Toronto's embattled Mayor Rob Ford to meet with executive committee

The Canadian Press
Associated Press

TORONTO - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is to meet with his executive committee today, in their first meeting since allegations of Ford’s videotaped drug use surfaced earlier this month.

It’s also the mayor’s 44th birthday.

The committee is expected to discuss the city's library budget and a one-metre passing rule for cyclists, among other items -- but the meeting will be overshadowed by the ongoing scandal at city hall.

American-based website Gawker says it has reached its $200,000 fundraising goal to buy what it says is a cellphone video appearing to show Ford smoking crack cocaine.

But Gawker editor John Cook indicated Monday he was having difficulty finding whoever has the video.

Ford has denied the drug-use allegations, making a statement late last week after six members of his executive committee urged him to publicly address the allegations following a week of mostly silence on the issue.

In the meantime, Ford has fired his chief of staff, Mark Towhey, while press secretary George Christopoulos and his deputy Isaac Ransom left their jobs.

Still, Ford insisted Monday it would be "business as usual" at city hall.

"We're just soldiering on," Ford said.

(680News, The Canadian Press)