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Morning Brew: Norm Kelly accepts Ford's apology, legal experts weigh in, the mayor's approval rating climbs, car crash topples statue, and the City Hall xmas tree arrives

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 4, 2013

toronto skylineDeputy Mayor Norm Kelly says he accepts Rob Ford's radio apology and believes "there will always be eyes with him" as a result. Ford apologized for being drunk on St. Patrick's Day 2012 and Taste of the Danforth this year but did not directly address drugs, saying only that he had "made mistakes." Kelly says the driver Ford promised to hire should be vetted by council and be made to keep an eye on him.

There are numerous legal questions surrounding Rob Ford's situation and a team of lawyers has weighed in over at the Globe and Mail. Paul Copeland says Ford's decision to call for the video to be released "creates an impression [he] has nothing to hide" while Frank Addario says the mayor could speak to the allegations if he wanted to, contrary to the "before the courts" excuse.

Despite being plagued by scandal over his alleged appearance in a drug video, the release of police surveillance photos documenting exchanges with a drug dealer, and countless other controversies, Rob Ford's approval rating is on the rise. A Forum Research poll put the mayor's approval rating at 44%, a 5% increase, on Sunday before the conclusion of his radio show.

Sandro Lisi was familiar to many of Rob Ford's staffers, including front desk operator Tom Beyer, court documents show. Beyer campaigned for Ford in 2010 and was in charge of the mayor's official Twitter account for a brief period, reports the Star. Beyer spoke with Lisi dozens of times, once in person but mostly via phone and text, and was "shocked" to hear allegations he was a drug dealer.

A statue of Sir Oliver Mowat Robert Raikes, founder of the Sunday school movement, was knocked off its plinth this weekend by a driver who lost control of an SUV on Queen's Park Crescent. The incident happened at 4 a.m. Saturday morning. The driver wasn't injured.

And finally, it's almost Christmas at City Hall. Toronto's traditional giant white spruce has arrived in Nathan Phillips Square ready for decorating in the next few weeks. The tree is 57-feet tall and came from a field north of Bancroft, Ont. It will be illuminated for the first time at the Cavalcade of Lights on Nov. 30.


Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: George Welcher/blogTO Flickr pool.



amfontaine / November 4, 2013 at 08:11 am
That it's considered progress that Mayor Ford finally, after over a year of calls to do so, will hire a driver is laughable. Five-year-olds are held to higher standards than the chief magistrate of one of the largest cities in North America.

That Norm Kelly believes that Mayor Ford's apology from yesterday was satisfactory makes him a candidate to have his head examined as soon as possible.

Let's face it Toronto, we're in an unhealthy relationship with our Mayor. Like a serial cheater, Mayor Ford, time and time again, promises to change his ways and to not make the mistakes he's made in the past and time and time again, he lapses into his old habits. This time, Mayor Ford says, it will be different. Sure it will. Only a fool would believe that our Mayor will change without facing any consequences for his actions and talking about what we really want to know about.

If Mayor Ford won't break up with us, we need to break up with him. Either today or next year. We need to find someone who will treat us right and kick this bum to the curb.
Dave / November 4, 2013 at 08:16 am
Rob Ford will easily win the next election, and another 4 years of downtown lefties crying about him being mayor. Can not wait!
Craig replying to a comment from Dave / November 4, 2013 at 08:23 am
Dave, the election is still a year away, anything could happen. Even if Ford survives the scandals, another candidate could use his formula to win (populist appeal, but without the baggage). Don't forget Kouvalis and Towhey will probably go work for someone else, not Ford.
Tallia / November 4, 2013 at 08:55 am
Nenshi has like a 70-80% approval rating. I wouldn't look at a percentage in the 40s being anything of a success.
iSkyscraper / November 4, 2013 at 08:57 am
You cannot accept an apology that was not offered. Even the Sun is all over that one.

"Anything else?" won't cut it this time.
Mr.A / November 4, 2013 at 09:01 am
Unbelievable. This underintelligent, emotionally unsuited, immature disaster of a man (let alone a mayor) will just never be held to account.

Will his supporters even acknowledge that he's lied about the video (that his supporters still doubt the existence of), and being hammered at Taste of the Danforth?

Will the sycophants like Dave admit that they were wrong, and that their hero lied several times? Do they have the integrity to do that?

Will Dave at least come out and admit that the video does exist, as his boss did?
Mike / November 4, 2013 at 09:04 am
The fact that a signifcant minority of the city can either not care that the mayor smokes crack and hangs out with drug dealers or live in a dellusional world where the facts of the case don't exist is truly sad. We laugh at the idiocy of the Tea Party down south but then we are led by a man that makes Ted Cruz look rational.

Ford likely won't win the next election if he even runs, but we'll still be living with the effects of this disaster for years to come.

And I voted for Ford (big mistake) and am still looking for a good center-right mayor.
Michael / November 4, 2013 at 09:12 am
Questions left to be answered:

1. Why did Ford lie about his behavior that he has now admitted was inappropriate?
2. Why is Ford hanging out with convicted criminals?
3. What was in all the mysterious packages?
4. Was Ford driving too and from the Danforth as he previously stated? Was he driving drunk?

