05.25.2013 07:52 AM

The Fords: drug-dealing, drug-using white trash?

The Globe finally publishes their long-awaited – and what has long been known in Toronto political circles – Ford-drug-dealers investigation. Parts worth reading:

There were usually a number of dealers to choose from, some of them supplied by a mainstay at James Gardens – a young man with the hulk-like frame and mop of bright blond hair: Doug Ford. “Most people didn’t approach Doug looking for product. You went to the guys that he supplied. Because if Doug didn’t know you and trust you, he wouldn’t even roll down his window,” Justin said….

Well before the events of the past week, The Globe and Mail began to research the Ford brothers in an effort to chronicle their lives before rising to prominence in Canada’s largest city. Over the past 18 months, it has sought out and interviewed dozens of people who knew them in their formative years.

What has emerged is a portrait of a family once deeply immersed in the illegal drug scene. All three of the mayor’s older siblings – brother Randy, 51, and sister Kathy, 52, as well as Doug, 48 – have had ties to drug traffickers.

Ten people who grew up with Doug Ford – a group that includes two former hashish suppliers, three street-level drug dealers and a number of casual users of hash – have described in a series of interviews how for several years Mr. Ford was a go-to dealer of hash…

But some of the sources said that, in the affluent pocket of Etobicoke where the Fords grew up, he was someone who sold not only to users and street-level dealers, but to dealers one rung higher than those on the street. His tenure as a dealer, many of the sources say, lasted about seven years…

The quantities that Mr. Ford handled were, at times, substantial. “Michael” said he remembered buying hash from Doug Ford at least half a dozen times – before he found a cheaper source – and that each time he bought between one-quarter and one-half of a pound. He said that a quarter-pound sold for between $400 and $425.

Like many of the street-level dealers interviewed, he said he sold hash in order to support his own smoking habits. When asked where Mr. Ford fit in the hierarchy of dealers in their neighbourhood, he replied: “He’d be at the top.”…

One of those arrested was Randy Ford, who was 24 at the time. Court records retrieved from the Archives of Ontario show that he was charged with assault causing bodily harm and the forcible confinement of Mr. Orlando. The records do not disclose how the case was resolved. Randy Ford’s lawyer at the time, Dennis Morris – currently representing Rob Ford in the controversy over the alleged crack-cocaine video – said he did not recall the incident…

But even before that, there was gunplay – and it was fatal. Seven years earlier, Ms. Ford’s lover was fatally shot by her ex-husband, a drug addict named Ennio Stirpe. At his trial, Mr. Stirpe testified that his victim, Michael Kiklas, was a martial artist, which forced him to bring along the shotgun as “an equalizer.”

Not mentioned in the press at the time was the fact that Mr. Kiklas was a white supremacist – a group with which Ms. Ford associated in the 1980s.

Her friends included Gary MacFarlane, a founding member of the short-lived Canadian chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as the late Wolfgang Droege, perhaps the most notorious white supremacist in Canadian history, a former Klansman told The Globe in an interview. Two other former associates of Ms. Ford confirmed her association with known white supremacists…

The former Klansman, who agreed to answer questions by e-mail on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Kathy Ford was close to the movement, but he said he couldn’t recall meeting any of the Ford brothers. He described hanging out in the Fords’ basement and being snubbed by Doug Sr. when Ms. Ford invited him to a party on the family boat. Her father, the former Klansman said, clearly did not approve of his beliefs, while she was engaging and fun but hardly a committed soldier in the race war…

It remains unclear how much Mayor Ford was exposed to his siblings’ escapades and their issues with illegal drugs. He is considerably younger – Doug, the closest, is five years older. But at least one of Doug’s closest and oldest friends has become an official adviser to the mayor’s office. Several sources have identified David Price as a former participant in Doug Ford’s hashish enterprise…

51 Comments

  1. Kelly says:

    Gifts from above. Question though. . . Where the hell was this reporting during the election?

    • Moe Lavigne says:

      Agree! How long have the G&M been sitting on this? After the events of the last couple of weeks, the right’s “tough on crime” BS sure sounds hollow. Isn’t Doug a candidate for the PC’s. Wonder what Hudak will do with this?

    • Sean says:

      Exactly! This was my first reaction too! This situation reminds me of a scene from the show “Newsroom” when they discuss the difference between “fairness” and “truth”. The Canadian media has lately given a voice to hopeless incompetents for the sake of offering a voice to anyone who isn’t Liberal. The attitude of “we can’t really go after these guys because the Liberals would win too easily” seems to set in. This is precisely why Ford and Harper have been allowed to come to power. The truth is ugly, brutal and overtly unfair. Fairness on the other hand, particularly as practiced by the Canadian media, is fluffy nonsense and puts people like Rob Ford on the same pedestal with real, qualified leaders. Ford Nation / Tory Nation is learning a lot about what the truth really looks like this past week for their morally bankrupt party and they’ve damn well had it coming!

