Full text of Rob Ford's leave of absence statement
In the wake of the bombshell that dropped tonight in the form of another Rob Ford crack tape, the Mayor has decided to take the leave of absence that many have recommended since initial allegations of substance abuse issues arose over a year ago. Here's the full statement from the Mayor's office. Note well that it makes no specific reference to tonight's revelations, nor does it hint at a timeline for a possible return to office and the campaign trail. Ford is presently still enrolled in the mayoral race.
Tonight I want to take some time to speak from my heart to the people of Toronto. It's not easy to be vulnerable and this is one of the most difficult times in my life. I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time.
Today, after taking some time to think about my own well-being, how to best serve the people of Toronto and what is in the best interests of my family, I have decided to take a leave from campaigning and from my duties as Mayor to seek immediate help.
I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. I know that I need professional help and I am now 100% committed to getting myself right.
I love the people of Toronto, I love being your mayor and I hope you will continue to stand by me.
With the support of my family, friends, professionals and the people of Toronto, I will conquer this.
Please keep me and my family in your prayers during these difficult days ahead.
I just want to say to the people of Toronto that I thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate it.
Mayor Rob Ford
Photo by BruceK in the blogTO Flickr pool