Toronto Police to investigate latest Ford drug videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drfg_HNJRAc

BY JILL MAHONEY

Toronto Police will investigate a new video showing Mayor Rob Ford smoking what has been described as crack cocaine last weekend.

The Globe and Mail published photos of the mayor holding a copper-coloured pipe and reported that two of its journalists had viewed clips showing Mr. Ford taking a drag, exhaling a cloud of smoke exhaling a cloud of smoke as his right hand and arm shake uncontrollably.

Asked on Thursday if he would investigate the new video, Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux said: “I suspect we will, yeah.”

“We investigate it from any sources, including media sources. So independent sources from the community and the media – we’ll investigate.”

The video, which is part of a package of three recordings, was recorded by a drug dealer in Mr. Ford’s sister’s basement early Saturday morning.

Det. Sgt. Giroux said he will look into the mayor’s actions in the videos as part of his original high-profile probe dubbed Project Brazen 2, which began nearly a year ago after media reports surfaced of another video that apparently showed Mr. Ford smoking crack cocaine.

“Our original mandate was to determine any criminality involved in the mayor or the mayor’s office. So mainly, my focus would be on that. I would stay true to that original mandate that we had.”

OPP’s position unchanged

The Ontario Provincial Police, which withdrew from the Toronto Police probe into Mayor Rob Ford last month, had little to say about fresh news of a video showing the mayor smoking what has been described as crack cocaine on Thursday.

“We have no involvement at this time,” said OPP Sergeant Carolle Dionne, a spokeswoman for the force.

Asked whether the Toronto Police investigation into the new video would trigger the OPP’s involvement, Sgt. Dionne said such a decision would be up to the Toronto force.

“If requested by Toronto PS to assist, we would, but at this time this is an issue that belongs to Toronto Police Services,” she said.

While Toronto Police have long said the investigation known as Project Brazen 2 is ongoing, the Ontario Provincial Police said last month that it had withdrawn from overseeing the probe because of a lack of new information.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair asked the OPP to assume an oversight role in March after criticism that his force’s investigation was politically motivated.

Where do voters get their politics news? TV and the Internet, mostly

In this new digital age, how do you reach voters? Increasingly, parties need to go online. But for now TV is still king.

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Abacus conducted the survey by talking to 2,002 Canadians over the age of 18 through a mix of online panels and live telephone interviews. The data were demographically weighted in line with the general population, and the margin of error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The poll was conducted in January and February of this year.

Ask The Globe: Do we, as PM Harper has stated, have the cleanest electricity grid in Canada?

For the duration of the election, The Globe is answering your questions – from fact-checking leaders’ statements to digging deep into policies and promises. Have a question? Tweet it with #AskTheGlobe

Globe reader Greg Bennett asks: Do we, as PM Harper has stated, have the cleanest electricity grid in Canada?

Energy reporter Shawn McCarthy says yes – it’s true. But the answer is a little more complicated:

Conservatives’ attacks on Mulcair not too effective, survey suggests

As explained in today’s story, new survey data from Innovative Research Group suggests the Liberals are having some success with advertising rebutting Conservative attacks against Justin Trudeau. But of course, they wouldn’t need to do so if those attacks hadn’t been effective in branding the Liberal Leader as a “not ready” lightweight to begin with.

To the much more limited extent that the Tories are going after NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, it appears they’re struggling to find an angle that’s similarly effective.

In the same early-August  survey in which it found the Liberals’ new ad has a significant impact on those who see it, the polling company also tested a pair of anti-Mulcair Conservative ads. Both use the same “job interview” format as the ones against Mr. Trudeau, but the attempts to cast Mr. Mulcair as an opportunistic career politician seemed to have more limited effect.

In fact, when Innovative Research screened the first of those spots (above) – asking respondents a series of questions both before and after they saw it – it found no statistically significant impact on either voting intentions or impressions of Mr. Mulcair relative to the other party leaders.

The second ad, which is slightly more focused on alleging Mr. Mulcair has wasted taxpayers’ money and less so on using his longevity in politics and his past as a (Quebec) Liberal to suggest he’s an opportunist, proved somewhat more effective. Among respondents who hadn’t seen it before, support for the NDP went down by five percentage points after they saw it, although it’s not clear whether that went to the Tories or the Liberals. And the share of respondents who chose Mr. Mulcair as the leader who most “cares about people like me” went down by seven points.

While significant, neither of those hits is huge when an ad is viewed in isolation. And on other perceptions of leaders’ qualities, such as competence and who cares most about the middle class, there was again no clear impact.

Considering how little these two ads have been airing so far, it’s possible the Tories aren’t using their best stuff against the NDP yet. But it’s worth remembering that, even with Mr. Trudeau, they spent a while running spots that didn’t really work before they hit their target. If they decide before this campaign is over to make Mr. Mulcair their main target, they’ll have a much smaller window to get it right.

(Full methodology for Innovative Research’s surveys are available from its website.)