Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to Seek Help for Substance Abuse

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to Seek Help for Substance Abuse

Article excerpt

Rob Ford to seek help for substance abuse

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TORONTO - After maintaining for months that he is not an addict or an alcoholic, Rob Ford announced Wednesday he is seeking help for substance abuse, even as media reports emerged with new drug and alcohol allegations.

"I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time," the mayor said in a statement emailed by his re-election campaign.

"I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. I know that I need professional help and I am now 100 per cent committed to getting myself right."

The mayor said he will take a leave of absence from his re-election campaign and mayoral duties "to seek immediate help," but gave no other details as to his plans.

The Toronto Sun, which carried quotes from the mayor about his decision to go get help, reported Ford will nonetheless remain on the ballot for the Oct. 27 mayoral election. The mayor has staunchly refused to step down despite the controversy swirling around him.

The announcement came as the Sun, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail reported fresh allegations about the mayor.

The Globe said two of its reporters viewed a new video of Ford smoking what the newspaper said was described as crack cocaine by a self-professed drug dealer. The Globe said the video was secretly filmed in Ford's sister's basement early Saturday morning.

The newspaper said the mayor would not comment on the video when approached at city hall Wednesday.

Toronto Star editor Michael Cooke said the newspaper was publishing details of "two nights of utter debauchery" involving Ford at a Toronto nightclub a few weeks ago.

Cooke told news station CP24 that it included an argument with Justin Bieber over the pop idol making fun of Ford -- "digging him about, you know, did you bring any crack cocaine etc."

The Star said it was unable to reach Bieber for comment.

Meanwhile, the Sun reported it obtained an audio recording that it said was of the mayor "being unruly as he's ordering booze" and making "lewd comments" about his election rival Karen Stintz at a west Toronto bar. …

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