© Peter J. Thompson/National PostToronto Mayor Rob Ford arrives at his City Hall offices on Friday May 17, 2013. In 2005, he said "harm reduction" strategies only encourage addicts to continue their drug use.
Rob Ford said 'tough love' is the only way to battle drug use in 2005

Rob Ford may not have had much to say about crack on Friday, but he had plenty to say in a story published in the National Post on October 18 of 2005. He spoke on the subject of the city's drug strategy, free pipes and safe inhalation sites. Here is that article in full:

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Toronto should consider building crematoria beside crack houses if the city's proposed drug strategy is implemented, city councillor Rob Ford warned yesterday.

The councillor, who has battled addiction in his own family, blasted a new report by Toronto Public Health on combating alcohol and drug use in the city. The report recommends the city distribute crack pipes and other paraphernalia to addicts and explore opening safe injection and inhalation sites.

"It's euthanasia. You're just giving them a place to kill themselves. That's what is going to happen. You might as well just have a crematorium beside the crack house," Mr. Ford said.

He said these "harm reduction" strategies only encourage addicts to continue their drug use.

"You're not helping them, you're enabling them," Mr. Ford said. "They're going to smoke that crack whether you give them those crack pipes or not. They're going to shoot that heroin whether you give them clean needles or not. If people want a change, it has to come from within."

Mr. Ford has vocally opposed the city's support of harm-reduction strategies in the past, including a program at the Seaton House shelter that distributes wine and cigarettes to addicts.

According to the drug strategy, such harm-reduction measures as "safer crack use kits" may prevent the spread of disease between users. In addition, they allow outreach workers to connect with addicts and build trust.

The strategy also calls for better public education, increased treatment programs and a 24-hour crisis centre to help addicts.

Mr. Ford said the city should concentrate on enforcement and rehabilitation measures.

"You have to get these people into rehabilitation and if they don't want to go, well, then you just enforce the law. If it's illegal, you arrest them. That's the bottom line and if they have to dry out in jail - great," he said.

Mr. Ford said problems in his own family have taught him "tough love" is the only way to battle drug use.

The councillor's sister was shot and wounded during an altercation in her parents' home. One of the men involved in the shooting was charged with cocaine possession.

"I know for a fact that tough love has worked and I'm talking from personal experience. If you just enable someone and give them a place to live and money, nothing changes," Mr. Ford said.

Gawker media's John Cook reported that he had seen a video that he believed was of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. It is not possible to independently verify this at this time.