Mayor Rob Ford calls public drunkenness a ‘minor setback’

Matthew Coutts
Daily Brew

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford dismissed his latest public drunken incident as a "minor setback," but otherwise refused to address the elephant in the executive committee chambers, Wednesday afternoon.

“Monday was unfortunate. I had a minor setback,” Ford said after a day-long budget debate punctuated by strained interactions with the media.

"I am telling the Toronto residents that I am still working hard every day to improve my health and my well being."

Ford, who last year admitted to smoking crack, drinking to excess and lying about his history with drugs and alcohol, has vowed to go sober and claims he hasn't touched a drop of alcohol since November.

That changed on Monday, when he was videotaped in the Steak Queen restaurant in Rexdale, visibly intoxicated and going on a vulgar, offensive rant in a Jamaican accent.

[ Related: Can Toronto trust Mayor Rob Ford after video captures another drunken rant? ]

Ford did not arrive at city hall until 2 p.m. the following afternoon. He says he had a few drinks, but that it was on his personal time.

A second video shows Ford meeting with his friend Alexander Lisi, who faces drug trafficking and extortion charges stemming from police investigation into the mayor's activities.

On Wednesday, Ford said again that the incident was a "completely private matter" despite renewed calls from several councillors to seek treatment.

Ford refused to discuss the matter further, and when reporters asked a follow-up question the mayor stormed out of the room.

Earlier in the day, Ford ignored questions about how he got from the Steak Queen restaurant to his home the on night of his latest drunken incident. That is one of the many question that, in fact, do make Ford's public dalliance a matter of public interest.