Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Furious Ford threatens to kill

Video shows Toronto mayor in a profane, violent rage

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TORONTO -- A video has emerged of the mayor of Canada's largest city in a profanity-laced rambling, enraged tirade in which he threatens to kill someone -- the latest episode in a stunning saga that has captured international headlines.

As is now becoming a familiar refrain, Ford told a crush of reporters outside his office he was drunk at the time, and called the outburst a mistake.

"Obviously, I was extremely, extremely inebriated," the 44-year-old mayor said within minutes of the video being made public. "I've made mistakes. I don't know what to say."

The context of the video is unknown, and it's unclear who the target of Ford's wrath is.

The mayor called the video "extremely embarrassing" without explaining exactly why he was so enraged, although he said he didn't wish anyone to be in a similar state of intoxication.

The video, which lasts a little longer than one minute, shows Ford pacing around angrily in what appears to be a living room.

"I'm going to kill that f ing guy. I'm telling you, it's first-degree murder," Ford rants.

"I'll fight him. No holds barred, brother. He dies or I die, brother."

The mayor goes on to warn he will rip out the person's throat and poke his eyes out.

"I need f ing 10 minutes to make sure he's dead. It'll be over in five minutes. I am a sick motherf --r, dude."

The video -- which appears to have been shot by cellphone -- was posted by the Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun on their websites.

Ford's lawyer Dennis Morris called the context of the video "skeletal."

"Was it taken eight, 10 months ago or a short time ago?" Morris told the Associated Press. "I'm going to try to find that out, too."

Ford admitted Tuesday he has smoked crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor," but said he's not stepping down.

The admission came days after police Chief Bill Blair said investigators had recovered another video -- first reported in May -- showing Ford apparently smoking crack cocaine.

Police have refused to release the video and have refused to discuss a second video they seized, but said it is not the one showing Ford in the rant.

Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, a member of Ford's executive committee, said he planned to ask council next week to petition the province to oust the mayor if he doesn't take a leave of absence.

"There is increasing intolerance from members of council, from friend and foe alike on council," Minnan-Wong said.

Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister Linda Jeffrey, who earlier in the day said the province had no plans to step in, said she would now await the council resolution. "Things are changing quite rapidly," Jeffrey said.

Jumping publicly to her son's defence for the first time since the scandal erupted, Ford's mother said he had no need to go to rehab but said he had to "smarten up a little bit."

What he does need to do, she said, is see a counsellor, install an alcohol detector in his car and get his weight under control.

"He's got a huge weight problem," Diane Ford told CP 24.

While Ford has previously said he had "nothing left to hide," more embarrassing material may yet surface.

An Ontario judge is expected to decide next week whether remaining portions of a document that revealed Ford's ties and covert meetings with an alleged drug dealer can be released.

In Ottawa, a visibly upset Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, a longtime friend of the Ford family, said Thursday the mayor had to make his own decision about what to do.

Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti, one of Ford's most ardent supporters, also urged Ford to go to rehab.

"I have grown more concerned and fear for his health now more than ever," Mammoliti said in a statement.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 8, 2013 A16

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