toronto rob ford

Morning Brew: Cocaine, prostitutes, and racist remarks in court papers, special meeting to strip Ford of powers, and a new poll shows dwindling support for the mayor

What a day at City Hall yesterday. It started with a motion calling on Rob Ford to apologize and quit and ended with more stunning details from Toronto police about the mayor and his recent behaviour. Though none of the allegations have been proven in court, many of the details were given by former staffers under police interview.

Bear in mind no-one, Ford or any of his staffers, have been charged with a crime.

To summarize what appears in the court documents, which were used by police to obtain several search warrants:

  • Former press secretary George Christopoulos said Ford knew Anthony Smith but didn't say how.
  • Ford took Oxycontin on St. Patrick's Day 2012 before going to Bier Markt on the Esplanade.
  • Former aide Isaac Ransom said Ford called a taxi driver a "Paki" en route to Bier Markt.
  • A Bier Markt employee told police she saw Ford and take "two sniffs" in a private room.
  • Ransom and former aide Chris Fickel reported Ford partying with an "professional escort" that night.
  • Ransom told police Ford made lewd remarks to a female policy advisor: "I'm going to eat you out."
  • A "tired and erratic" broke down and cried about his deceased father during the night.
  • Fickel told Mark Towhey, a former chief of staff, Ford chased vodka with Gatorade while driving.
  • Nico Fidani, a former staffer, failed to stop Ford taking his kids to the Garrison Ball.

Ford did not immediately follow any of the advice prescribed by council yesterday and he is not obliged to do so. A special meeting has been called for Friday to debate a motion, brought by Councillor John Filion, that would strip the mayor of several of his powers, including the ability to appoint and suspend committee members.

You would be forgiven for forgetting amid the melee that Ford admitted buying illegal drugs during yesterday's meeting. He also moved a motion asking for random drug tests on all councillors (which was ruled out of order) and denied 15 Windsor Rd., where he was photographed with Anthony Smith, Monir Kassim, and Muhammad Khattak, is a crack house. Toronto police have called the address a "drug house."

It seems the constant barrage of scandal and controversy is translating into a lack of support from voters. A new Ipsos Reid poll conducted before recent events found 62% of Torontonians would not vote for Ford "under any circumstances" at the next election. Once again, the poll put MP Olivia Chow as the frontrunner even though she hasn't said if she will run. A three-way race between Ford, Karen Stintz, and David Soknacki resulted in the TTC Chair taking the mayoralty.

Support is even wavering on the talk radio stations. AM640's Bill Carroll says he is tired of interviewing Doug Ford. The councillor called the station yesterday but Carroll declined to have him on his show. "I no longer care - I mean that's where I've got to. I don't care. I don't want to speak to Doug Ford, I don't want to speak to Rob Ford - there is no point. It's like a stuck record now this situation," he said.

Finally, Toronto is in for some windy weather this morning. Gusts could top 80 km/h and the resulting wind chill will make it feel like -4 C.


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

Image: Jason Cook/blogTO Flickr pool.

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