Hours after the Toronto City Council stripped Mayor Rob Ford of his remaining powers at a heated debate where he charged toward hecklers and knocked down a councilwoman, the mayor said his back-stabbing colleagues are guilty of the same issues that have jeopardized his mayoralty.
"What happened today, that's dictatorship and it's all personal. They aren't talking about my record," Ford told ABC News Monday.
"All they did was stab me in the back and over issues, the same issues that I've admitted to that they do. But nobody knows about it," said Ford, who has admitted to purchasing illegal drugs while in office and smoking crack cocaine.
The council's vote has left Ford, 44, virtually powerless, although he retains the title as mayor and ability to represent Toronto at official functions. The vote has slashed his office budget by 60 percent and Ford's deputy mayor now takes on many of the mayor's former powers. The council lacks the power to remove Ford from office unless he is convicted of a crime.
The Monday debate became a circus when Ford traded barbs with constituents seated in a public gallery, some of them chanting "shame" at the mayor. Ford charged toward his critics and in the process knocked down petite Councilwoman Pat McConnell. Ford later said it was an accident and issued yet another apology for his actions.
Ford was also caught on camera taunting one of his colleagues with a drinking-and-driving gesture at the city council meeting.
Council members said Monday it was necessary to restrict the mayor's powers given his erratic behavior while in office.
Only compounding matters, Ford was slammed with accusations of public intoxication and abusing staffers, according to court documents that were released last week in a drug probe.
Ford has refused to step down or take a leave of absence. Instead, he has apologized for his use of crack cocaine and admits he's far from perfect.
"Have I made mistakes? You're absolutely right I have. I'm the first to admit it. It's all my own fault."
When Ford was pressed about possibly having a serious drinking problem he said, "Not at all. Do I excessively drink once in a while, or it's called binge drinking whatever term you want to use? Yes, I have. I absolutely have."
With his dwindling mayoral powers, Ford is setting his sights on making a comeback as the future prime minister of Canada. Ford said he is seeking help with health care professionals "on a number of issues," but declined to give details.
"Talk is cheap," the mayor said. "Come back in five months and if you don't see a difference, then you can say, 'Rob, I don't believe you. Go take a drug test or a urine test or an alcohol test.' No problem."
- Toronto City Council