Video emerges of ‘extremely inebriated’ Toronto mayor

Video emerges of ‘extremely inebriated’ Toronto mayor
Toronto Mayor Ford reacts to a video released of him by local media at City Hall in Toronto.

TORONTO - Just days after Toronto Mayor Rob Ford apologised for smoking crack cocaine, he admitted on Thursday he was "extremely, extremely inebriated" in a short expletive-laden video posted online.

The news hit as a campaign by some city councillors to ask the Ontario provincial government to remove Ford from office gathered steam. Toronto city council does not have the power to remove Ford itself.

The blurry, 80-second clip, posted on the Toronto Star newspaper's website and shown on Canadian television, shows a clearly agitated Ford ranting, making threats and pounding his hands together, while at least one other person seems to be goading him on.

The Star said it had paid for the video, and said the context of the clip was not clear.

"He dies or I die," Ford says in the clip, which also refers to something happening "in that ring". He adds: "I need [expletive] 10 minutes to make sure he's dead. It'll be over in five minutes."

On Tuesday, Ford made international headlines when he admitted he had smoked crack cocaine, "probably in one of my drunken stupors". He apologised and promised it would never happen again.

Minutes after the video was posted on Thursday, Ford emerged from his City Hall office to apologise again.

"All I can say is - again - I've made mistakes. All I can do is reassure the people that ... I just wanted to come out and tell you I saw the video, it's extremely embarrassing," Ford said. "Obviously, I was extremely, extremely inebriated." The mayor did not say who he was talking about in the video, or give further details.

For months, the mayor had been dodging questions about reports by media blog Gawker and the Toronto Star that he had been caught on video using the crack.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said last week the force had obtained a video "consistent" with those reports, without describing its contents in detail. He said he was disappointed by what he saw in the video.

Blair would not comment on Thursday on the most recent video.

Ford has refused to resign, and he has vowed to run for re-election next October.

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