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Thursday 31 July 2014

Toronto mayor Rob Ford to seek help for 'substance abuse'

Published 01/05/2014|07:16

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has admitted that he has a problem, according to his lawyer
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has admitted that he has a problem, according to his lawyer
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laughs in front of a "Keep Calm and Carry On" sign at City Hall in Toronto March 19, 2014. Ford, who made global headlines last year after admitting he had smoked crack cocaine, was caught up in fresh controversy on Monday after a new video showed him agitated and apparently swearing outside city hall. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laughs in front of a "Keep Calm and Carry On" sign at City Hall in Toronto March 19, 2014. Ford, who made global headlines last year after admitting he had smoked crack cocaine, was caught up in fresh controversy on Monday after a new video showed him agitated and apparently swearing outside city hall. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will take a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse his lawyer said, as a report surfaced about a second video of the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.

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The Globe and Mail newspaper reported it has viewed a second video of Mr Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine in his sister's basement.

The national newspaper reported two Globe reporters viewed the video from a self-professed drug dealer showing Ford taking a drag from a pipe early on Saturday morning.

The video is part "of a package of three videos the dealer said was surreptitiously filmed around 1.15am local time, and which he says he is now selling for 'at least six figures,'" the paper reported.

News reports of the existence of an earlier video of Mr Ford apparently smoking crack first surfaced last May, igniting a media firestorm.

The latest crack tape report comes as Mr Ford's lawyer, Dennis Morris, said the mayor will take a leave of absence for substance abuse. Mr Ford is seeking re-election in the October 27 vote.

Mr Morris said he spoke to Mr Ford earlier yesterday and said the mayor has accepted that he has a problem.

"He acknowledges he has a substance abuse problem and he wants to do something about it," Mr Morris told The Associated Press.

Mr Ford, who launched his campaign for re-election earlier this year, admitted last year after months of denials that he smoked crack in a "drunken stupor" after police said they obtained a video that appears to show him smoking crack.

The video has never been released to the public.

Mr Ford has gone from one scandal to another, becoming a national embarrassment for many Canadians.

Also yesterday, The Toronto Sun reported that it obtained an audio recording of Mr Ford making offensive remarks about other politicians at a bar on Monday night.

Mr Ford has refused to resign, despite mounting pressure after a string of incidents, from public drunkenness to an appearance in another video that showed him threatening "murder" in an incoherent rant.

Toronto's city council has stripped him of most of his powers.

Mr Ford said last year that he quit drinking alcohol after having a "come to Jesus moment" but later acknowledged that he drank again. A number of recordings of the mayor intoxicated have surfaced since.

He admitted "rocky moments over the past year" during his official campaign launch earlier this month but vowed to fight harder than ever to win re-election.

Mr Ford, who was the first to register as a candidate in January, invoked the spirit of second chances during a speech in front of supporters.

John Tory, who is running against Mr Ford in the election, said he is relieved that Mr Ford is seeking help but said "for the good of the city" he should resign.

Press Association

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