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May 30, 2013

‘Weak mayor’ system keeps Toronto ticking through crack controversy

TORONTO, May 30 (Reuters) – Between the army of reporters
camped at his door and an exodus of top aides, Toronto Mayor Rob
Ford has endured a tough two weeks since allegations surfaced
that he was caught smoking crack cocaine on video, something he
staunchly denies.

For North America’s fourth-largest city, however, it’s been
mostly business as usual thanks to a “weak mayor” political
system that limits the executive’s influence and puts more power
in the hands of the city council. Council meetings on city
business and other day-to-day operations have carried on
regardless of the ruckus at City Hall.

May 30, 2013

Evaporating water supply poses costly risk for miners

MINA ZALDIVAR, Chile, May 30 (Reuters) – High in Chile’s
bone-dry Atacama desert, mining engineer Enrique Miranda surveys
a metal structure filled with a pungent mix of earthworms and
woodchips. Sprinklers inside the enclosure snap to life,
shooting waste water from the nearby mining camp into the
wriggling mass, which serves as a natural filter.

“That’s lunch for the worms,” says Miranda, an environmental
supervisor who has worked at Barrick Gold Corp’s
Zaldivar copper mine for 18 years.

May 27, 2013

Toronto mayor loses two more top aides after crack scandal

TORONTO, May 27 (Reuters) – Two top aides quit Toronto Mayor
Rob Ford’s office on Monday as the embattled leader of Canada’s
biggest city faces lingering allegations he was caught smoking
crack cocaine on video, accusations he has firmly denied.

The departures of the mayor’s press secretary and deputy
press secretary came just days after Ford fired his chief of
staff. The mayor confirmed on Monday that both George
Christopoulos and Isaac Ransom left of their own accord.

May 27, 2013

Toronto mayor’s support holds despite crack scandal -poll

TORONTO, May 27 (Reuters) – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s
popularity has not been hit by allegations that he was caught
smoking crack-cocaine on video, claims he firmly denied, but he
is at risk of being ousted in a 2014 election, according to a
poll released over the weekend.

The poll, taken on Friday after Ford denied the drug-use
claims, found the mayor would still lose a one-on-one battle for
his job if pitted against Olivia Chow, a former city councillor
and current parliamentarian widely touted as a candidate.

May 24, 2013

Toronto mayor denies, finally, use of crack cocaine

TORONTO, May 24 (Reuters) – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, under
pressure to respond to allegations he was filmed using drugs,
said on Friday that he does not smoke crack cocaine and could
not comment on a video he had not seen or does not exist.

“There has been a serious accusation from the Toronto Star
that I use crack cocaine. I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I
an addict of crack cocaine,” he told a news conference.

May 24, 2013

Toronto mayor denies, finally, he doesn’t use crack cocaine

TORONTO, May 24 (Reuters) – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, under
pressure to respond to allegations he was filmed using drugs,
said on Friday that he does not smoke crack cocaine and could
not comment on a video he had not seen or does not exist.

“There has been a serious accusation from the Toronto Star
that I use crack cocaine. I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I
an addict of crack cocaine,” he told a news conference.

May 24, 2013

Toronto mayor’s inner circle calls for answers in crack scandal

TORONTO, May 24 (Reuters) – In another sharp blow to
scandal-plagued Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, several key members of
his executive committee at City Hall said on Friday they are
joining forces to publicly call on him to confront allegations
of crack-cocaine use.

The group will release an open letter to Ford on Friday
afternoon, Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday told reporters outside the
mayor’s office. It was not clear how many city councilors on the
13-member executive committee have signed the letter.

May 23, 2013

Toronto mayor fires chief of staff as crack scandal swirls

TORONTO, May 23 (Reuters) – Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
fired his chief of staff on Thursday, as Canada’s largest city
waits for Ford to address allegations that he was caught smoking
crack cocaine on camera.

Ford’s office released a statement saying that Mark Towhey,
who worked for the mayor for more than two years and was chief
of staff for 10 months, was no longer employed by the office.

May 22, 2013

Brother defends Toronto mayor against crack-smoking allegations

TORONTO, May 22 (Reuters) – Toronto’s scandal-hit mayor, Rob
Ford, stayed away from city hall on Wednesday but his older
brother, a fellow city politician, issued a fierce defense of
Ford, who was allegedly caught on a cellphone video smoking
crack cocaine.

“Rob is telling me these stories are untrue, that these
accusations are ridiculous, and I believe him,” said Doug Ford,
his brother’s closest ally on a divided city council.

May 21, 2013

Toronto mayor silent on crack allegations, loses casino vote

TORONTO, May 21 (Reuters) – Toronto’s mayor, facing
allegations that he has been caught on video smoking crack
cocaine, saw his dreams of a building a full-service casino in
the heart of Canada’s largest city dashed on Tuesday, as council
voted against allowing any new gaming facilities.

Rob Ford avoided any contact with reporters at City Hall and
did not address allegations from two media outlets that say they
have seen a cellphone video that appears to show him smoking
crack cocaine.

    • About Julie

      "I currently cover mining and minerals out of the Toronto bureau, where I focus on uranium, silver, platinum, lithium and REEs. Prior to moving to the mining sector, I worked as an online editor and video producer for Reuters.com. I started at Reuters as a TV intern in Chile and before that, I freelanced in Eastern Europe and spent eight months living in the Galapagos Islands."
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