While there's all sort of political drama going down at America's voting booths today, there's finally something exciting happening up in Canada! Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has admitted to smoking crack, which is kind of a big deal for our docile neighbors of the north. The admission comes a few days after Toronto's police chief confirmed he had the video that two media organizations said showed Ford smoking something that suspiciously looked like, well, a crack pipe.
The media's had the video awhile — long enough that Ford's awkwardly spent the past six months doing his best dodge the allegations. (Maybe the so-called crack pipe was just him blowing bubbles?)
“I wasn’t lying," Ford said Tuesday when reporters asked why he'd denied it previously. "You didn’t ask the correct questions.”
A reporter then asked Ford, “Do you smoke crack cocaine?”
Ford responded: “Exactly.”
At the mayor's surprise news conference today, he also said that the deed was done "probably in one of my drunken stupors," which doesn't really help much PR-wise. Most people in drunken stupors just order pizza or make quesadillas. Those activities, although more caloric than crack, have the bonus of 1) not being incredibly addictive, 2) not being illegal and 3) not being crack. Ford would like to make it clear, however, that in no way is he addicted to crack and that he only did it once, "probably approximately a year ago." Probably, approximately, that one time.
Despite Ford's hazy memory (he's asked to see the video so he can "see what state" he was in and said he wants "everyone in the city to see this tape") his voter base has actually increased its support since the video was confirmed. Ford's latest poll shows him at a 44 percent approval rating, up five percent from a previous poll. And considering that the mayor is refusing to quit or take a leave, he needs all the support he can get.
City Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, a member of Ford's executive committee and fellow conservative, said that despite the mayor's intention to stay on, he's looking to bring a motion around at the next City Council meeting to ask the mayor to leave (although the Council doesn't actually have the power to force him out of office). All four city newspapers have also called for his resignation.
"It is very disappointing to have the mayor of the City of Toronto admit to smoking crack cocaine," Minnan-Wong said. "I was disappointed at two levels: firstly that he did it, but secondly that it took him so long to admit it."
He's disappointed in Ford, but hasn't said he was angry. (Because, Canada.)