Toronto Mayor Rob Ford isn’t going to let a little crack cocaine come between him and his dream of becoming prime minister.
The embattled lawmaker, who’s facing enormous pressure to call it quits after acknowledging he bought illegal drugs and smoked crack cocaine, says he won’t give up his fight and is even interested in running for a higher office.
“One day I want to run for prime minister,” Ford, 44, told Fox News over the weekend.
His remarks come as the Toronto City Council on Friday partially stripped Ford of his powers. That includes blocking him from being able to fire the deputy mayor and taking away his emergency powers.
The council will vote later on Monday to curtail more his powers, like limiting his office budget and giving more authority to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly. Currently, the city council cannot oust Ford unless he has been convicted of a crime.
Ford has apologized and said he’s getting “professional help,” but still says he intends to run for re-election next year. He gave several interviews to U.S. networks, insisting to CNN “I’m not an addict.”
He told Fox News: “I’ve admitted to using illegal drugs in the last year, okay. I’ve admitted to drinking too much, okay, so I’m dealing with it. I’m training every day. I’m in the gym for two hours every day. I’m seeking professional help. I’m not an alcoholic… Have I had my outbursts in my past? Absolutely…but you know what? I’m only human. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve apologized. That’s all I can do.”
Ford on Monday challenged the city council to call an election rather than curtailing his powers on their own.
He told a local radio station “I’m willing to go to the polls right now” and the city council is “trampling on democracy.”
According to a police investigation report, Ford’s ex-staffers said the mayor was using cocaine and OxyContin, drinking on the job, cavorting with prostitutes, and making lewd, threatening comments to a female staff member about oral sex.