Homicide May Be Linked To Rob Ford Video… Or Not (Probably Not) (Actually, There Is No Homicide) (Updated)

The Globe and Mail just posted a word salad that seems to suggest that a staffer in Rob Ford’s office was interviewed by police about something to do with a tip about a murder of someone that may or may not have been somehow connected to a video of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. And that tip may have involved another Rob Ford staffer. Or not.

As for what that tip might have consisted of was lost in a jumble of pronouns and run-on sentences.

All we can say for certain at this point is that the words “police,” “investigation” and “homicide” are now linked to the Rob Ford crack video controversy. We also know that Mayor Rob Ford has declared on his weekly radio show that no video exists.

On a completely unrelated note, here is a Mitchell and Web sketch that I really, really like but it has absolutely NOTHING to do with this or any Rob Ford related news.

UPDATE: According to much clearer writing in the Toronto Star, the Rob Ford staffer was interviewed by homicide detectives but not about a homicide. And, apparently, there was a shooting in an apartment next to where the Star reporters watched the Rob Ford crack smoking video but the shooting victim was not killed and the interview with a Ford staffer happened before this shooting incident.

To sum up, there is at present no reason to think that any actual homicide is linked to the Rob Ford video scandal. And as for this Mitchell and Webb video, it has, as I already said, absolutely nothing to do with that Rob Ford video scandal nor the fact that Rob Ford denies the existence of any video.

Meanwhile In Toronto, (gives up)

Last week Rob Ford’s chief of staff was fired by the mayor. Today, the mayor’s press secretary and deputy press secretary have also tendered their resignations. Ford has put a football coach in his office as a ‘special assistant.’ And the mayor’s office is also questioned about a dead drug dealer.

A lot of stuff going on for someone who says a video of him smoking crack doesn’t exist and his brother wasn’t a drug dealer.

I think this is how the Rob Ford Era at Toronto City Hall will end.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Makes It Really, Really Hard To Feel Bad For Him

From the Toronto Star:

Mayor Rob Ford unequivocally says there is no video that shows him using crack cocaine.

Asked by a caller to his Sunday radio show whether it is indeed him in the video described by the Star and the U.S. website Gawker, Ford laughed and responded, “Number 1, there’s no video, so that’s all I can say. You can’t comment on something that doesn’t exist.”

Ford firmly called the reports “false,” a word that did not appear in his Friday speech at City Hall. In that speech, he said, “I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine. As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist.”

Many city councillors and political pundits were unsatisfied with the speech, urging Ford to address the reports more thoroughly. Ford suggested Sunday that he believes he has said enough.

“No matter what you say, I found out, to the media, you’re never going to make them happy. You can give them 10 bars of gold and they’re going to want — why don’t I give 15 bars of gold? Well, you know what, folks, that’s the media that we have, unfortunately,” he said.

Councillor Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother and co-host, said 80 per cent of journalists are “nasty son-of-a-guns.” Rob Ford interjected: “Bunch of maggots.” After a brief pause, he added, “Sorry, maybe I shouldn’t have said that.”

Doug Ford later asked listeners to contact him with any personal information about members of the media. He accused unnamed reporters of using cocaine themselves.

“Maggots”, eh? So! Whose word do we take?  The journalists and media outlets that can be sued if they get their facts wrong or the angry politician with a documented history of lying whose biggest supporter is his anti-drug crusader brother who allegedly sold drugs in the ’80s*? Tough call.

But oddly enough, the nagging shard of guilt I had over being in a When Will Rob Ford Resign? pool has completely vanished.


*And how come a guy like me who takes an occasional puff on someone else’s joint maybe once every six months, and who has never used hash and never sold drugs, is in favour of legalization, while Doug Ford, who was allegedly once a middle-level drug dealer, is opposed? I have theories; feel free to share yours below.

You Must Read The Globe And Mail’s Must-Read Feature On The Ford Family

According to the Globe and Mail’s sources, Rob Ford’s brother Doug, who has campaigned on tough-on-crime issues, was a reasonably big-deal hash dealer in the ’80s. and his sister used to hang out with white supremacists and was once shot in the face. It sounds completely crazy:

Well before the events of the past week, The Globe and Mail began to research the Ford brothers in an effort to chronicle their lives before rising to prominence in Canada’s largest city. Over the past 18 months, it has sought out and interviewed dozens of people who knew them in their formative years.

What has emerged is a portrait of a family once deeply immersed in the illegal drug scene. All three of the mayor’s older siblings – brother Randy, 51, and sister Kathy, 52, as well as Doug, 48 – have had ties to drug traffickers.

Ten people who grew up with Doug Ford – a group that includes two former hashish suppliers, three street-level drug dealers and a number of casual users of hash – have described in a series of interviews how for several years Mr. Ford was a go-to dealer of hash. These sources had varying degrees of knowledge of his activities: Some said they purchased hash directly from him, some said they supplied him, while others said they observed him handling large quantities of the drug.

