Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has blamed previous indiscretions on "drunken stupors," but it seems months of his ridicule and public condemnation have not broken him of that nasty habit. Ford has "fallen off the wagon," as the Toronto Star put it no their front page Wednesday morning.
In the new video released yesterday afternoon, Ford is seen at the counter of a Steak Queen, a fast food joint in Toronto's Rexdale neighborhood, mumbling, bumbling and fumbling in broken English and Jamaican patois about that "cocksucker... Bill Blair," the police chief, and getting followed by the cops. He appears to be drunk or high.
His brother Doug, a fellow city councillor, told reporters Rob is in the video but it wasn't recorded Monday evening. (Couldn't be, he said, because the Ford in the video is too heavy. The mayor has been working out.) However, Ford eventually acknowledged late Tuesday night that he was at the Steak Queen Monday evening and that he was, in fact, drunk.
Later that evening, another video emerged showing Flair at the Steak Queen with Sandro Lisi, his former driver and alleged drug dealer. Lisi is currently on bail for drug and extortion charges from the original police investigation into the video that supposedly shows Ford smoking crack. That the two are still meeting shocked Toronto, and set off a whole new set of questions about what the mayor is up to.
But in a way it was also par for the course with Mayor Ford. The city has seen this routine before. It's a familiar rhythm. A new incriminating video appears showing the mayor in a compromising position. His brother Doug, lies for him, and then the local papers track down the truth. Every time, Ford admits to the wrong doing. And every time, he just keeps on being mayor.
This is significant because after Ford admitted to smoking crack he promised he'd stay off the sauce. "Finished," he told one of Canada's most prominent journalists, the CBC's Peter Mansbridge. He promised to exercise and lose some weight. His weight, Ford argued, was the source of most of his problems. Now he's drunk, again, and hanging out with his alleged former dealer and an alleged extortionist at fast food joints at 3 a.m.
Toronto still cannot do anything about Rob Ford. He's still in power, but only barely, because the city council stripped him of the majority of his powers. He's a mayor in name only and sober in public statement only. The city still can't force him out of office for his buffoonish behavior. "We have a city government to run, in a mature and responsible way," Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly said in a statement Wednesday, "We cannot be distracted by the personal actions of others." That might be why this municipal horrorshow of a city won't be bidding to host a future Olympics. Can you imagine?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.