Thursday, May 1 Commentary
He calls it "one of the most difficult times" in his life. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford issued a written statement last night admitting he has, quote "a problem with alcohol "and the choices" he has made "while under the influence."
The statement reads: "I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. I know that I need professional help and I am now 1-hundred percent committed to getting myself right."
Ford claims he is taking a leave from campaigning and from his duties as Mayor to seek immediate help.
Don't believe a word of it. Substance abusers lie. Rob Ford lies. He's done it repeatedly so there's no reason to believe him now.
In my view there is only one reason Rob Ford is making this half-assed mea culpa and taking a leave. He got caught again. Without getting into too many details, the Sun has an audio recording of an impaired mayor in a bar in the west end Monday night making lewd remarks about Karen Stintz and his wife. Witnesses swear that Ford's Escalade was in the bar parking lot but his driver wasn't with the SUV or with the Mayor.
The Globe and Mail was approached by a woman with a new crack video supposedly taken early Saturday morning in the basement of the mayor's sister. There's the sweaty, squinty Ford with a crack pipe in his hand...a video taken by the drug dealer in the room with him. The Globe paid 10-thousand dollars to get some still photos of the video but doesn't have the video itself. This woman shopping that video also said there was another one.
The Toronto Star says this "latest spiral into substance abuse" actually began March 15th, St. Patrick's Day weekend". Muzik nightclub. Excessive drinking. At one point he goes into a washroom, emerges nearly an hour later, babbling that his wife and kids don't like him. In April, apparently some witnesses saw him doing lines of cocaine.
This is all a predictable pattern of behaviour of a drug addict. Whether its alcohol, cocaine, crack cocaine or any other addictive substance, it's all the same.
Now that he's been caught for a second time, the Ford team realized they couldn't revert to the first action plan again so they stepped it up an inch or so by saying, in effect, 'he really means it this time.' so he's seeking professional help.
Collectively we seemed to have jumped to the conclusion that he means going to rehab but the written statement doesn't say that. He told NewsTalk 1010 host and Sun columnist Joe Warmington he'd take 30 days away from the campaign and his job. Warmington said this morning it is his understanding Ford will go into rehab but I would remind you of the last time he was vowing to seek professional help. He got a fitness trainer so he could get in shape and lose weight. Look how effective that was. He may be in better shape but if there's any weight loss, it would likely be measured in ounces not pounds.
I would also refer you to the Mayor's lawyer Dennis Morris who sounds very skeptical of his own client. Quoting Morris directly "he is intent on doing it"...meaning rehab..."let's hope he follows through. That's what his decision is. Tomorrow he may say, things aren't so bad."
If we assume that Ford will actually get out of town. If we assume that he can actually find a rehab facility where no one knows him. If we assume he goes for 30 days and then returns to campaigning and returns to the Mayor's Office...he would be no better off than if he'd buried his face in a mountain of cocaine for a month. You do not shake an addiction in 30 days, especially an addiction to alcohol and clearly cross-addicted to other drugs. Alcoholism is forever. It is a lifetime struggle to stay sober, an hour by hour battle. I know of too many alcoholics who have gone for years of sobriety but then fall off the wagon again.
To my view Mayor Ford has not yet hit rock bottom. He can't even bring himself to say the words 'I'm an alcoholic." After watching him closely this past year, there's no way anyone should view this as an epiphany for Rob Ford. It was months ago when he declared he had a "come to Jesus" moment. It wasn't true then. I seriously doubt its true now. These are the ramblings of a diseased brain. He is not fit to hold public office.