The mayor's first speech since his return is invitation-only, and will exclude established outlets like Toronto Community News, Now Magazine, and the Canadian Press. Amin Massoudi, Ford's communications director, claims the organizations are being left out because "there's a restricted amount of space available in the office" where the conference will be held, despite a larger venue that is apparently available.
John Tory, a Toronto mayoral candidate, took the opportunity to release a statement calling for Ford to step down.
John Tory has issued a statement in advance of Rob Ford's return speech. The beginning: pic.twitter.com/tzrQNMQvqj
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) June 30, 2014
UPDATE: Ford spoke for about 20 minutes. He acknowledged that he is an addict, thanked the staff at the rehab center where he was treated, apologized to the people of Toronto, and pledged to continue working for the city. He also apologized to City Councillor Karen Stintz for the "offensive and degrading remarks" he was recorded making earlier this year. ("I'd like to fucking jam her, but she don't want...")
"I am absolutely determined to make myself the best person I can be," he said, speaking slowly and deliberately. "For my family, for the people of Toronto, and with your support, I am also resolved to work harder than ever for the taxpayers of this great city."
"While I know it is just the beginning of my personal journey — and friends, it is a long journey — my resolve as your mayor has not changed. We have accomplished a lot together."
When he finished, the mayor took big sip of water, ignoring the reporters shouting questions about racism, drugs, and other indiscretions, and walked out.