The mayor lied about getting a DUI in Florida, then later apologized. He lied about drunkenly berating patrons at a Leafs game, then later apologized. Now he has fessed up to other public drunken adventures and apologized.

He as cried wolf a few too many times.
amfontaine replying to a comment from Mr.A / November 4, 2013 at 09:14 am
What's even more galling is that the reasons why Ford Nation continue to support the Mayor are mostly not true: he won't raise my taxes (wrong!), he's there for the little guy (wrong!), he really cares (wrong!). You could almost make the argument that Ford's supports have been brainwashed by the constant stream of lies and propaganda issued by Ford and his enabler-brother, Doug.
Ferfuksake / November 4, 2013 at 09:26 am
Please don't feed the troll
Ferfuksake replying to a comment from amfontaine / November 4, 2013 at 09:31 am
Ironically our only hope is the Toronto sun. They won't believe logic but they will believe the sun. Let's just hope these donkeys don't kiss and make up
duder / November 4, 2013 at 09:35 am
I'm going to say this: as a taxpayer and a citizen, I'm outraged that this man is still mayor.

In any other level of government in Canada, he'd be removed by his party. The worst thing is that he can stay in power for the next year and basically do whatever the fuck he wants.

And honestly, that piece of shit Norm Kelly should also be kicked out of office for having the sheer gaul to ask councillors to give him another chance.

The worst thing is that probably the only way Ford is going to leave city hall is in police custody. Brutal.
Mike replying to a comment from amfontaine / November 4, 2013 at 09:48 am
It's gotten so bad that you can now make the comparison that Ford Nation is following a false prophet.
Skye replying to a comment from Ferfuksake / November 4, 2013 at 09:49 am
For once, The Sun will provide a useful service, if it stays the current path.

It has been (until now) the only paper Ford Nation listens to, and it may be the only thing that will convince what's left of Ford Nation to boot El Fordo out.

Fortunately, The Sun has taken RoFo's reporter-shoving personally, and they appear to be nursing a big grudge.
justwait replying to a comment from duder / November 4, 2013 at 10:09 am
It may yet happen. There are a lot of redacted details in the ITO and there is at least one other recovered video of His Honour (cough). My suspicion is that they may have a conspiracy case in that he conspired with Lisi (and possibly Price and others) to commit extortion in connection with recovery of the video.
Jahn / November 4, 2013 at 10:38 am
The second video is even worse that the one that the Star saw. Mark my words. Ford will not make it to the election. He will be dragged away in handcuffs. Well, maybe not dragged. Can you fit a front end lifter into City Hall?
Lee Zamparo / November 4, 2013 at 10:48 am
Sandro Lisi was charged with extortion last Thursday. Specifically he was charged with using force, threats and/or menace to get the video from the men who tried to sell it to the Star and Gawker. It seems very very likely that he was acting on Ford’s direction, with information provided by Ford.
There’s also Anthony Smith. Ford’s own former head of staff, Mark Towhey, called in the police when he heard allegations that Smith was murdered over the video.

This is not about an individual using recreational drugs any more. This is about a violent crime committed in connection with a cover-up, orchestrated by an elected official.
justwait replying to a comment from Jahn / November 4, 2013 at 10:49 am
Where's Dave today? Probably out trying to find an industrial wrecking-yard magnet and a cube van. Gotta try to erase that second video! Worked for Walt and Jesse.
Mr.A replying to a comment from amfontaine / November 4, 2013 at 11:15 am
Ford Nation is looking more and more like a cult; they believe things that are clearly untrue, they deny demonstrable facts, and believe that everyone else is lying to them.

I really think that there is no point in arguing with Ford Nation anymore; they seem to lack the intellectual integrity to admit that their views may be wrong. They even lack the ability to admit that their views are immune to reason and evidence.

Here's the thing; reasonable people assess the evidence, and the arguments behind the positions they take. These positions are always subject to change when new evidence or a better argument comes up. If there's a conspiracy to frame Ford, show me the evidence of it; it will either meet its burden of proof and change my mind, or it won't. And this is what the Cult of Ford lacks - the ability or the willingness to admit they may be wrong and change their minds.
tommy / November 4, 2013 at 11:15 am
If I showed up at my private-sector workplace at 2am in the morning, drunk, with a bottle of alcohol, I would be fired immediately. Oh, but I guess it's different in the public-sector, right Ford?
howie / November 4, 2013 at 11:32 am
Regarding the statue of Mowatt being toppled, I don't get the "Robert Raikes, founder of the Sunday school movement" joke. Must be an obscure in-joke.
the lemur replying to a comment from howie / November 4, 2013 at 11:52 am
It's not a joke. The Star got it wrong and corrected themselves; blogTO updated the item.
Matt replying to a comment from tommy / November 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm
Better to show up with a joint. Then the public will not only support your choice but protest on your behalf.
tommy replying to a comment from Matt / November 4, 2013 at 09:50 pm
Wouldn't stop me from being fired. It's a pretty sensible line not to cross, yet Ford someone gets away with it?! That's bull.
Matt replying to a comment from tommy / November 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm
So do the rest of you, even when your pics get put online when you show up in Dundas Square in April.
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DL replying to a comment from Craig / December 25, 2013 at 03:06 am
It's possible. But as it stands, unless Chow enters, Ford's the favourite.
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