British Columbia’s liquor control authority is “looking into” a report that a Coquitlam bar served alcoholic beverages after closing time to scandal-plagued Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
“The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch is looking into the allegations,” said Julianne McCaffrey, a spokeswoman for B.C.’s Justice Ministry. “There’s no investigation being undertaken. They’re just looking into it.”
The move comes after the Toronto Star reported on Saturday that Mr. Ford showed up at the Foggy Dew pub in Coquitlam and was served rounds of beer, rum and Cokes and whisky shots after last call along with three companions in the early hours of Feb. 1. Citing an unnamed source, the newspaper also alleges that the alcohol was consumed after Mr. Ford spent more than an hour in a washroom and emerged appearing impaired and speaking gibberish.
A few hours earlier, Mr. Ford, who was in B.C. to attend the funeral of a friend’s mother, received a jaywalking ticket steps away from the bar. He later told a reporter all he had had to drink that night was a Diet Coke and accused the RCMP officer of ticketing him because she recognized him.
Suggestions that the popular pub may have served alcohol after the 2 a.m. cut off have caught the attention of Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart, who expressed frustration that Mr. Ford’s visit to the municipality had resulted in a flurry of media attention for police and businesses.
“I have a lot of trust and respect for the management of this facility,” Mr. Stewart said. “I think they are doing a good job and I can’t imagine the circumstances that are being described taking place in this facility.”
Foggy Dew owner John Teti declined comment, telling The Canadian Press: “It’s like a judicial review, I have no comment,” he said, referring to the move by the liquor authority.
Mr. Ford’s spokesman, Amin Massoudi, did not return messages seeking comment on Sunday. The RCMP in B.C. also did not return interview requests.
After admitting last fall that he had tried crack cocaine in a “drunken stupor,” Mr. Ford had repeatedly said that he had quit drinking.
However, Mr. Ford acknowledged he had been drinking “a little bit” last month when he was recorded speaking incoherently in Jamaican patois and using vulgar language to describe Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair at a fast-food restaurant.
Mr. Ford also appeared appeared at 3030 Dundas West, a Toronto bar, early Thursday morning, a source told The Globe. Later that day, Mr. Ford did not show up at City Hall and Mr. Massoudi told the Toronto Sun: “The mayor is not feeling well today. He has taken the day off.”
Meanwhile, a Forum Research poll conducted Thursday found that Mr. Ford’s approval rating has slid slightly to 43 per cent while 37 per cent of respondents said they would vote for him in the October election, the Sun reported. The interactive voice response phone survey is considered accurate to plus or minus 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
With a report from Ann Hui