Toronto Mayor’s Family has Links to Drug Traffickers

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 25 2013 3:57 PM

Toronto Mayor's Siblings Have Ties With Drug Traffickers

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford waves the pan american flag during the Closing Ceremony of the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico

Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may want to find a new spokesman. As the mayor has been engulfed by allegations that he was filmed smoking crack cocaine, his brother Doug Ford has largely acted as his spokesman. But it turns out he has links to drug dealing. For several years, Doug Ford “was a go-to dealer of hash” and had a small group of dealers who sold his product, according to the Globe and Mail that publishes an extensive investigation into links between the Ford family and drug-dealing today. Doug Ford allegedly worked as a supplier for around seven years, until 1986. Doug Ford is now a member of Toronto’s city council but his past isn’t entirely in the past. Recently, Rob Ford has hired someone who used to sell hash with Doug Ford, according to the Globe and Mail.

Doug Ford wasn’t alone. Several sources also identified Randy Ford as a former drug dealer, who kept separate operations —and was much less savvy—than Doug Ford. He was once charged in a drug-related kidnapping. For her part, Kathy Ford, the eldest sibling, has been linked to a number of “bizarre, violent and sensational incidents” and her long-time boyfriend is a convicted cocaine and hash dealer. Her ex-husband is a drug addict and, as if those weren't enough controversial links, she is friends with a founding member of “the short-lived Canadian chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.” Several people say she has links to known white supremacists.

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Globe and Mail editor-in-chief John Stackhouse writes a letter to readers explaining that the piece is the result of an 18-month investigation. Insisting the information is of public interest, Stackhouse writes that citizens “deserve to understand the moral record of their leaders. In most matters, public or private, character matters.”  The final decision to publish the story came after Rob Ford spoke to the media Friday saying he doesn’t use crack cocaine. A group of the paper’s senior editors “concluded again that it is in the public interest to publish,” writes Stackhouse. “Indeed, we felt it would be irresponsible not to share this information with the public at this time.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.