Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s weekend is over; time to address crack allegations

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s weekend is over; time to address crack allegations

Victoria Day weekend is a truly glorious time. It is the first chance of the season for Canadians to spend an extended weekend away from the office, away from their day-to-day responsibilities, away from those burning issues left on their desks back at the office.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, facing the most damning and serious allegations of his well-trodden career, surely appreciated the refuge Victoria Day long weekend afforded him.

It was only days before the weekend broke that two separate news organizations alleged to have seen a video of Ford smoking a crack pipe, lolling about, insulting the " f___ing minorities" he coaches and calling Justin Trudeau a fag.

With a brief statement that the whole thing was "ridiculous," Ford disappeared for the long weekend. He would not answer questions, he would not deny the allegations and he cancelled his weekly radio program – a seemingly ideal place to address such accusations, considering it is the broadcast equivalent of hanging out in Ford's clubhouse.

So where does that leave things? Like the rest of us, Ford's refuge ends Tuesday morning. It returns to business as usual and, in the case of Toronto's city hall, business will have to wait until Ford addresses the elephant in the room.

[ Related: Rob Ford should resign if allegations true, councillors say ]

Tuesday was supposed to be memorable at city hall because it is the day a special meeting on a potential downtown casino deal is scheduled to go ahead.

The pro-casino Ford had attempted to cancel the meeting and delay debate on the issue. But a majority of councillors overruled the mayor and moved to keep the meeting on the books. Ultimately it is expected that council will vote against allowing a downtown casino, shooting down a project for which Ford has been rallying for some time.

That was pretty big news last week, right up to the point that Ford was caught in an internationally-watched drug scandal.

For the uninitiated, Gawker and the Toronto Star have both alleged that a video exists of Ford smoking a crack pipe and that the person who shot the video is shopping it for a payday.

[More Brew: Rob Ford dismisses drug video allegations as world watches ]

The entirety of Ford's response included calling the whole affair "ridiculous" and alluding that the Star was somehow behind the whole thing. “I have never seen my brother involved with anything like coke,” added his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, to Newstalk 1010 on Saturday.

Beyond that, there has been essentially radio silence. Aside from some tin-eared messages from the mayor’s Twitter account, nary a word from the Fords.

It has been left to Ford’s allies to pick up the ball for him. Although even Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday says Ford should address the issue already. “I kind of think he has to say something. I don’t think he can just leave it the way he has left it,” Holyday told the Toronto Sun.

CKNW, a Chorus Radio station in Vancouver, reports that Doug Ford will address the crack allegations on Tuesday. But there is no word on whether Rob Ford will do the same. He should speak soon. Victoria Day weekend is over, after all. And it is time to get back to business.