Sean Kilpatrick, The Canadian Press
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds a press conference prior to the Big City Mayor's Meeting at Ottawa City Hall on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Ford refused adamantly Thursday to apologize for a profane video rant against the city's police chief.
TORONTO - A defiant Mayor Rob Ford refused adamantly Thursday to apologize for a profane video rant against the city's police chief.
Instead, Ford said it was Chief Bill Blair who had to explain the cost of a long-standing police investigation into the mayor's activities that led to the arrest of a personal friend.
"I have nothing to apologize," Ford thundered to reporters at city hall.
"Why won't he come clean and tell the taxpayers how much money has he spent on surveilling me and obviously coming up with nothing — coming up with me urinating in a parking lot?"
Ford also again challenged Blair to arrest him if there were grounds to do so.
On Wednesday, Blair said he was "deeply offended" by remarks Ford had made about him at a restaurant in a surreptitiously filmed profane rant.
During that tirade, which surfaced last month, Ford swears, appears to imitate a Jamaican accent and references Blair and counter-surveillance.
Ford has since admitted he had been drinking at the time.
Blair was not impressed.
"It was disgusting," Blair told CP24 on Wednesday.
"It's shameful to have my name even associated to such behaviour.''
The mayor has been under police investigation since the Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker reported last May on a video appearing to show Ford smoking crack cocaine.
After Blair said police had found a video depicting such activity and expressed disappointment at what he saw, Ford lashed out at the chief for having a political agenda.
Ford did however end months of denials and admit to having smoked crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor" but has since said he did not use illegal drugs and had stopped drinking.
The mayor's friend Alexander Lisi was charged in the police investigation with drug offences, and later charged with extortion in relation to the so-called "crack" video.
When he was arrested, Lisi is reported to have suggested to police that the mayor would go after them in a manner they took as a threat.
Ford said he could not comment on Lisi because the case is before the courts, but was adamant his spending as mayor is transparent while Blair's is not.
"How about chasing me around for five months, using taxpayers' money, trying to embarrass me, trying to politicize things," Ford said.
"This is embarrassing."
Ford also refused to discuss events around his drug and alcohol use, saying he had already addressed concerns about his behaviour and had moved on.
"I think you've seen a physical change in me," said Ford, who boasted about his fiscal track record.