Toronto mayor draws attention with bar episode, upcoming YouTube show

Feb. 9, 2014 at 10:44 PM
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TORONTO, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, about to debut a series on YouTube, is mum about a new dark cloud concerning his drinking and alleged drug use at a Vancouver-area bar.

The Toronto Star reported Saturday a witness said Ford, known as the crack mayor for his admitted past use of the illegal drug, went into an employee washroom at the Foggy Dew pub in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Feb. 1 and was "talking gibberish in what sounded like another language" when he came out more than an hour later. The witness, who the newspaper didn't name, said Ford then consumed beer, mixed drinks and shots of whiskey.

The episode, some of which was said to have occurred after the bar's closing time, allegedly took place after Ford was given a ticket by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for jaywalking.

The Star said Ford, who previously has stated he had quit drinking, had not responded to its questions about his alleged drug use and heavy drinking at the bar,. The newspaper said it had not been able to independently verify the allegations and the bar's management declined to comment.

The witness said a curly-haired man and a bar bouncer checked on Ford while he was in the restroom. The witness said when the mayor came out he was scratching his chest and the back of his neck, and making "weird twitch-like movements non-stop with his hands."

"You could not understand a word he was saying," the witness said.

Ford drank at the bar until about 3 a.m., the newspaper said.

The account published Saturday came just days before Ford and his brother, Toronto Councilor Doug Ford are to begin a show on YouTube this week, the (Toronto) Globe and Mail reported. The mayor previously had a weekly radio show that was canceled after he admitted his cocaine use and a TV show that lasted just one episode.

"Please judge me on my record, not my personal life," the mayor says in a teaser for the show posted Thursday.

Ford press secretary Amin Massoudi said the unscripted YouTube program is being produced by volunteers and is to run in 3-minute segments beginning Monday.

"There was no expense to the mayor or the mayor's office that I am aware of," he said.

The Globe and Mail said a promo video shows the Ford brothers kidding each other about their weight.

"You got a big belly. You must be eating something. What's your favorite food?" the mayor says to his brother.

"That's the pot calling the kettle black," his brother replies.

In another clip, the mayor explains how he handles citizen's calls: "I don't ask people on the phone, 'Are you a Conservative or NDP or Liberal?' before I help them. I just go out and help these people out."

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