Rob Ford's brother says mayor should consider vacation
Published Friday, November 8, 2013 11:38AM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 8, 2013 11:01PM EST
Even as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's brother and lawyer suggested that a temporary leave may be one possibility for the mayor, Ford is giving no indication of his future plans.
The mayor was at city hall Friday, but would not comment when asked if he would take a leave.
With the mayor admitting this week that he smoked crack while in a "drunken stupor" and was video recorded in any rant while he says he was "extremely, extremely inebriated," many city councillors have called on Ford to either resign or take a leave of absence and go into rehab.
On Friday, his brother and lawyer suggested taking a leave may be one possibility for the embattled mayor.
In a phone interview with Toronto radio station AM640 Friday, Coun. Doug Ford says he too has suggested his brother take some time off, to "get your mind together," and lose weight.
"This is my opinion: if Rob goes away on a little vacation, a week or two weeks, comes back, Rob loses 50 or 60 pounds, and stays on the straight and narrow because he's a good, good man and he's an honest man and he moves forward… it would be tough to beat Rob Ford," he said, referring to his chances in the 2014 municipal election.
Doug Ford added that his brother is not a crack addict and that his brother's admission of smoking crack refers to an isolated incident. "And I am not a naïve brother," he said.
But he says he thinks his brother needs to "go away" for a few weeks to "think about life and moving forward and get a bit of counselling." He says while it would take Rob a few months to get better, a couple of weeks off would be enough to give him a "kickstart."
Meanwhile the mayor's lawyer, Dennis Morris, said Ford is "considering" rehab.
Ford's lawyer said it was best the mayor confirm his future plans because "when you go left, he goes right." He added that Thursday – the day a new video of the mayor surfaced showing the mayor ranting angrily and uttering threats while apparently inebriated -- was a defining day for Ford.
Ford’s crack use confession came months after The Toronto Star and U.S. website Gawker reported the existence of a video in which the mayor is seen smoking from what appears to be a crack pipe.
Toronto police recently revealed that they’ve recovered the video as part of a massive investigation into drugs and gangs in the city’s west end.
The man who first tried to broker the sale of the video has now come forward, telling CBC and CityNews that organized crime figures were offering a “suitcase of money” in exchange for the video.
Mohamed Farah, a community organizer in the Dixon Road neighbourhood, told CBC that some of those people claimed to be calling on behalf of the mayor.
He said the offers to buy the video turned into threats. The man who tried to sell the video through Farah disappeared, but was later arrested by police as part of Project Traveller raids.
The CBC reports that Farah was also swept up in those raids, and a gun was found in the home he shares with his mother. Farah is now out on bail.
In an interview with CP24's Stephen LeDrew on Thursday, Ford's mother, Diane, insisted her son did not have a drug problem.
“He’s got a weight problem,” she said. “He’s got a huge weight problem and he knows that. And I think that is the first thing he has to attack."
Ford's sister Kathy said her brother “does not drink every night,” but noted that when he does consume alcohol, he goes “full tilt.”
Next week, council will vote on a motion asking the mayor to take a leave of absence. If the mayor ignores that call, councillors will vote on a motion asking the province to intervene.
CTV Toronto’s Paul Bliss reported Friday that any legislative changes aimed at making it easier for city councillors to force the mayor to step aside would take “at least” a month to pass at Queen’s Park.
With files from CTV Toronto’s Natalie Johnson, The Canadian Press and The Associated Press