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Mounting calls for Ford to resign, mayor seeks substance abuse treatment

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leave his home on May 1, 2014 after announcing he would take a leave of absence. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn.

Politicians from across the spectrum and business leaders are calling for Rob Ford to resign as the mayor seeks substance abuse treatment in the United States.

Even Toronto voters, nearly two-thirds polled by Forum Research on Wednesday, think he should resign.

“It’s time for him to resign,” mayoral candidate John Tory told Breakfast Television on Friday.

“He should place his office above everything else…the city has to go on.”

Ford flew to Chicago on a private plane on Thursday morning after admitting to a problem with alcohol and taking a leave of absence from city hall — a decision 87 per cent of voters approved of, Forum said.

The sudden departure came amid reports of another video of him purportedly smoking crack cocaine — allegedly shot this past weekend — as well as an audio tape featuring him ranting and making lewd comments about mayoral candidate Karen Stintz and his wife, Renata.

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said Ford should step down and so did Toronto Region Board of Trade CEO Carol Wilding.

David Soknacki, who, like Tory, is running against Ford in the upcoming Toronto mayoral election, also called on him to resign.

However, other contenders, like Stintz and Olivia Chow, have not said Ford should resign. They both said voters must make that decision on Oct. 27.

“His comments about me were disgusting,” Stintz told Breakfast Television on Friday.

However, she said, her campaign has not changed, and would not go after Ford’s personal troubles. Stintz said voters must weigh policies in the upcoming municipal election.

Watch Stintz’s full interview below:

City manager Joe Pennachetti said Thursday that the position of mayor “becomes vacant if [mayor is] absent for meetings of council for three consecutive meetings, without being authorized to do so by a resolution of council.”

There is a meeting in May and a meeting in June. If Ford misses both, he must return for the July council meeting — or council would have to approve a resolution to allow his absence.

If the resolution is not passed, the position would then be vacant, Pennachetti explained.