in the midst of a re-election campaign, in which he is up against more than two dozen candidates.
Former Ontario PC leader John Tory, former Trinity-Spadina MP and councillor Olivia Chow, former city councillor David Soknacki and Coun. Karen Stintz are among the candidates seeking the mayor’s job.
The Oct. 27 election is still more than seven months away, but Ford has predicted the campaign will be "a bloodbath."