Ford taking leave from mayor's office to deal with alcoholism

May 1, 2014

Another chapter is being written in the Rob Ford saga. Toronto's embattled mayor announced late Wednesday that he is taking a leave of absence to deal with alcohol abuse. Ford is stepping away from his duties as mayor and from his re-election campaign, but the question is: for how long?

The announcement comes just a week after Rob Ford officially kicked off his re-election campaign. It also comes days after new revelations about Ford.

Credit File photo

The Globe and Mail says two of its reporters viewed a new video of Ford smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine and that the video was secretly filmed in the basement of Ford's sister's home last weekend.

In addition the Toronto Sun says it's obtained an audio recording of Ford being unruly in a bar and making lewd comments about Karen Stintz, one of his election rivals.

Last night, Ford issued a statement saying he is taking a 30 day break from his campaign and his mayoral duties to seek immediate professional for his issues. He admitted to having a problem with alcohol, that he tried to deal with it by himself but he has realized he could not. He said he is now 100 percent committed to getting himself right.

Reaction from critics was swift. John Tory a challenger for the city's top job says he's relieved Ford is seeking help, but he wants more decisive action.

"Like Torontonians across the city, I am nonetheless deeply disappointed by these revelations of Mayor Ford's latest behavior and for the good of the city, I call on Mayor Ford to resign from his office as mayor," Tory said.

Ford, however, says he is not resigning, just taking a 30-day leave. And few believe he will be away longer than that. That leaves him free to resume his current job as mayor and his run for a second term.