Rob Ford admits to drinking as rambling video appears on YouTube
UPDATE (Jan. 22): New Rob Ford videos raise concerns at city hall
TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford confirms he was drinking Monday evening and that it is indeed him in a video showing him rambling profanely in Jamaican patois.
For months, Ford said he swore off booze after admitting to have smoked crack cocaine “in a drunken stupor” and after video surfaced of him in an apparent – in his words “intoxicated” – rage.
It’s hard to make out what he is saying in this latest video, shot at a Rexdale restaurant. But he can be heard referring to Police Chief Bill Blair and five months of surveillance – “do you know how much money that cost?” – as well as his own visits to “Jane and Finch” and “Jamestown” and Malvern.
At one point, a person in a white jacket can be heard comparing the mayor to Stephen Harper, to which the mayor replies, “No, no, but I’m a straight up guy, you know?”
Watch the video below: New Rob Ford video: It was him and he had been drinking. Jackson Proskow reports.
The camera pans off of him at some points but his voice can still be heard. He’s wearing a black suit, with a white shirt, red tie and pin. The outfit is consistent with what he was wearing Monday at city hall.
A second video emerged online Tuesday mere hours after the first. In this video the mayor can be seen at the same restaurant sitting with his friend Alexander “Sandro” Lisi.
Lisi was arrested and charged with extortion on Oct. 31, 2013 for allegedly trying to retrieve the infamous crack video from its owners.
Lisi’s charge sheet alleges that, between May 16 and May 18, he “did induce Mohamed Siad or Liban Siyad by threats or violence or menaces to deliver said digital video recording.”
He was released on bail with several conditions, including not associating with anyone he knows to have a criminal record unless accompanied by his lawyer.
Councillor Doug Ford earlier confirmed it was “obviously” his brother but said it couldn’t have been filmed on Monday. He told reporters he spoke to the mayor at 10:30 that night and the mayor is thinner than he appears in the video.
WATCH: Councillor Doug Ford claims video could not have been taken Monday night and his brother has given up drinking
“It wouldn’t have been him yesterday, I guarantee it. I’m sure it’s him but it wasn’t yesterday,” Councillor Ford said. “He’s given up drinking, 100 per cent.”
But when he was leaving his office just before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, the mayor admitted it was him, said he was drinking and suggested his words were not offensive.
“I was with some friends and what I do in my personal life … has nothing to do with you guys. It’s my own time, it’s my own friend,” he said. “If I speak that way, it’s how I speak with some of my friends, I don’t think it’s discriminatory at all.”
The mayor appears to be speaking in a Jamaican accent in the video and uses several curse words.
“To be mocking and interpreting, his interpretation of being supposedly Jamaican is offensive,” Councillor Michael Thompson said. “Perhaps it’s normal for the mayor but from my perspective its abnormal, it’s another sad day, quite frankly, it’s another unfortunate situation in the ongoing saga of mayor Ford.”
And Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong described the revelations as “disappointing.”
“I think we all thought that the mayor was on the wagon and getting better and that he was losing weight. I think there’s a profound disappoint and sadness that the mayor has fallen off the wagon,” he said. “When someone fails in that way, it’s a disappointment for all of us.”
The poster of the YouTube video, “Toronto TheCity,” wrote the video was filmed on Monday in Rexdale.
Global News has tried to contact the poster of the video but has not received a response.
In Depth: Mayor Rob Ford
An employee at the Steak Queen restaurant on Rexdale Boulevard told Global News in a telephone interview that he “heard [the mayor] was here” on Monday night.
“I heard about it [from] the night shift that’s what they said. That’s all they said.”
“I think the people of Toronto are just waiting for that election to do what they know they need to do, which is to sweep him from office,” he said. “We just can’t believe that this goes on and on and on and we are frankly tired of it. We want to get on with the work before us.”