Rob Ford roundup: An email from the fired chief of staff and weekend protest

Manisha Krishnan/Maclean's

The Toronto Sun started Monday morning with a reminder that the media is not done with the Rob Ford crack-cocaine story yet. Sun City Hall reporter Don Peat got his hands on the email Ford’s former chief of staff Mark Towhey sent out to staff on the evening before he was fired.

A blurry photo of the email, sent at 5:18 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22 reads:

Do not answer calls from the mayor tonight.

Take the night off.

Will explain in the AM.

Earl, George, David call me when you can.

Towhey sent the email on the same night that news came out about Ford being relieved of his volunteer football coaching duties at Don Bosco high school. Both the Sun and the Toronto Star have quote sources who say, on that evening, Towhey refused to help Ford host a pizza party for his former players, and both have also reported that Ford wanted to drive to the school and take back the football equipment that he had donated.

The men mentioned at the end of the letter are: David Price, Ford’s director of logistics and operations; Earl Provost, Ford’s new chief of staff and George Christopoulos, Ford’s press secretary.

Towhey was fired the next day. Chistopoulos left the following Monday, quitting along with deputy press secretary Isaac Ransom.

The Sun’s latest scoop comes after a busy weekend for Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford. The pair was back on its weekly talk-radio show Sunday, where the Fords were careful not to mention the alleged video of the mayor smoking crack cocaine, but they did take aim at “the media” and Ontario’s Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne. “She couldn’t organize a two-car funeral and you’re telling me to get my house in order? I’ve proven I can get my house in order, I’ve saved a billion dollars in two years Premier,” Rob Ford said of Wynne, who said last week that she was concerned about the goings on a Toronto City Hall.

Also on the weekend, Mayor Ford took time to scoop ice cream at Baskin Robbins as part of a fundraiser for a Toronto children’s hospital.

As Ford was scooping treats, protesters gathered in front of City Hall to demand his departure.

While Ford leaving City Hall looks pretty unlikely at this point, it is also unlikely that he will attend the Pride parade. Ford told a local radio station that he will likely go to his family’s cottage on the Canada Day long weekend, which is the same weekend that the parade — a huge tourist draw for the city — winds through the streets of downtown Toronto. Ford has yet to attend a Pride parade since becoming mayor of Toronto, and his absence has been a point of contention with the city’s LGBT community.

And, just in case you were wondering about that big guy in the blue shirt standing guard during all of the mayor’s press conferences, the Toronto Star has a report on Mike Toolaram, a City Hall security guard whose job has likely been a lot more stressful than usual in the last two weeks.

While Ford seems to be waiting for this entire alleged crack-cocaine use scandal to die down, media aren’t giving up. Camera crews were camped out in their usual spot outside the mayor’s office Monday morning.

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