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Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, a Ford ally, announced shortly before the debate that he would support the motion, introduced by Minnan-Wong.
"I'm publicly advising the mayor to take some time," Kelly said.
One Ford ally, Councilor Giorgio Mammoliti, called the motion a waste of time. "We can't tell him what to do. Only the electorate can tell him what to do," he said.
Toronto police said last month they had obtained a long-sought video of Ford apparently smoking from a crack pipe but that it does not constitute evidence to charge him. Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash said Ford's acknowledgment Wednesday that he bought illegal drugs would be passed on to investigators.
News reports of the crack video's existence first surfaced in May, but it has not been released publicly.
Another proposed motion would curtail Ford's powers, suspending his authority to appoint and dismiss the deputy mayor and his executive committee, which runs the budget process. It likely won't be debated until Friday.
Toronto's mayor already has limited powers compared to the mayors of many large cities in the United States. He is just one voting member in the council and his power stems mostly from his ability, as the only councilor elected by citywide vote, to build consensus and set the agenda. That authority, many council members say, has evaporated in the crack scandal.
Ford was elected three years ago, riding a backlash from suburbanites who felt alienated by what they deemed Toronto's downtown-centric, liberal-dominated politics.
Despite his eroding political leverage, Ford promises to seek re-election. He maintains a hardcore of supporters he refers to as "Ford Nation," who applaud him for abolishing an annual $60 vehicle registration tax, squeezing valuable concessions out of the labor unions and other cost-saving measures.
More revelations about the mayor's misdeeds surfaced Wednesday when a judge released documents from a drug case against a friend and occasional driver of the mayor, Alexander Lisi. Previously released documents revealed the mayor's ties and covert meetings with Lisi.
The police interviews with Ford's staffers reveal their concerns about the mayor's drug abuse and drunk driving, with one staffer alleging he saw Ford "impaired, driving very fast," and frightening a female staffer who was in the car with him.
In another incident, Ford was described by a former chief of staff as being "very inebriated, verbally abusive and inappropriate with" a female staff member on St. Patrick's Day. Another former staffer reported seeing the mayor drunk in his office about 15 to 20 times in the year he worked for him.
Earlier Wednesday, Ford was grilled by councilors about his links to a Toronto home where he was photographed with three suspected gang members. A police informant has described the residence as a "crack house" and police have said it relates to the crack video.
"That is not a crack house," Ford said. "Have you been in that house?"
Councilor Michael Thompson retorted: "I have no interest in being in that house. I am not a crack user."