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Updated: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 13:32:42 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Rob Ford to speak at Economic Club today



Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is scheduled to speak at an Economic Club luncheon on Thursday morning. Many councillors are calling for him to step aside in the wake of a video that shows him intoxicated and ranting in a Jamaican accent at a fast food restaurant. David Donnelly/CBC

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is scheduled to speak at an Economic Club luncheon on Thursday morning. Many councillors are calling for him to step aside in the wake of a video that shows him intoxicated and ranting in a Jamaican accent at a fast food restaurant. David Donnelly/CBC

Just days after he was caught on video in a rambling, profane rant mimicking a Jamaican accent, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will address the Economic Club of Canada today.

The mayor was due to begin speaking to the Economic Club shortly after noon on Thursday, but had yet to arrive as of 1 p.m.

Ford, who as recently as weeks ago promised that he had given up alcohol, has admitted he was drinking and called Monday's restaurant incident a "minor setback."

The YouTube video shows Ford using Jamaican swear words and other profanities, at one point aiming his curses at Toronto police Chief Bill Blair.

Ford offered no apologies on Wednesday and was defiant, saying he is entitled to a personal life, and what he does on his own time doesn't affect his work as mayor.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she is concerned Ford's personal problems are drawing attention away from the real issues facing Canada's largest city.

Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong said he agrees Ford is entitled to a private life, but pointed out that in this case the mayor was not in a private place. Several councillors said Wednesday that Ford's personal problems have left him unable to serve as mayor.

"This is just a joke that has gone on too long," said Coun. Joe Mihevic. "He needs to understand how much he is hurting the brand, the City of Toronto. What I see is an addicted man who is in massive denial and is doing everything he can to hold onto power."

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