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Editor’s note: Why we published the Rob Ford photos

Globe and Mail Editor-in-Chief David Walmsley.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

It gives The Globe and Mail no pleasure to revisit once again the troubling social behaviour of Toronto's mayor, Rob Ford. But part of our job is ensuring the electorate has all the facts about who is running Canada's largest city, especially in the middle of a mayoralty campaign.

Two Globe reporters watched a series of videos on Wednesday in which the mayor was smoking what was described by a drug dealer as crack cocaine. The footage was surreptitiously filmed in the basement of Mr. Ford's sister. Mr. Ford, who previously acknowledged having smoked crack cocaine once, has repeatedly insisted he has cleaned up his act. He declined to comment when a Globe reporter asked him about this latest video.

Shortly after we confronted him with questions about his behaviour, he announced that he would be taking a hiatus from campaigning to seek help. The last time the media reported on a drug video involving the mayor, he spent months saying that he could not comment on a video that did not exist.

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In this instance, The Globe was offered the opportunity to buy still images from these videos by an admitted drug dealer. This is not our normal practice. But in this instance, The Globe felt it was a matter of public interest, and that readers needed to see what our reporters watched and reported on. We paid $10,000 for a series of photographs. Toronto is the financial capital of this G8 country and the sixth-biggest government in Canada. Paralysis in Toronto is bad for the country. The mayor is supposed to be the guardian of his city. The photographs we published are a price worth paying.

David Walmsley, Editor-in-Chief

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