Toronto Mayor Rob Ford dropped a second bombshell Tuesday afternoon, saying he will not resign, after admitting earlier that he had smoked crack cocaine.
The Mayor said he knows he has embarrassed the city and will forever be sorry for that but, he added:
“I hope that no one has to go through whatever I’ve gone through,” he told reporters at a 4 p.m. press conference outside his office, held hours after his admission to smoking crack cocaine.
“I want to be crystal clear to every single person: These mistakes will never, ever, ever happen again,” he said, appearing visibly shaken and emotional.
Ford also appealed for his supporters to stay on his side.
“I know I have to regain your trust and your confidence. I love my job and I love this city. I love saving the taxpayers money and I love being your mayor.
“I was elected to do a job and that’s exactly what I’m going to continue doing.”
Some Toronto city councillors who were Ford supporters are now calling for the Mayor to resign, despite his apologies.
“This is an ever-evolving situation, I’m not sure what we’re going to find out tomorrow,” said Councillor Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29, Toronto-Danforth). “He also said six months ago that he not an addict, that he doesn’t have any issues, that there’s no video.”
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East), who earlier Tuesday compared Toronto to “Gotham City” and was once the Mayor’s biggest supporter, said the Mayor has become an embarrassment for the city.
“He has lost the moral authority to lead,” said Minnan-Wong to assembled media at City Hall.
Outside City Hall dozens of the protestors wearing Guy Fawkes masks, which have become synonymous with the movement Anonymous, gathered at Nathan Phillips Square calling for Ford to resign.
“If you are rich and you are caught with marijuana you get nothing, if you are from the ghetto then you can go to jail and have a record for the rest of your life,” one protester said. “Why is there a double standard for the same crime [by Ford].”
Jim Richards, a host for Newstalk 1010 radio in Toronto, tweeted that he thinks Ford’s biggest supporters are partly at fault.
“If the Ford Nation hadn’t been ‘enablers’, Rob could had have made this admission much sooner to get the help he needs,” Richards said.
Others wondered how the mayor’s support could last; one even going so far as to say that staying a Rob Ford supporter is similar to going down with the ship.
David J. Lauzon(@daveloz) took to Twitter to say, “How is Rob Ford’s approval rating sitting at 43 percent? Ford Nation, the ship is sinking. It’s okay to bail.”
Although it took the Mayor six months to come clean about smoking crack, some of his strongest supporters stayed by his side in the Twitterverse to defend Ford’s political achievements.
Rosy Kumar (@MrsRosyBryant) tweeted, “Still #FordNation. He gets things done. #