The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

November 3, 2013

Toronto mayor apologizes, won't step down

TORONTO — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford apologized Sunday for being "hammered" in public and acknowledged the need to curb his drinking, but the mayor of Canada's largest city didn't address allegations of drug use and said he will remain in his job despite mounting pressure to resign.

"I'm going to weather this storm," Ford said.

Ford made his remarks on his local weekly radio show at a time when he is facing growing pressure to resign after police said they had obtained a copy of a video that appears to show him puffing on a crack cocaine pipe. Ford didn't address the contents of the tape, saying he cannot comment on a tape he hasn't seen.

"I just got to maybe slow down on my drinking," Ford said.

Ford acknowledged making "mistakes" and that he can't change the past, but vowed "to ride the storm out."

"I want to move forward but to move forward I also have to make changes in my life which I will assure I will do," Ford said.

"I'm not saying here I'm not going to drink again. That's not realistic," Ford said. "Just slow down on the eating and drinking and everything."

Ford declined to take a leave of absence or resign.

"I sincerely apologize, there's absolutely no excuse, no one to blame but myself," Ford said. "I am going to fight like no one has seen before to win the next election."

Ford said he shouldn't' have been drunk in public when he appeared at the Taste of the Danforth street festival in August.

"That was pure stupidity," Ford said. "I shouldn't have got hammered down at the Danforth. If you are going to have a couple of drinks, you stay at home and that's it. You don't make a public spectacle of yourself," Ford said.

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