Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may get forum to address crack allegations

TORONTO, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may speak at an Ontario Press Council hearing called to determine whether stories alleging Ford smoked crack followed journalism ethics.

The Ontario Press Council, after receiving 41 complaints, said Monday it will conduct two hearings into stories published in May by the Toronto Star and The (Toronto) Globe and Mail, the Star reported Monday.


In a letter dated Friday, the council invited the mayor to file a complaint so he could make submissions to the hearing.

If Ford elects to participate, the hearing would provide a public forum for the mayor to refute claims made in the story, which describes a video that allegedly showed Ford smoking crack cocaine and making racist and homophobic remarks.

The second story, which was published by The Globe and Mail, alleged the mayor's brother, Toronto City Council Member Doug Ford, sold hashish in high school.

Doug Ford also was invited to file a complaint to participate in that hearing, the press council's letter said.

Neither Ford addressed the allegations against them.

A week after the Star story ran, the mayor denied using crack and said he was not an addict.


The hearings won't examine the truth of the allegations, only whether they were responsibly reported, the Star said.

"We're not here to determine truth. We're here to determine if people in a news organization followed process and proper journalistic procedures and ethical concerns were considered," Ontario Press Council Executive Director Don McCurdy said. "That's what we do."

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