  2. G Betts says:

    Toronto Star! Justin Trudeau! Cyclists!

  3. Robin says:

    Well, it could have been worse. He could have been teaching kids instead of selling them drugs. That would be grounds for a Conservative attack ad. This …meh.

  4. deb s says:

    wow, good for them for exposing the drug dynasty. Lets hope the mayor is forced to step down now!

  5. Marc-André Chiasson says:

    Oh the irony. Rob Ford grew up in…drum roll please…Etobicoke. Good thing he didn’t grow up in Dildo or Come-by-Chance.

  6. William says:

    To save the Mayor, I think Doug will ultimately fall on his sword and take the heat.

    And I don’t think we’ll ever see that video. I know that Lennie Briscoe and Jack McCoy would be looking at financial records and looking for bodies.

  7. Chris says:

    Truly astonishing.

  8. Pipes says:

    When Ford was first elected-in 2000 if memory serves, there were rumours and astonishment from some City of Toronto Staff who knew of the families drug activities. So to read this article certainly validates the rumours of 13 years ago.

  9. Tim says:

    I’m not sure about this story. Is something Doug did almost 30 years ago news? I knew pot and hash dealers in the 80’s. I didn’t consider it a big deal then and I still don’t. I’m sure Doug is going to tell us he’s moved on from his youthful indiscretions. And why are they reporting old news about Randy and Kathy who are private citizens? And what more have we learned about Rob Ford? I can see the Fords getting some sympathy playing the persecution card from the publication of this piece and I don’t consider that to be a good thing at all.

    • Cath says:

      It’s already started. People were discussing this at a social event I was at yesterday. They can’t stand Ford but they hate the media even more, so that sympathy card thing you mention isn’t too far off.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Doing drugs is one thing – selling them to others indicates a moral vacuum, no character at all, and a real streak of mean. Selling some pot and hash, or smoking it – is one thing, but selling it at his level (and I can’t believe that he wasn’t also selling coke) is another thing. Lyrics to Steppenwolf’s Pusher Man are all too true.

      • Cath says:

        At the high school I attended in the late ’60s early ’70s drugs were being sold all the time. If you didn’t experiment with booze, pot or hash, you knew someone who did and where to get it. That was high school back then. “but selling it at his level”…..uh he wasn’t a politician when he was a student in high school dudette.

  10. Liam says:

    Since there are references to interviews conducted back in 2011, I bet someone at the Globe is absolutely kicking themselves that they didn’t publish this 6 (hell, 2) months ago.

    As it is, I’ve seen plenty of chatter on the Twitters and such that this is really just yet one more revelation that is basically rolling off peoples’ backs at this point.

    If very, very credible allegations of the more prominent Ford actually DOING drugs within the last 6 months doesn’t knock these guys down for good, it’s hard to imagine what does.

    That said, it’s still worth hoping that SOMETHING sticks eventually, and I agree with your earlier post Warren, this will be the true test of investigative journalism in this country.

    I’m not a violent person by any means, but when Rob Ford walked up to that podium with that loathsome shit-eating grin yesterday, I have never wanted to hit a person in the face so badly in my life. You just knew that they had weaseled their way clear (for now at least – probably by buying/threatening the video out of existence).

    • Reality.Bites says:

      If the Globe had published this 2 months ago the crack dealers would have never tried to sell the video.

      You know. Professional courtesy.

  11. ray says:

    Ah, business as usual in the dirt beneath the shine. Amazing.

  12. Brad Young says:

    None of this is news to me. I grew up not far from the Fords. Everyone at Scralett Heights knew the Fords. Randy by far was the worst though.

  13. A guest here says:

    So lets see if I have this right; our Mayor it seems hangs out with drug dealers who have no hesitation in shooting people, he may smoke crack, his most trusted advisor ran an illicit drug operation with the mayor’s brother where thousands of dollars in hashish was sold, the brother now Councillor Doug Ford ran his operation through a gang of toughs in Etobicoke during the 1980s and…to top it all off the Mayor’s sister was ensconced in the Neo- Nazi sub-culture where she hung out with people like Wolfgang Droege and the KKK…is that about it?

  14. po'd says:

    Well, that’s makes the Harper / Ford BBQ video even more significant.

  15. Ding Ming-Wong says:

    Hi Warren,

    When is SFH playing this concert you mentioned that will donate all profits towards purchasing this
    video of Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack cocaine, or did such an event already occur? If it has
    not yet occurred, I would love to attend such a concert.

    Also, the Crackstarter fund is about $30,000 short as the moment, so is there anyway that you
    could perhaps appeal to some people you know such as John Tory, or other prominent Torontonians
    who have deep pockets, to come up with the remaining money to purchase this video?

    Ding Ming-Wong

  16. steve says:

    Selling Hash at that time should be regarded as a public service

    • The Doctor says:

      True that this story would be much more politically damaging had Doug Ford been accused of selling so-called hard drugs.

