VIDEO

Toronto mayor says sorry but won't step down

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his mother's house in Toronto on Nov 1, 2013. Embattled Mr Ford apologised on Nov 3 for making "mistakes" but declined to admit he smoked crack cocaine as allegedly shown in a video, brazenly vowing to stay in office. --
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his mother's house in Toronto on Nov 1, 2013. Embattled Mr Ford apologised on Nov 3 for making "mistakes" but declined to admit he smoked crack cocaine as allegedly shown in a video, brazenly vowing to stay in office. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

MONTREAL (AFP) - Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford apologised on Sunday for making "mistakes" but declined to admit he smoked crack cocaine as allegedly shown in a video, brazenly vowing to stay in office.

Mr Ford, who is renowned as a tenacious political operator and has denied he uses the powerful drug, has refused to discuss the content of the video, and said he planned to run for re-election next year.

Although he apologised to his family, Toronto taxpayers and his colleagues, Mr Ford did not specify what it was that he was sorry about.

"Chief, I'm asking you to release this video now," Mr Ford said on his weekly radio show, The City on privately-run Newstalk 1010, referring to Toronto Police chief Bill Blair.

"Whatever this video shows... Toronto residents deserve to see it, and people need to judge for themselves what they see on this video."

Mr Blair said on Thursday that police had uncovered the video, first reported by the Toronto Star newspaper and news website Gawker earlier this year, from a deleted hard drive.

But Mr Blair did not describe the content of the video, only confirming that it showed the mayor and was consistent with previous reporting. Mr Blair said it was up to the courts to decide when to release the footage to the public.

Toronto police have filed 500 pages of heavily-redacted court documents detailing months of police surveillance of Mr Ford and his associates along with videos on materials belonging to suspected drug dealers.

On at least one of those videos, the mayor is alleged to be smoking the drug from a glass pipe at a suspected crack house.

"I'm the first one to admit I am not perfect, I have made mistakes," Mr Ford said on the show he hosts with his brother Doug.

"I sincerely, sincerely apologise to my family, to the citizens, the taxpayers of this great city and to my colleagues on council."

The 44-year-old mayor said he takes "full responsibility" for the scandal, but he was largely cryptic some of his remarks which appeared to address reports that he has pursued a damaging lifestyle, including heavy drinking.

"I want to move forward, but I also know to move forward I have to make changes in my life, which I can assure you that I will do," Mr Ford added.

He also confirmed he plans to seek a new term as mayor for the October 2014 municipal elections.

"I love the work I do and I'm going to keep doing it," Mr Ford said. "Next Oct 27, let the people decide who they want to keep running the city."