MAYOR FORD EXPECTED AT COUNCIL'S CASINO DEBATE - FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE SINCE ALLEGED CRACK SMOKING SCANDAL

May 21, 2013

By Jane Brown

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Toronto City Councillors meet today on the fate of Toronto’s casino plans.  If Mayor Rob Ford attends the gathering, it would be his first public appearance since calling news of a video which appears to show him smoking crack cocaine as “ridiculous”.  Ford won’t be obligated to address the video at today’s meeting, but some councillors want him to make an unequivocal statement about the allegations.  Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday tells CP 24, the negative publicity generated from this story has been felt in various locations around the world.  “It’s certainly not good and its certainly not something that we want to have publicity over, but I guess these things happen.  I don’t know what you can do about it.  I’ve personally had calls from London, England and Washington media on this very matter.”

There are indications Mayor Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, will address the crack smoking allegations.  He told a Vancouver radio station this weekend, he would respond today to the reports about the video.  So far, Doug Ford has only said he has never seen his brother using drugs like coke.

It was prior to news of the scandal,  Mayor Ford declared the casino proposal “dead” because of a funding formula dispute with Queen’s Park.  His announcement came after finding out the city would get $53.7 million a year for hosting the facility, far short of the minimum $100 million he is demanding.  But a majority of city councillors want the casino issue dismissed more formally.  They are expected to do that by voting to reject a casino during today’s special meeting.  This would leave no confusion about council’s position.

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