Rob Ford not stepping down as mayor of Toronto
This has been an amazing day in the second-greatest Canadian reality TV show ever seen.
After announcing this morning (November 5) that, yes, he's smoked crack, Toronto mayor Rob Ford gave an afternoon press conference, defiantly announcing he would not be resigning.
"I feel like a thousand pounds has been lifted off my shoulders," he told the press scrum of his morning announcement.
Ford has previously denied allegations that he was a drug addict and an alcoholic, although he has admitted to smoking marijuana.
Reporters with the Toronto Star and Gawker made headlines earlier in May 2013 after stating they had seen a video that showed Ford possibly smoking crack cocaine.
In a speech on May 24, Ford admantly claimed, "I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine. I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist."
Toronto police announced the existence of the alleged video on October 31.
Ford read from prepared remarks, stating, "I hope that nobody ever has to go through what I went through… admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I've ever had to do."
He continued, "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... I wanna be clear: I want to be crystal clear to every single person: these mistakes will never ever ever happen again."
He claimed that he kept his crack cocaine use hidden, "from my family—especially my brother Doug—my staff, my council collegues, because I was embarrassed and ashamed. To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down and I can't do anything else but apologize, and apologize and I'm so sorry."
He did not comment on the frequency of his crack use.
Ford seemed to consider the entire matter closed for discussion, saying, "I love my job. I love my job, I love this city, I love saving taxpayers money...For the sake of the taxpayers of this great city….we must get back to work immediately.
"We must keep Toronto moving forward…I was elected to do a job and that's exactly what I'm going to continue to be doing."
While he acknowleged he had broken the trust of Torontonians, Ford also said that the voters could decide his fate in the next civic election, scheduled for October 2014.
In his closing remarks, the mayor simply stated, "Again, I sincerely, sincerely, sincerely apologize. God bless the people of Toronto." (One of the journalists in the room laughed out loud at that.)
Ford immediately exited the press room, refusing to answer questions.
To sum up, this afternoon's dog-and-pony show boils down to this: