Toronto’s embattled mayor Rob Ford made another stunning admission at city council Wednesday morning, as he confirmed that yes, he has purchased illegal drugs within the past two years.
The revelation came in response to a question from Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong.
After a spirited discussion that lasted all morning and carried on well into the afternoon, council passed a five-part motion calling on Ford to apologize to council, to cooperate with police, and requested council to forward the issue of his alleged drug abuse to integrity commissioner Janet Leiper.
Ford was the last speaker to address the motion. As he did, he waved his arms around, seemingly at a loss for words.
“I really effed up,” he eventually said.
The motion cannot actually be enforced and Mayor Ford has repeatedly said he has no plans to leave his job.
Coun. Doug Ford, stood up in council twice during the debate to defend his brother. He turned to the mayor’s former ally, Coun. Minnan-Wong and asked, “Have you ever smoked marijuana?”
Minnan-Wong did not respond. Coun. Ford asked again. And again – each time, the level of his voice considerably higher.
“The answer, I guess, is yes,” Coun. Ford finally said.
Councillors and members of the public then began to yell and the council chamber got so loud and out of control that a five-minute recess was called.
Later, the mayor put forward a motion asking councillors to undergo drug testing paid for by Ford himself. The motion was declared to be out of order, but Ford was invited to put it forward for the next city council meeting.
Earlier in the day, Coun. Jaye Robinson read out a petition signed by 30 of the 44 councilors asking the mayor to resign. Mayor Ford continued to ignore calls asking him to take a leave of absence.
Though Ford denied having any problems with drugs or alcohol, one of his main allies, Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti, told council he does not believe the mayor and thinks he does have a substance abuse problem.
Earlier in the morning, Minnan-Wong said he approached the speaker’s chair to ask a question when the mayor physically blocked him. Minnan-Wong said he felt “threatened” by the mayor’s behaviour.