Just what Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will be doing at this year's Santa Claus parade Sunday is up in the air, although parade organizers say he won't be marching and his office is saying he would like to keep his tradition of walking the route.
"He won't be walking in the parade," said parade co-chairman Ron Barbaro. "He will be watching the parade with his family and that is his participation."
But, Mr. Ford's chief of staff Earl Provost insists the mayor will still participate in the parade, though the extent of his involvement has not yet been determined. Last week, the mayor admitted he smoked crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor" after months of denial.
"He is participating in the parade and we are sorting out the details," Mr. Provost told The Globe and Mail. "He is going to be there. He is going to do something official. He is the mayor of Toronto."
Late in the day Mr. Provost said the mayor has his heart set on walking although that is yet to be confirmed.
Mr. Barbaro said the mayor's office told parade officials last week that Mr. Ford will not be walking at the Nov. 17 event as he has in the past.
According to Mr. Barbaro, parade organizers have always been impressed with Mr. Ford's participation. He has walked the parade's route from Christie Pits to the St. Lawrence Market handing out candy canes to children along the way each year.
"He's the only mayor who ever really walked the whole parade, which I thought was spectacular," Mr. Barbaro said.