Ford apologizes to Stintz during private meeting
Chris Kitching, CP24.com
Published Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:26PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014 5:32PM EDT
Mayor Rob Ford met privately with Coun. Karen Stintz on Thursday to personally apologize for making an inappropriate comment about her at a Toronto bar.
The mayor’s office confirmed Ford initiated the meeting, which it said lasted about 15 minutes.
During a break in Thursday’s council meeting, Stintz wouldn’t tell reporters what was discussed during their face-to-face at city hall.
“It’s a private matter, we’ve discussed it, we’ve come to an agreement and we both agree that the matter is closed,” Stintz told reporters.
Ford made a disparaging remark about Stintz, a former council ally who is trying to unseat him in October’s municipal election, while he was surreptitiously recorded at Sullie Gorman's, an Etobicoke bar, in late April.
“I’d like to f---ing jam her but she doesn’t want…,” Ford says on the audio recording, as his voice is cut off by the sound of laughter.
Ford then apologizes, saying he forgot there was a woman in his company.
The recording was obtained and published by the Toronto Sun days later. At the time, Stintz told reporters she was “shocked and embarrassed.”
It was that story, along with a Globe and Mail report about a new video that shows the mayor smoking a substance from a pipe, that prompted Ford to go to rehab to seek treatment for substance abuse.
Last Sunday, about a week after Ford returned to work after his two-month leave of absence, the Toronto Star published a column penned by Stintz.
She wrote that she wasn’t seeking a public apology from Ford because she doesn’t want to relive the incident through the media.
Instead, Stintz wrote, she preferred a private apology, adding that she no longer had any interest in taking a phone call from Ford after he made a public apology when he returned to the public eye at a June 30 news conference.
Ford is homophobic: councillor
Moments before Stintz spoke to reporters on Thursday, Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam, an openly gay member of council, accused Ford of being homophobic after he was the lone council member to vote against a motion asking city staff to study the feasibility of opening shelter beds for LGBTQ2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning and two-spirited) youth.
Wong-Tam said the study will have no financial impact on the city and the LGBT community is prepared to fundraise and seek corporate sponsors for the shelter spaces.
“For the mayor to vote this down and be the lone objecting vote, it clearly tells me that he doesn’t care,” the councillor told reporters. “Council has now spoken loudly and clearly that we don’t need the mayor on this one.”
The vote was 37-1. Coun. Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother, was one of seven councillors who were absent from the vote.
Wong-Tam said she has tried to have a conversation with the mayor about LGBT issues and she has extended invites for him to meet people in the community to build relationships, but her offers have fallen on deaf ears.
“Every single time the mayor has said, ‘Councillor, I’m busy, my schedule is full, we’ll have to take it one day at a time,’ and then at some point in time the conversations just stopped,” Wong-Tam said.
“In the private sector, if there was anyone that behaved in such an obvious way in that he exhibited such discriminatory behaviour, I think they would be reprimanded," the councillor added. “This just clearly demonstrates that there’s two different standards here. One for Mayor Ford and one for everyone else.”
This is the second consecutive day Rob Ford has created controversy for himself with Toronto’s LGBT community.
At Wednesday’s council session, he refused to stand as his council colleagues gave a standing ovation for the organizers of the WorldPride festivities in Toronto.
Ford missed the weeklong WorldPride event, which wrapped up with a massive parade June 29.
Ford has skipped almost all LGBT events while he's been mayor of Toronto and he has never attended the city's Pride parade.
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