Toronto mayor Rob Ford says he wants to continue to serve as mayor
TORONTO - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford acknowledged Sunday that he has made mistakes in his life but fell short of directly addressing the alleged crack video that has propelled him into the international spotlight.
"I'm the first one to admit I am not perfect, I have made mistakes," Ford told his weekly radio show.
"Unfortunately, I can not change the past, I can just move forward and learn from the past, which, I assure you, I'm doing."
Ford apologized to his family, members of city council and Toronto taxpayers, but didn't make it clear what he was apologizing for.
He promised he would make changes.
"I also know that to move forward I have to make changes in my life, which I will assure you I can do," he said. "I want to keep working for the people of this city."
Ford didn't talk about the contents of the video that police say appears to be the one that two media outlets say allegedly appears to show him smoking crack cocaine.
But he did call on police Chief Bill Blair to release the video so the public can see it.
"Whatever this video shows, folks, Toronto residents deserve to see and people need to judge for themselves what they see on this video," Ford said.
"That is the right thing to do and chief, I'm asking you to release this video now."
Blair said Thursday that the video will be evidence in the case against a friend and sometimes driver for the mayor Alexander Lisi. Police allege Lisi tried to get his hands on the video and charged him with extortion.
Lisi was granted bail Friday.
Blair has said it is up to the courts to decide whether evidence is released to the general public.
After reports of the alleged video first surfaced in the Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker in May, the mayor said he does not use crack cocaine and that the video does not exist.
He steadfastly refused to talk about the issue for months, but Blair's stunning announcement last Thursday that police had what appeared to be the video triggered a torrent of calls for Ford to either resign or address the issue.
Ford met privately Saturday with deputy mayor Norm Kelly who relayed concerns from city councillors about the fallout from the police revelations.
The video saga earned Ford international headlines, with countless foreign media devoting space on their websites to the story.