Coun. Doug Ford says that a report in the Globe and Mail accusing him of being a hash dealer in the 1980s is “100 per cent false” and the fallout has devastated his family.
“Did I buy a joint like every other teenager? Yes. Did I probably sell a joint to a friend back and forth in a small party? Yes. But if you’re asking me did I sell drugs? No. One hundred per cent not. On top of that I’m dead against drugs,” he told CityNews in an interview, adding that he was never a dealer and today “doesn’t even take aspirin.”
On Saturday, the Globe and Mail published the results of an 18-month investigation into the Ford family. Among the allegations: Ford “sold hashish for several years in the 1980s.”
CityNews has not verified the allegations in the Globe article, which paints a picture of a young Ford as a key player in central Etobicoke’s thriving hash market.
The Globe report comes roughly a week after allegations surfaced in the Toronto Star and Gawker.com that a video was being shopped around showing his brother, Mayor Rob Ford, smoking crack cocaine and making homophobic and racist remarks. The mayor broke his week-long silence on Friday and denied those allegations.
“Imagine waking up in the morning and trying to (explain this to your) kids at that age, after I’ve told them how terrible drugs are? That’s what hurts me,” said Doug Ford.
In an editor’s letter posted on the Globe’s website, editor-in-chief John Stackhouse defended publishing the story, saying, “We are doing so with utmost caution, journalistic rigour and legal scrutiny – ultimately believing that Torontonians and, more broadly, Canadians need to understand the background of the most politically powerful family in the country’s biggest city.”
But Ford was quick to fire back.
“I say to the Globe and Mail: ‘Is this the best you have? Thirty years ago?'”
“Over the last two years, they called probably 200 people that I went to high school with,” he explained.
When asked if he was considering legal action, he said it would be a case of “David and Goliath,” and cited the expenses incurred during his brother, Mayor Rob Ford’s, highly-publicized court battles.
“We’ve spent a million dollars before taxes protecting Rob, and he was innocent on all three court cases,” he said.
Earlier, an irate Doug Ford lashed out at the media.
“They try to attack my family, attack me – it’s disgusting,” he said outside his Etobicoke home Saturday morning. “Don’t they have anything better to do? I give back my salary, I donate my time. Is that not good enough for you guys”
Ford then called the media sleaze balls and said the whole situation was “absolutely sickening.”
Since that outburst, Ford has met with several media outlets to tell his version of the story.
His approach comes in stark contrast to his beleaguered brother, who waited a week to address allegations that he was caught on tape smoking crack.
“As they say I’m getting in front of it,” Doug said. “I feel good in my own skin…what hurts me is my family, my girls and my mother have to go through this.”
Ford says he will work out his term at city hall, and then “keep the door open” to provincial politics.
“I didn’t sign on for this part of it,” he said. “But I’m not a quitter. I’m going to work for the people.”
Also Saturday, Coun. Ford spoke with KiSS 92.5′s Maurie Sherman about the allegations in depth. Listen to that interview below.