cbc.ca (© Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.html#Rss)
Updated: Sun, 03 Nov 2013 14:53:13 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Mayor Rob Ford calls on police to release alleged drug video



During his weekly radio show, Mayor Rob Ford called on Toronto police Chief Bill Blair to release the video that investigators obtained during a series of raids. Newstalk 1010

During his weekly radio show, Mayor Rob Ford called on Toronto police Chief Bill Blair to release the video that investigators obtained during a series of raids. Newstalk 1010

Mayor Rob Ford is apologizing to Torontonians for "mistakes" he has made, but says he will not be leaving office, despite the fact that police have recovered a controversial video that allegedly shows the city’s chief magistrate using crack cocaine.

Speaking on his weekly radio show on Sunday afternoon, Ford called on the city’s police chief to release the controversial video that investigators obtained during a series of raids earlier this year.

"I’ve been thinking for a long time of what I’m going to say today," Ford said on Newstalk 1010.

"And first of all, I believe that this video, I want the police chief, Bill Blair, to release this video for every single person in this city to see. That is the right thing to do and chief, I am asking you to release this video now."

The mayor said the video should be released, so that "whatever this video shows… people need to judge for themselves what they see on this video."

His remarks came just three days after Blair confirmed in a news conference that investigators retrieved a video from a seized hard drive that features the mayor. Blair said the video was "consistent" with descriptions of the mayor smoking from a crack pipe, as reported by U.S. gossip website Gawker and the Toronto Star.

Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash told CBC News on Sunday that the position of the police has not changed, with respect to the release of the video.

Last week, the city’s police chief said that it is the job of investigators to gather evidence, but it is courts that decide whether that evidence is admissible and also whether it is made public.

Mayor admits ‘mistakes’

When the reports about the video first emerged in May, Ford denied both using crack cocaine and the video’s existence.

On Sunday, Ford apologized for unspecified "mistakes," though he did notinitially elaborate on what they were.

"I'm the first one to admit, friends, I'm the first one to admit, I am not perfect. I have made mistakes ... and all I can do right now is apologize for the mistakes," he said.

About an hour into his radio show, however, Ford made specific reference to his behaviour at public events — including at the Taste of the Danforth street festival during the summer.

"I’ve made mistakes, like, where do I begin?" Ford said. "For example, the Danforth, that was pure stupidity. I shouldn’t have got hammered down at the Danforth. If you’re going to have a couple of drinks, you stay at home and that’s it, you don’t make a public spectacle of yourself."

Ford also referred to things getting "a little out of control" on St. Patrick’s Day.

While he said he intended to make changes in his life, Ford said he couldn’t “mislead people” by telling them he will be perfect in future.

"To sit here and say: ‘You know, I’m going to lose 100 pounds and I’m going to be a brand new person in six months, or a year,’ I’m not going to mislead people," he said.

"I’m going to do my very best to make sure these mistakes don’t happen again. And I don’t know what else to say."

Ford won’t step down

The mayor made no mention of any plans to step down, or take a leave of absence.

"I am going to ride the storm out and just keep doing what I was elected to do," Ford said.

During his radio show, Ford reiterated his intention to run for a second term next year.

Well before the mayor’s radio show ended, several members of city councilwere reacting to his comments on Twitter.

Two members of council said that Ford should step down:

Coun. Shelley Carroll suggested the mayor’s call for the video to be released was a disingenuous one, as she said it is clear the police are unable to do that:

Ford has served as the mayor of Toronto for the past three years. Prior to that, he was a city councillor in a ward in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke.

Since taking on the job as mayor, Ford has often drawn headlines both for his work at city hall and his life outside of it.

He faced a removal challenge relating to a conflict-of-interest issue, which led to a judge ordering him removed from office. But Ford won an appeal and held onto his job.

Ford has had a testy relationship with the city’s media at times, particularly over the last few months.

On Sunday, the mayor reiterated a request that the media not come to his house when pursuing stories about him.

“I just want to say one thing to the media and I’ve said this before — I beg you, I plead with you: Please, please, please do not come to my front door and stand on my driveway,” he said.

Last Thursday, Ford confronted several members of the media who were standing on his driveway, before he left for city hall.

more video