Rob Ford Will Not Resign After Admitting To Smoking Crack

on November 05 2013 4:52 PM
ford speech
Rob Ford announces that he will not resign from his position as mayor of Toronto, despite admitting that he smoked crack cocaine on video. CTV

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford announced Tuesday that he will not resign despite admitting to smoking crack cocaine in a videotaped incident. Ford appeared at a press conference in his office both to apologize to Toronto citizens for smoking crack and to confirm that he will remain mayor of Toronto until the 2014 mayoral election.

“With today’s announcement I know I embarrassed everyone in this city, and I will be forever sorry. There is only one person to blame for this, and that is myself," Ford told reporters as he opened his speech.

"I was elected to do a job, and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue doing," Ford said, reaffirming previous statements that he will not resign. "In 2010, I made a commitment to Toronto voters. I have delivered on that commitment and I will continue to deliver on that commitment of saving taxpayers money."

Ford emphasized that he was sorry for smoking crack cocaine, but that the city of Toronto must move forward.

"To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down, and I can’t do anything else but apologize. I apologize and I’m so sorry. I know I have to regain your trust and your confidence. I love my job. I love this city. I love saving taxpayers money, and I love being mayor. There is important work that we must advance and important decisions that must be made. For the sake of the taxpayers of this great city, we must get back to work immediately. We must keep Toronto moving forward."

Ford acknowledged that his continuation in office was dependent on the voters' will, and called on them to turn out in the October 2014 elections.

"[Toronto voters] have a choice. We live in a democracy, and on October 27th of 2014, I want the people of this great city to decide whether they want Rob Ford to be their mayor. Again, I sincerely, sincerely, sincerely apologize. God bless the people of Toronto," Ford said before leaving his office.

In another news conference earlier Tuesday afternoon, Ford publicly admitted smoking crack.

"Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” Ford told reporters outside his office. “Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago."

During his announcement, Ford was seen wearing an NFL tie bearing the Washington Redskins logo. Considering that former Washington Mayor Marion Barry was famously ousted after he was videotaped smoking crack and that Ford is accused of uttering racial slurs during the crack video, it may have been the worst possible choice of tie for Ford.

Also on Tuesday, two Toronto city council members made an effort to limit Ford’s powers in a motion that will be debated throughout December.

"It appears that a majority of members of council and a significant number of members of the executive committee have expressed serious concerns about the mayor's ability to lead the city government at this time," the motion reads, according to the Globe and Mail.

Last Thursday, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair announced that his department is investigating Ford for drug use, and that he had personally watched a widely rumored video showing Ford smoking crack. The Toronto Star reported on the video’s existence in May, and at the time Ford denied that such a video had ever been filmed.

Read the full text of Ford's speech below:

With today’s announcement I know I embarrassed everyone in this city, and I will be forever sorry. There is only one person to blame for this, and that is myself.

I know that admitting my mistake was the right thing to do and I feel like a thousand pounds have been lifted off my shoulders. I can’ explain how difficult this was to do. I hope that nobody has to go through what I have gone through. I know what I did was wrong and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing that I have ever had to do.

 Folks, I have nothing left to hide. I would do anything, absolutely anything, to change the past. But the past is the past and we must move forward. I want to be clear. I want to be crystal clear for every single person: these mistakes will never, ever, ever happen again. I kept this from my family, especially my brother Doug, my staff, my council colleagues, because I was embarrassed and ashamed.

To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down, and I can’t do anything else but apologize. I apologize and I’m so sorry. I know I have to regain your trust and your confidence. I love my job. I love this city. I love saving taxpayers money, and I love being mayor. There is important work that we must advance and important decision that must be made. For the sake of the taxpayers of this great city, we must get back to work immediately. We must keep Toronto moving forward.

I was elected to do a job, and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue doing. In 2010, I made a commitment to Toronto voters. I have delivered on that commitment and I will continue to deliver on that commitment of saving taxpayers money. But they have a choice. We live in a democracy.

And on October 27th of 2014, I want the people of this great city to decide whether they want Rob Ford to be their mayor. Again, I sincerely, sincerely, sincerely apologize. God bless the people of Toronto. Thank you very much.

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