The events they described took place years ago, but as mayor, Rob Ford has surrounded himself with people from his past. Most recently he hired someone for his office whose long history with the Fords, the sources said, includes selling hashish with the mayor’s brother.

The Globe wrote to Doug Ford outlining what the sources said about him, and received a response from Gavin Tighe, his lawyer, who said the allegations were false. “Your references to unnamed alleged sources of information represent the height of irresponsible and unprofessional journalism given the gravely serious and specious allegations of substantial criminal conduct.”

Go read it! In fact, the five-page epic is so good it’s even worth buying the physical newspaper and devouring it old-school, printed-words-on-paper style.

Doug Ford refutes the Globe’s story, calling media “scumbags” and saying ““I think it’s pretty low, and a bunch of sleazy, sleazy journalism. It has gone to the bottom of the barrel … it makes me sick”.  Is he just throwing out insults and lying his ass off to protect his position of power? What do you think?

Six In The Morning: Rob Ford Round-Up

6-in-the-morning1 ROB FORD: THE SAGA CONTINUES Toronto’s executive committee drafts an unprecedented letter asking Ford to substantively address the “crack smoking mayor” allegations and they’re doing it publicly, with the deputy mayor saying “I would like the mayor to speak up”. Meanwhile, Ford’s chief of staff remains fired. CBC has a timeline of the runaway Rob Ford train. There’s no new word on the drug dealers with the video–they’ve been out of communication for some time–but the Rob Ford Crackstarter is nevertheless closing in on its target ($163,542 as I publish this), which could be good news for some Canadian addiction non-profits, who will get the cash if the video stays vanished. Also, Now has a good column about why this whole raise-money-to-but-a-video-from-drug-dealers thing is just horrible. And by the way, all this stuff about “faking videos” is nonsense. Although the Sherlock Holmeses at Small Dead Brains Animals think they’ve got proof that the video is a fake, so you can go look at that if you like malarkey (H/T John Gormley, who retweeted that one).

2 ROBOCALLS WERE ORGANIZED FRAUD: JUDGE Greg blogged it last night and I’m mentioning it again because I’m  annoyed that bye-elections weren’t ordered. Supposedly the scale of the fraud wasn’t significant enough. Here’s the story and here’s the actual ruling. In other robocall news, the CRTC has fined Alberta’s Wildrose Party $90,000 for breaking the robo-rules.

3 MEANWHILE IN SASKATCHEWAN We, along with three other lower population provinces,  got a “D” in health care; Regina wants federal money to clean up the dead lots once used by gas stations (context here); The police union is worried about our new labour laws and the lack of an arbitration mechanism for when contract talks break down; a police officer’s assault trial continues; and the Saskatoon Blades have been eliminated in the Memorial Cup and Saskatoon is so sad they’re banning dogs from riding in the backs of trucks.

4 MORE ARRESTS IN LONDON ATTACK Here’s the latest news on BBC and the Guardian. Also, Glenn Greenwald has a thoughtful column on the definition of terrorism here.


6 THIS IS WHAT AN “INFRASTRUCTURE DEFICIT” LOOKS LIKE A bridge in Washington State collapsed, dropping cars and people into the water. Fortunately no one was killed. The collapse appears to have been triggered by a Canadian trucker whose truck might have been over the weight limit but having said that, the bridge had received low scores on inspections and was rated “functionally obsolete” in 2010. Remember those infrastructure conferences in Regina? This kind of thing is why it’s important to fund infrastructure. Also, don’t drive overloaded trucks on bridges.

7 THIS SIX HAS SEVEN Hey, the Boy Scouts of America will now accept gay scouts who must GET OUT, GET, OUT, GET OUUUUUT when they become adults and would like to be scout leaders, but minimal progress is still progress.

8 EIGHT? WHY NOT? John Gormley has a slightly pompous but not insane column on the ongoing Senate scandal.

PURR Word on the street is that today’s Friday Afternoon Kitty isn’t a cat at all. But what’s a Friday without a cat? So here you go. More here. Meow!

“Go Away And Get Help”: Ford’s Advisor

Well, not surprising at this point, I guess:

Mark Towhey was fired as Mayor Rob Ford’s chief of staff because he told Ford in no uncertain terms to “go away and get help,” a source close to the mayor’s office has told CBC News. Towhey was unceremoniously dumped from his job Thursday in the midst of a scandal that has ripped apart Toronto municipal politics — with the city’s colourful mayor caught in the midst of allegations that he was recorded smoking crack cocaine. The story broke last week and shortly after Towhey faced down the mayor telling him he needed help. “There’s nothing more I can do for you,” the source quoted Towhey as telling Ford. The chief of staff then told Ford to “go away and get help.”

Story here. I hope Ford resigns soon. This is painful.

Oh, and the Rob Ford Crackstarter is at $160, 397.