A day after Toronto mayor Rob Ford carefully denied smoking crack cocaine, The Globe and Mail unleashed a bombshell of a story alleging the entire Ford family -- and Ford's closest adversary in office -- has very close ties to the drug trade.
The Globe reports Rob Ford's older brother, 48-year-old Doug Ford, was a mid-level hashish dealer in the 1980s. He routinely sold in larger quantities, like half- and quarter-pounds, to low level street dealers. Ford allegedly dealt hashish from the time he was 15 years old until he turned 22 years old as part of a group called the RY Drifters that operated primarily out of a strip mall parking lot in Etobicoke, the wealthy Toronto suburb where the Ford family lives to this day. Doug Ford also allegedly sold hashish out of the family's basement occasionally. The Ford family still owns and hosts an annual barbecue at the house Ford is alleged to have dealt hash out of.
Hash is a concentrated form of a marijuana plant that gets you significantly higher than regular dope smoking. It is "awesomeness concentrated," according to one Denver drug blogger.
(Update, 11:12 a.m.: Doug Ford told Global News reporter Sean O'Shea that he has not read the "so-called fictitious" Globe story before launching into a passionate non-denial. He said reporters are "lower than a bunch of fucking politicians." Listen to the wonderful audio here.)
Doug Ford has been an elected Toronto city councillor since 2010, the same year his brother took over city hall. There are no police records backing up the allegations brought forward by the Globe. That is, at least in part, because Doug was discreet about his activities. He was so discreet he had a reputation amongst the other drug dealers for being discreet:
As a dealer, Doug Ford was not highly visible. Another source, “Tom,” who also supplied street-level dealers and has a long criminal record, said his girlfriend at the time would complain, whenever he was arrested, that he needed to be more calculating “like Doug.” Mr. Ford’s approach, sources said, was to supply a select group that in turn distributed smaller amounts across Etobicoke.
The Globe is Canada's paper of record. It was odd when they had no new information immediately after Gawker and the Toronto Star reported the existence of a tape showing Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. It is now clear what they were working on. This story, the Globe says, was in development for 18 months. They spoke to dozens of Doug's former associates who all fingered the city councillor as a former hashish dealer. There is nothing connecting mayor Rob Ford to his brother's hashish operation, but, still, this is important information considering he was recently accused of smoking crack cocaine within the last six months. Gawker, it should be noted, is not far from raising enough money to buy the tape showing mayor Ford smoking crack. Unfortunately, the sellers have gone AWOL.
The extensive piece also raises questions about the recently hired director of operations and logistics David Price, whose role and connection to the mayor has never been clearly defined. The Globe alleges that Price was a former hashish dealing associate of Doug Ford. The story also alleges that mayor Ford's older sister, Kathy, was a former member of Canadian Klu Klux Klan. More recently, one of her boyfriends threatened to kill the mayor. Rob's other brother, Randy, is also accused of being a former drug dealer, but he was something of a violent hothead. He was once accused of kidnapping someone who owed him money. Seriously, go read the Globe story, because every sentence is close to magnificent.
Doug Ford has been his brother's fiercest ally and most ardent defender since the crack allegations surfaced. On Friday, after Rob very carefully denied being a crack smoker, Doug was the one who fielded questions from the media. The day after Rob was accused of smoking crack, Doug told reporters the video might be doctored, like the video of a golden eagle snatching a baby created by some Canadian university students. We suspect Ford will allege that drugs can alter memories in a significant fashion. You can't doctor them, though.
(Correction: This article originally identified Doug Ford as Toronto's deputy mayor. This is incorrect. He is merely a city councillor. Toronto's deputy mayor is Doug Holyday. )
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.