Crack-scandal Toronto mayor to seek help for alcohol problems

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Toronto mayor Rob Ford is to take an immediate leave of absence to seek help for alcohol as a report surfaced about a second video of him smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.

Mr Ford said he would also take leave from his campaign for re-election. One of his rivals called on him to resign.

Mr Ford said in statement: “I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time.

“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 100 per cent committed to getting myself right.”

The Globe and Mail newspaper said it has viewed a second video of Mr Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine in his sister’s basement.

The national newspaper said two reporters viewed the video, from a self-professed drug dealer, showing Mr Ford taking a drag from a pipe early on Saturday.

The video is part “of a package of three videos the dealer said was surreptitiously filmed at around 1.15am and which he says he is now selling for ‘at least six figures’”, the paper reported.

Mr Ford did not mention the reported video in his statement.

John Tory, who is running against Mr Ford, said he is relieved the mayor is seeking help but he should resign.

News reports of the existence of an earlier video of the mayor apparently smoking crack first surfaced last May, igniting a media firestorm.

Mr Ford acknowledged last year after months of denials that he smoked crack in a “drunken stupor” after police said they obtained a video that appears to show him doing so. The video has never been released.

Mr Ford has careered from one scandal to another, becoming a national embarrassment for many Canadians.

The Toronto Sun said on Wednesday that it had obtained an audio recording of him making offensive remarks about other politicians at a bar on Monday night.