Doug Ford responded to a Globe and Mail investigation Saturday that revealed the Toronto councillor used to sell hashish in the 1980s by disputing the paper's report and by defending his brother, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, and his family.
Speaking with CP24's Stephen LeDrew, Doug Ford emphatically called The Globe and Mail story a complete fabrication.
"That's a lie, an outright lie," he said when asked whether he was the "go-to" hash dealer in Etobicoke in the 1980s.
"I never did this drive-through drug dealing that they're saying. It's an absolute lie."
In a round of media interviews, Mr. Ford was emphatic in his assertions, but focused more on attacking the paper and less on the specifics of its report.
Globe and Mail editor John Stackhouse said Saturday the paper stands by its original reporting.
"Our story has been scrutinized and is accurate. The facts don't seem to be what's in question," he said. "Doug Ford is avoiding the issue at hand, and yet again is trying to distract public attention and scrutiny from important civic questions."
During several interviews, Doug Ford mentioned having smoked marijuana in the past. The original Globe report was about his involvement in selling hashish, and made no mention of smoking marijuana.
"Yeah, when I was 16, 17, 18, I smoked marijuana," he told the CBC. "And if that's the end of the world, (if) this is the best they have 30 years – they go back 30 years, spend two years to come up with this. You've gotta be kidding me," he said.
Mr. Ford emphasized his work in the community over the years, including working with youth programs to get kids off of drugs. "I have four young kids. I don't condone drugs. I don't condone drug use. I fight against it in our ward," he told the CBC.
Mr. Ford did not respond to multiple requests Saturday for comment from The Globe.
The Globe and Mail investigation was the result of 18 months of research, including interviews with dozens of people who knew the Ford brothers in their formative years. The story painted a picture of a family once deeply immersed in the illegal drug scene, and explained how all three of Mayor Ford's siblings – brother Randy, 51, sister Kathy, 52, as well as Doug, 48, – have had ties to drug traffickers.
Ten people who grew up with Doug Ford – a group that includes two former hashish suppliers, three street-level drug dealers and a number of casual users of hash – have described in a series of interviews how for several years Doug Ford was a go-to dealer of hash in Etobicoke, a Toronto suburb.
These sources had varying degrees of knowledge of his activities: Some said they purchased hash directly from him, some said they supplied him, while others said they observed him handling large quantities of the drug.
Doug Ford is a member of Toronto's city council – and no ordinary councillor. First elected in 2010 as his brother was swept into the mayor's office, he has emerged as a truly powerful figure at City Hall –– trying to overhaul plans for Toronto's waterfront less than a year after arriving. He also has higher aspirations, and has said he wants to follow in the footsteps of his father, Doug Ford Sr., by running in the next provincial election as a Conservative.