Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will not step down after admitting to smoking crack cocaine

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford announced that he would not step aside on Tuesday, hours after admitting to reporters that he has smoked crack cocaine.

"I know what I did was wrong, and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing that I have ever had to do," Ford told reporters. "Folks, I have nothing left to hide. I would do anything, absolutely anything, to change the past. But the past is the past and we must move forward."

Ford did not take questions during his brief appearance and claimed that he had kept his drug problems hidden from his family, including his brother, Coun. Doug Ford. He said he was "ashamed and embarrassed" by his actions.

But he said the only way he would leave the office is if he ended up losing the next election.

"I was elected to do a job and that is exactly what I am going to continue to do. In 2010, I made a commitment to Toronto voters. I have delivered on that commitment and I will continue to deliver on that commitment of saving taxpayers' money," Ford said.

"But they have a choice. We live in a democracy. On October 27 on 2014, I want the people of this city to decide whether they want Rob Ford to be their mayor."

[ Full Transcript: 'I have nothing left to hide' ]

The defiant stance came as council allies called for Ford to step down and seek help after he admitted to smoking crack while in a "drunken stupor."

"Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine," Ford told reporters after first arriving at City Hall Tuesday afternoon.

The revelation came after months of Ford denying he has a substance abuse problem, and days after Chief Bill Blair confirmed investigators had recovered a video reportedly showing Ford smoking from a crack pipe.

The Toronto Star and Gawker both reported in May that they had viewed a video of Ford smoking from what appears to be a crack pipe. Ford responded to those allegations by saying in a statement, “I do not use crack cocaine nor am I an addict of crack cocaine.”

Ford claimed that he hasn't been lying to reporters who, for the past six months, have been demanding Ford come clean about his drug history. Ford claimed that he smoked crack about a year ago, but he wasn't exactly sure when.

“I don’t even remember. Probably in one of my drunken stupors. You guys have seen the state I’ve been in,” Ford said.

June 2011: Ford angers the city's gay community by declining to attend either the city's gay pride parade or the flag raising ceremony to kick off Pride week. Ford said he would be at the family ... more 
June 2011: Ford angers the city's gay community by declining to attend either the city's gay pride parade or the flag raising ceremony to kick off Pride week. Ford said he would be at the family cottage for the parade. His decision broke with tradition that saw the city's three previous mayors march in the parade, but he attended his first Pride event in 2013. less 
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Ford has called for Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair to release the video to the public, saying he doesn’t remember being recorded. The mayor’s brother, Coun. Doug Ford, spent the day accusing Blair of having a bias.

Councillors continued to call on Ford to step down and seek rehab. Coun. Paula Fletcher told CP24 that there are concerns his troubles are even deeper than he was willing to admit. Coun. Jaye Robinson, who was removed from Ford’s executive committee after previously asking the mayor to step down, continued to call for the mayor to address his personal problems. “His credibility is gone,” she said.

Coun. John Fillion, meantime, is set to present a motion that would freeze the mayor's powers. "The train wreck is in sight. The train wreck is happening. We need to get rid of this distraction," Filion told reporters.


More on Rob Ford:

Twitter erupts after Mayor Rob Ford admits to smoking crack 'in a drunken stupor'

Rob Ford's brother, Doug Ford, demands Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair step down

Rob Ford: 'I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a drug addict'

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart skewers Mayor Rob Ford, again

Full coverage: Rob Ford


Another motion has already been drafted by conservative councillors Denzil Minnan-Wong and Peter Milczyn calling on Ford to address the issue in a very serious manner.

That motion calls on Ford to apologize for misleading the public, to cooperate with the Toronto police investigation and apologize for writing a letter of reference for drug trafficking suspect Alexander Lisi on city letterhead.

Ford is also requested to answer questions from members of council and take a temporary leave of absence from his position.

"The Mayor consorts with known criminals and/or individuals involved in the sale and distribution of drugs," the motion reads. "The Mayor misled the residents of the City of Toronto with regard to the existence of a video in which he was involved and/or participated in the use of crack cocaine.