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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford apologizes for profanity in 911 call

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford arrives for a meeting with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty at the Ontario Legislature in Toronto on Wednesday August 17, 2011. Ford called 911 Monday morning, Oct. 24, after being confronted by a crew from CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

Frank Gunn/Frank Gunn / CP

Rob Ford apologized Thursday for losing his cool in a conversation with a 9-1-1 dispatcher, acknowledging that in his frustration he used profanities that he now regrets.

The story of the Toronto mayor's 9-1-1 call has gone viral this week, making headlines across the country. Mr. Ford called emergency after being confronted in his driveway by well-known comedian Mary Walsh dressed as a warrior princess as part of a gag for the show This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

Mr. Ford said he has never watched the show, and did not recognize Ms. Walsh's character, and that's why he retreated inside his Etobicoke home and called 9-1-1.

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"I was frustrated. If I offended someone, I apologize," he told reporters. "Maybe I shouldn't have used the F-word. I apologize."

While acknowledging he used the F-word, Mr. Ford denied a CBC story that he called the dispatchers "bitches."

"It was inaccurate," Mr. Ford said of the story when speaking to reporters following an afternoon football game featuring the Don Bosco Eagles, the team he coaches. "I didn't use the 'bitch' word or whatever they said."

Political observers have called on Mr. Ford to release a copy of the 9-1-1 call. Under a precedent-setting ruling by the province's privacy commissioner, anyone who makes 9-1-1 calls is entitled to a copy of the recording.

Asked by reporters if he planned to release the tape, the mayor said he was not aware that he had that option. He said he would have to talk to police about the matter.

With reports from Elizabeth Church and Timothy Appleby

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National reporter

Patrick previously worked in the Globe's Winnipeg bureau, covering the Prairies and Nunavut, and at Toronto City Hall. He is a National Magazine Award recipient and author of the book Mountie In Mukluks. More

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