A primer on Rob Ford’s latest troubles, from nocturnal wanderings to a jailhouse visit
Just when we thought Rob Ford’s public relations problems were petering out, there’s a spate of new allegations, each stranger than the last. Here, the latest news stories from planet Ford and our take on just how harmful each could be for the stumblebum mayor’s already iffy image.
Ford gets drunk on the Danforth
Three YouTube videos of a swaying, slurring Ford at Taste of the Danforth support witnesses who allege Ford drunkenly gabbed with constituents at the festival before his staff showed up to rein him in. On the plus side, Ford was adamant that he wasn’t driving.
How damaging is it? Quite. The incident itself may be pretty benign, but it gives reporters a chance to revisit past stories about erratic behaviour and substance abuse.
Ford fights for his right to drink beer
On his weekly radio show on Sunday, Ford said, “Did I have a couple of beers? Absolutely I had a couple of beers.” He then went to say that the press and public were making too big a deal of it. His teetotaling brother Doug agreed, but Ford didn’t get much backup from other councillors. Former executive committee member Jaye Robinson even called (again) for Ford to step down temporarily while he addresses “his personal problems.”
How damaging is it? Moderately. Ford’s speedy admission shows he’s learned from past PR missteps, but his colleagues’ response shows they haven’t much patience left for his antics.
Ford tries, and fails, to visit an inmate in a west-end jail
The Globe and Mail says Ford swung by the Toronto West Detention Centre one evening last March. Ford asked both for a tour and to meet with Bruno Bellissimo, a childhood friend awaiting trial on assault charges. He was turned away since official visiting hours were long finished.
How damaging is it? Not very. While the late visit is odd, it’s not unreasonable that Ford—who’s known for personally knocking on doors and calling back residents—would check that an acquaintance was doing okay.
Ford was threatened by a drug dealer
The Toronto Sun has more details about a 2012 incident in which Ford’s sister’s ex-boyfriend burst int the mayor’s home. According to court documents, Scott MacIntyre, a convicted drug dealer, screamed at Ford, “You owe me money, your sister owes me money, if I don’t get it, they will kill me.”
How damaging is it? Not at all. The Sun is trying to forge a connection between MacIntyre’s strung-out rants and the mayor’s alleged drug problems, but the paper has no evidence beyond McIntyre’s statements.