Doug Ford sat down with Global News’ Jackson Proskow in an interview, where Ford denies the allegations in the Globe and Mail report. Watch the complete interview above.
TORONTO – Toronto Councillor Doug Ford says allegations that he was heavily involved in Etobicoke’s drug trade in the 1980s are untrue in an interview with Global News.
A report published Saturday in the Globe and Mail said a lengthy investigation into the Ford family’s past revealed a history of a family “once deeply immersed in the illegal drug scene.”
In an interview with Global News reporter Jackson Proskow, Ford is asked if the allegations are true, something Ford flatly denies.
“No, I have never been involved in the drug trade,” he says.
“I’m against drugs, I do not condone drugs. I don’t take aspirin. I’ve never touched any drugs. Cocaine, crack, never, ever period.”
Ford admits in the interview that he smoked marijuana in high school. “Have I smoked marijuana in high school? Absolutely I did, like everyone else.”
But Ford flatly denied repeated questions about being involved in the drug trade, and accused the media of personally targeting the Ford family.
In a phone interview with Global News’ Sean O’Shea, Ford called the Globe report “a bunch of sleazy, sleazy journalism.”
LISTEN: Doug Ford briefly responds to Globe and Mail allegations. Warning: This recording contains explicit language that may offend some listeners.
Doug Ford has defended his brother, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, over the past week over allegations that a video exists showing someone matching the appearance of Rob Ford smoking what looks like crack cocaine in a cellphone video.
Over the past 18 months, the Globe reported it sought out and interviewed dozens of people who knew the Fords in their formative years.
Citing ten anonymous individuals who claim they grew up with Doug Ford, the report detailed accounts of alleged drug dealing in the Toronto suburb, claiming the now outspoken city councillor and ardent defender of his brother, Mayor Rob Ford, used to deal drugs to street-level dealers, and also to dealers “one rung higher than those on the street.”
Reporters from the Globe said they wrote to Doug Ford regarding the allegations and received a response from his lawyer, Gavin Tighe, who denied the allegations.
“Your references to unnamed alleged sources of information represent the height of irresponsible and unprofessional journalism given the gravely serious and specious allegations of substantial criminal conduct.”
Global News cannot independently confirm the allegations.
The Globe also tried to contact retired police officers who investigated drugs in the area at the time. One said he had no recollection of encountering the Fords.
There is nothing on the public record that the Globe has accessed that shows Doug Ford has ever been criminally charged for illegal drug possession or trafficking.
The report said Rob Ford was not a player in the Etobicoke drug trade. Several sources said they saw him around his brothers as they were doing business in the 80s, but they said he didn’t seem to be involved in a significant way.
In an accompanying article, Globe and Mail editor John Stackhouse said the paper had approached Rob and Doug Ford several times to speak to the allegations.
The Globe editor wrote that following Friday’s press conference where the mayor denied using crack cocaine, “we felt it would be irresponsible not to share this information with the public at this time.”
The new allegations emerge closely on the heels of a media firestorm regarding an alleged video depicting someone who looks like Mayor Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. Ford denounced those allegations Friday in a much-anticipated press conference, ending a week of silence that made even his closest allies plead with him to speak up.
“I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine,” Ford said. “As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist. It is most unfortunate, very unfortunate, that my colleagues and the great people of this city have been exposed to the fact that I have been judged by the media without any evidence.”
Watch the full video below: Mayor Rob Ford responds to video allegations
Doug Ford took questions afterward on his behalf. Both brothers attacked the Toronto Star for reports published last week by Star reporters Robyn Doolittle and Kevin Donovan, who say they saw the video in question multiple times and believe it to depict the mayor.
Global News has not seen the video and cannot verify its contents.
The mayor’s declaration Friday that life at city hall is “business as usual” came two days after losing his much-loved position as a high school football coach and a day after he fired his longtime ally and chief of staff Mark Towhey.
“I am no longer the chief of staff. I did not resign,” Towhey said while being escorted out of City Hall.
Multiple media reports have suggested Towhey lost his job after telling Ford to “get help” and go to rehab, and that Towhey attempted to dissuade Ford from using city staff to throw a party at his house for Don Bosco’s football players. Ford said in his statement Friday he’ll “continue to support Don Bosco in spirit.” Neither he nor his brother addressed his reasons for firing Towhey.
Not everyone at city hall was sure the mayor’s statement was enough to return things to normal.
Scarborough Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker however called on the mayor to resign saying he has “no legitimacy in the city of Toronto.”
“I think the mayor at this point should simply resign,” De Bearemaeker said. “To be smoking crack with drug dealers is not something the mayor of Toronto should be doing, to be calling a political leader a ‘fag’ is not what you should be doing, to be calling high school athletes ‘just f-ing minorities’ is not something an elected official should be doing, to fire your chief of staff for trying to help you get help is not something you should be doing.”
Watch the video below: City councillors react to Ford’s dispute of drug allegations