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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rob Ford, a video and covering Toronto's City Hall

The mayor of the Canadian city of Toronto Rob Ford, as sen in 2011.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user West Annex News

In the Canadian city of Toronto, its mayor Rob Ford is keeping silent, as a video of him allegedly smoking crack cocaine emerged. It is reported by the CBC that the Toronto Star newspaper and the Gawker web site has seen the video, as the city's Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said he's been advised that Ford should limit his comments on the matter.

"The only thing I've been able to get from him and some people on his staff is, I guess, that the lawyers that they are dealing with suggest the less they say at this point, the better," Holyday said according to the CBC. "For what reason that is, I don't know."

In later remarks, Ford's brother, Doug Ford, a city politician, said there was no need for Ford to comment because of requests from the media. "He has already addressed these allegations three times on Friday. I don't know how much more he can say," Ford said according to the CBC.

Ford later added that his brother would not "be pressured by the Toronto Star to answer their questions on their timeframe," according to a report in the Star."If the mayor wants to make a statement, his press secretary will notify the media."

The news comes as Gawker launched a crowdsourcing initiative to pay the publishers for the video. Gawker's editor-in-chief John Cook did not respond to a request for comment.

Bob Hepburn, a spokesman for the Star, said reporters were contacted about the video in March. "The source later arranged a meeting on May 3 with another man who he claimed had secretly recorded the mayor on video smoking crack cocaine," Hepburn said. "It was on that evening that the two reporters first viewed the video."

Requests to some reporters at publications who cover City Hall for interviews were not returned.

Alex Howell, a resident of Toronto, said she did not vote for Ford as mayor, but had some respect for him. The incident surrounding this video has changed her perspective, Howell says, and that if the allegations of the video are true, Ford should resign.

Howell adds that there are questions on if Doug Ford is acting in the interests of his constituents. "The Toronto Star allegations aren't accurate," Howell said, adding that journalists should have more access to Ford, so citizens can know more about what is going on. Howell added that she sympathized with journalists because of the access limitations which made doing their work difficult.

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