Sunday, August 11, 2013

toronto Mayor Rob Ford's council allies mum on video

Mayor Rob Ford’s boosters on city council are remaining uncharacteristically mum on videos that surfaced Friday showing the mayor seemingly drunk at the Taste of the Danforth festival.

When asked their reaction of the amateur YouTube clips of Ford’s arrival at the food festival where he seems to slur his words as he shakes hands and poses for pictures, Councillors Denzil Minnan-Wong and Mike Del Grande declined comment.

“I don’t have anything to say,” said Minnan-Wong Sunday. “I’m not in the position where I’m going to make a contribution.”

Del Grande, who resigned as the city’s budget chief in January, said he’s heard about the circulating footage, but “I wasn’t there, I can’t make any comments.”

“The general public looks to a good role model, that’s all I can say,” he said.

Former deputy mayor and newly-elected Progressive Conservative MPP Doug Holyday — who has always been an ally of Ford — has previously said he has never seen (Ford) take a drink and continued to stand by that statement Sunday.

“I did see it,” Holyday said, referring to the video. “I don’t know what to make of it. It’s kind of a lot of background noise, I can’t say what’s going on. For him to talk to guys about football or call them buddies, he does that all the time.”

Holyday used one-word answers — “No” — when asked whether he felt there should be some sort of probe into Ford’s behavior or whether it impacted his ability to run the city.

In March, reports surfaced of Ford being asked to leave the Garrison Ball, a gala for military personnel, because of strange behaviour.

Three months later, allegations of a videotape capturing the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine surfaced. Ford denied using crack and the existence of the video.

A source told the Toronto Sun at the time Ford’s chief of staff Mark Towhey was fired because he told Ford to get help for “personal problems.”

Toronto Police Traffic Services Const. Clinton Stibbe said they won’t be investigating the video because there’s no evidence of criminality.

“A person consuming alcohol and being filmed in of itself isn’t a crime,” he said. “At this point, I don’t know what video you’re referring to, but for Traffic Services mandate, it doesn’t fall within it, to be looking at that.”

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