Photo of the mayor’s 2:45 am visit on June 7, 2012. Tweeted (and then deleted) by @steakqueen
Rob Ford is facing new questions about his battle with substance abuse after two incriminating videos of the mayor were posted online Tuesday.
One appears to show Ford intoxicated in an Etobicoke restaurant, Steak Queen, slurring his words, cursing and ranting about police Chief Bill Blair in a faux Jamaican accent,using the words "bumbaclot" and "cocksucker."
In the second, he appears to be meeting in te restaurant with Alexander "Sandro" Lisi, his former driver and accused drug dealer. In October, Lisi was charged with extortion over attempts by the mayor's office to retrieve a cellphone video of Ford smoking crack.
The new videos are renewing concern among councillors about Ford's ability to function at City Hall, even in the limited role he's been reduced to since council transferred much of his authority to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly last fall. As word of the new videos filtered through City Hall on Tuesday, council members reacted with dismay to the news that Ford had slipped back into his old habits.
Councillor Jaye Robinson said Ford's latest public embarrassment was confirmation that "we made the right decision when city council reduced the mayor's powers."
"That was one of the best decisions we made this term," she said.
"I've seen enough," said Councillor Michael Thompson as a reporter played him the mayor's slurred diatribe.
He called the video "offensive" and said it was "another sad episode in the very tragic day in the life of Mayor Ford."
Thompson confessed he was not surprised by Ford's behaviour, however. Many of his colleagues "had concluded that it was only a matter of time," he said.
"This is getting beyond ridiculous," said Councillor Joe Mihevc. "We've seen him make promises, we've seen him break promises. This is not behaviour appropriate to the chief magistrate of the city."
"The only good news is that this is now 2014 and we are about nine months away from the election," he continued. "I think the people of Toronto are just waiting for that election to do what they know they need to do, and that is to sweep him from office."
Deputy mayor Kelly said the mayor showed a "shocking lack of judgment" and called for Ford to take a leave of absence.
"Step down from the office or just step aside and seek professional help," he said. "If it's happened once it may happen again."
Following his admission in November to smoking crack cocaine, the mayor has repeatedly claimed that he's sworn off alcohol.
After he was spotted in a lakefront nightclub the weekend before last, Ford angrily told reporters at City Hall, "I don't drink."