Sep 09, 2013

By Jane Brown

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Controversial newspaper stories about Mayor Rob Ford and his Councillor brother Doug are the focus of public hearings today  by the Ontario Press Council.  The Toronto Star will defend its story about an alleged video of Mayor Ford appearing to smoke crack cocaine, which Rob Ford denied in a public speech on May 24, 2013.  “I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine,” he said, “As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist.” He also blamed the media when he said, “It is most unfortunate, very unfortunate, that my colleagues and the great people of this city have been exposed to the fact that I’ve been judged by the media without any evidence.”

The other newspaper story to be scrutinized was in the Globe and Mail and alleged that Councillor Doug Ford dealt hashish as a young man.  Both the Mayor and his brother were invited to file complaints with the press council so they could participate, but as of Friday evening, both had not.  The hearing would be an opportunity for the Fords to comprehensively refute the allegations in a public forum.  The Ontario press council received complaints from 41 readers, and announced last month it would hold public hearings on the stories.

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