TORONTO — Toronto police said Thursday they have obtained a video that appears to show Mayor Rob Ford smoking a crack pipe, a video that Ford had claimed didn't exist and has been at the core of a scandal that has embarrassed and gripped Canada for months.
Police Chief Bill Blair said the video, recovered after being deleted from a computer hard drive, did not provide grounds to press charges. Ford, a populist mayor who has repeatedly made headlines for his bizarre behavior, vowed not to resign.
Speaking outside his office door, Ford said with a smile: "I have no reason to resign." He said he couldn't defend himself because the affair is part of a criminal investigation involving an associate, adding: "That's all I can say right now." Toronto police discovered the video while conducting a huge surveillance operation into a friend and sometimes driver suspected of providing Ford with drugs.
Ford faced allegations in May that he had been caught on video puffing from a glass crack pipe. Two reporters with the Toronto Star said they saw the video, but it has not been released publicly. Ford maintained he does not smoke crack and that the video does not exist.
The pressure on Ford ramped up Thursday with all four major dailies in the city calling on him to resign.
On Thursday, Blair said the video of the mayor "depicts images that are consistent with those previously reported in the press."
"As a citizen of Toronto I'm disappointed," Blair said.