      On a related point, it’s not exactly a model of logical consistency for progressive people to assert, as many of them seem to do, that:

      1. Cannabis ought to be legal, and

      2. Doug Ford is a scumbag because he sold hash in the 1980s.

      • Completely wrong. Most people who want cannabis to be legal do not want the state to create a black market for criminals and undesirables to get rich from. Keeping the law off the backs of otherwise innocent users, and removing the huge premium that the black market gives to gangsters is what legalising dope is intended to achieve.

        • The Doctor says:

          Ummm, I understand that point, and that’s what I would want if cannabis were legalized. But in he real world, it’s not legal, even though many (or even most) of us want it to be legal. So that means that anyone who sells cannabis to anyone else is ipso facto a “criminal”. Everybody is entitled to their opinion on the issue, but I personally don’t have a problem with anyone who sells cannabis, by virtue of their doing so. I might have a problem with that person on other grounds, but not simply by virtue of the fact that they’re selling cannabis. If the government wants to legally take over the business amd regulate and tax it, I don’t have a problem with that either. But as we speak today, it’s our government, by virtue of its idiotic drug laws, that has handed the business of selling cannabis over to “criminals”. The same way they did so with booze back in the early 20th century. Looked at that way, Doug Ford is no different from a Bronfman.

  17. michael s says:

    So, the Fords share two things in common with the Hillier clan.

  18. Reality.Bites says:

    Calling the Fords white trash is an insult to white trash.

  19. tf says:

    What a mess.
    As someone who grew up in Southern Ontario, this is not surprising.
    It’s par for the course for lazy young people who don’t want to “work” to make a living.
    This could answer a question I’ve had – why did Rob run for Mayor and not Doug?
    Maybe Doug knew his past wasn’t clean enough, thus making Rob the frontman.
    Low level gangs; adult politics.

    • tf says:

      After reading the article in the G&M, I might have been too quick to characterize the par for lazy people.
      The low level drug trade also attracts people who want to make a faster buck than can be earned in a different line of work.
      There is also the fact that many sell pot or hash only to get cheap product for themselves, friends and family.

      But – are we going to legalize marijuana? Hash? If so, then it could lose it’s bad reputation:)
      Who knows what changes are afoot…?

  20. David says:

    On the same day the NP comes out on Trudeau’s record.I don’t think any of this will stick to the Fords they seem to be getting a lot of sympathy on talk radio.

  21. !o! says:

    Wonder if the provincial conservatives will still want him.

  22. Craig McKie says:

    Well, it has occurred to me that the Ford Family enterprise might well have either bought the video from the mysterious vendor, threatened him into silence, or even had him disposed of. Mr. Ford seemed to be speaking as if it would never ever surface and there are a severely limited number of possible explanations for this belief since we have three eyewitness attestations that it exists. Large wholesale shipments of hash do not drop from the sky into the torpid squalor of Etobicoke. On the contrary, they do seem to come from unsavory people often with historic roots in Sicily and the Lebanon I understand. Those folk would know who was talking now I am sure and would be in a fine position to make credible threats and indeed take executive action against the videographer.

    In turn, this development caused me to speculate about the source of the money Mr. Wright contends he paid from personal funds to Mr. Duffy in an attempt to forestall a Senate audit of his apparent embezzlement. There are certain parallels with the Ford Family business in evidence. Without scoping the details of Nigel’s checking account activity, one cannot conclude that in fact the $90k was his to begin with. FINTRAC the all-knowing database will know. How about the RCMP starts acting like an impartial national police force again and asks for the details? If the money came from ONYX (or the Fords for that matter), I would like to know that. Mandatory sentencing may end up sending a whole lot of Tories to prison…. and that would be rich beyond words.

  23. Mulletaur says:

    I think it’s time for journalists to stop sitting on stories about politicians because they concern their ‘personal’ lives. I think most people would want to know if a candidate for elected public office was or is a crackhead or had a history of dealing drugs in bulk. I have no doubt that there were many journalists who knew of stories about this, and never delved into them to see whether there was any truth to any of it.

    I still can’t believe the Toronto Star sat on the story, seemingly with no intention to publish it until Gawker broke it. You can’t blame libel chill in this case, because the Star eventually did publish the story. Journalists can no longer blame their megamedia employers – there are lots of ways to get a story out through social media that don’t require corporate lawyers to weigh in or risk losing advertisers. Journalists in this country are, in their vast majority, lazy, stupid, partisan and cowardly. They are a millstone around the neck of our democracy.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Holy Cow. So much for Toronto The Good. Raise your kids in Calgary.

  25. JD says:

    Sad to see all this drug-war nonsense here. Most of the writers, musicians and philosophers you people revere were drug users. I understand you want to bash Ford–who doesn’t?–but joining the drug war to do it is a bad idea.

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