Toronto mayor vows to go clean while city hall changes the locks

Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:47pm EST
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By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford vowed on Tuesday he would stay away from drugs, alcohol and "bad company" as he tries to rebound from a drug scandal that prompted city council to strip away much of his power.

Ford, who insists he is neither an alcoholic nor a drug addict, said he had not had a drink in three weeks. Asked on Toronto news channel CP24 if he had stopped drinking completely, he said: "Guaranteed. 100 percent."

Ford made the comments one day after the city council voted to remove much of his power. Several of his key staff announced on Tuesday they would leave and begin working for the deputy mayor, who will take on more responsibility.

Ford, who has admitted to smoking crack cocaine, buying illegal drugs and driving after drinking alcohol, also said he would not use drugs again and answered in the affirmative when asked if he would stay away from "bad company."

While the scandal involving the mayor has largely swirled around his admission that he had smoked crack, he has also been the subject of a police investigation which photographed him in several meetings with his friend and part-time driver Sandro Lisi, who now faces drug and extortion charges.


Ford was elected in 2010 on a cost-cutting, low-tax platform, and he remains popular in some suburbs of Toronto.

While Ford has faced much criticism from city politicians, members of Canada's Conservative federal government have until now been far less vocal.   Continued...

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his office at City Hall in Toronto November 19, 2013. REUTERS/Aaron Harris