Mayor Rob Ford admits ‘mistakes,’ calls on Chief Blair to release video
TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford says he’s made mistakes and he’s sorry – but he has no plans to resign or take a leave of absence.
"I have made mistakes. And all I can do right now is apologize," he said, reading a statement on his radio show Sunday afternoon.
But “I love my work. And I’m going to keep doing it.”
Ford apologized for “a lot of stupid things” on the show but he only acknowledged a video showing him smoking what appears to be crack cocaine to demand police release it (police said, again, they won’t).
There have been calls for the mayor to step down, or at least take a break, from people across the political spectrum – friend and foe. Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly met with Ford on Saturday to relay “concerns” from Ford’s executive committee. Kelly had said the fruits of that meeting would be announced on the radio Sunday; it appears the deputy mayor did not sway Ford on the issue of taking leave.
As for the video that purportedly shows Ford smoking what looks like crack cocaine, the mayor – who said on the same radio show six months ago “there is no video” – echoed his lawyer’s call for it to be released to the public.
“I want the Police Chief Bill Blair to release this video for every single person in the city to see. That is the right thing to do and Chief, I’m asking you to release this video now,” he said. “Whatever this video shows folks, Toronto residents deserve to see it and people need to judge for themselves what they see on this video.”
WATCH: Mayor Rob Ford says he can’t answer caller’s question about how much police spent on surveillance but expects Chief Bill Blair to provide those details.
On Thursday, Chief Bill Blair confirmed he had seen a video “consistent” with media reports of a video depicting the mayor smoking what looks like crack cocaine.
On Friday, Ford’s lawyer and brother both slammed Blair for mentioning the video and demanded he publish it.
But Toronto Police told Global News Sunday they will not release the tape.
“Last week we said that the law requires us to turn evidence over to the courts. They, alone, have the authority to decide how that evidence is treated. Our position hasn’t changed,” police spokesman Mark Pugash said in an email.
LISTEN: Mayor Rob Ford called in to AM640 Sunday afternoon and apologized for “mistakes”
The Fords also avoided addressing the hundreds of pages of documents released Thursday detailing a months-long investigation into the mayor and his friend Alexander “Sandro” Lisi.
The mayor’s brother Councillor Doug Ford supported his brother and insisted he was right in not stepping aside.
“You’re honest as the day is long,” he said to his brother on the radio Sunday. “You’re going to do the right thing moving forward.”
WATCH: Mayor Rob Ford pushes through media while leaving Newstalk 1010.
The Fords began taking callers about an hour into their show. Most were supportive of the mayor but a few suggested he resign or take a leave of absence.
“I am not a hater and we all make mistakes and none of us are perfect. I just personally believe that maybe you need some time away and then come back fresh,” said a caller named Marilyn.
“I have five children who see and know exactly what’s going on in this city with you, and I have to tell them this is not ok, this is not good behaviour, this is not the way anyone should act.”
Another caller, 81-year-old Catherine, pleaded with the mayor to take a “medical leave” and demanded Doug “quit being your enabler.”
“You do not enable me and it bothers me a lot when people say that,” the mayor said.
“I’m not an enabler,” Doug said. “No one, no one out there beats Rob down more than I do.”
Another caller, Alex, asked Rob Ford to detail what drugs, if any, he had ingested through a pipe rather than comment on the existence of the video.
“I can’t comment on a video I have not seen,” the mayor said. “I have asked Chief Blair to release this video immediately. I want to see it now.”
WATCH: Mayor Rob Ford says he can’t comment on the video after caller asks pointed question.
The mayor and his brother discussed a litany of topics including city events, affordable housing, cost-of-living raises and David Suzuki (“a good guy,” Doug said) but the conversation kept coming back to the mayor’s ongoing personal scandals.
While the mayor referred multiple times to “mistakes,” he did not address the video or any of the details contained in the hundreds of pages of court documents related to the Lisi investigation.
He did, however, admit to being “hammered” at the Taste of the Danforth earlier this year.
“The Danforth, that was pure stupidity,” he said. “I shouldn’t have got hammered down at the Danforth.”
The mayor also addressed a recent report about his behaviour on St. Patrick’s Day 2012, describing behaviour as “a little out of control.”
The mayor admitted he “can’t change the past” but said he will do his best to make sure these “mistakes” don’t recur.
“I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again, but to sit here and say I’m going to lose 100 pounds or I’ll be a new person in 6 months or a year, I’m not going to mislead people. I’ll do my best to make sure these mistakes don’t happen again.”
Rob Ford also addressed Toronto’s media: He urged them to stay away from his Etobicoke home.
“I beg you. I plead with you, please, please, please do not come to my front door and stand on my driveway. I have a wife, I have an 8-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son, they’re scared,” he said. “Please just do not come to my house. I will meet you anywhere but please do not come to my house.”
Ford has used his radio show as a platform to lambast the media before: In a show after reporters of the alleged crack video first surfaced, he and his brother lashed out at the city’s journalists – the mayor called them “maggots.”
His political opponents, notably Councillor Paul Ainslie, have argued the two-hour show gives him an unfair advantage. Ainslie recently filed a complaint with the CBSC detailing his complaints.
Global News reporter Jackson Proskow will be live blogging throughout Mayor Rob Ford’s The City on Newstalk 1010.