Toronto mayor in new crack video scandal

Emergence of footage coincides with Rob Ford's decision to take a leave of absence and seek help for substance abuse.

Last updated: 01 May 2014 20:33
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper is reporting that it has seen two videos of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine, as Ford took a temporary leave of absence to deal with substance abuse.

The national newspaper said on Wednesday night that two of its reporters had seen a video showing Ford, who is seeking re-election, smoking from a pipe.

"...The mayor rapidly shifts his weight back and forth on the spot, talking into his cellphone and his right arm swinging at his side. When the camera pans around the room, a man that looks like Alessandro “Sandro” Lisi, the mayor’s former driver and an accused drug-dealing extortionist, can be seen in the background.

"Mr. Ford’s sister, Kathy, who has admitted in media interviews to being a drug addict, is sitting in front of her brother. In the last of three clips, Mr. Ford is holding the pipe and speaking to his sister," the Globe and Mail reported.

Publication of the story coincided with an announcement that the controversial politician was taking a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse. 

According to the Globe and Mail, Ford's lawyer Dennis Morris said: “He said he feels it’s time that he takes a break and addresses the substance abuse problems he has, and he didn’t tell me what he has."

Morris was unsure how long Ford was planning to be away for or when he came to his decision. News agencies were unable to obtain a response to the Globe and Mail report.

Ford has been dogged by allegations of drug abuse since last May, when reports emerged of a video puportedly showing him smoking crack cocaine. But the video was never released to the public.

He eventually admitted to having smoked crack cocaine once, "in a drunken stupor," but refused to step down or seek professional help, claiming he was not an addict.


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.