Toronto's embattled mayor Rob Ford left the city Thursday morning on a private plane to Chicago, Global News reports.
Ford left from Toronto's Buttonville Municipal Airport, a small facility that services private planes, just north of the city.
CityNews captured video of Ford leaving his home this morning, bags in tow. He did not answer questions
Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement saying he is "pleased" that the mayor will "seek treatment for his addiction."
Ford announced on Wednesday night he was taking a break from his job and campaigning to seek help. The announcement came just as two Toronto newspapers reported on new damning audio and video recordings of the mayor.
Chicago is a frequent destination for the Ford family. The family's business, Deco Labels, has a plant in Chicago and the mayor's brother, Doug, has a home there as well.
Doug Ford told CBC News reporter Jamie Strashin that his brother will receive inpatient treatment at "one of the best facilities in North America" but declined to say where.
Just spoke with Doug Ford. He says Mayor left this morning and will "immediately" begin "30 day inpatient treatment" when he lands.
— Jamie Strashin (@StrashinCBC) May 1, 2014
City manager Joe Pennachetti was asked by reporters Thursday how long Ford is allowed to stay away.
Pennachetti explained that, according to city policy, the mayor's position becomes vacant if he is absent for three consecutive council meetings without being authorized to do so by council.
"In other words, we've got a May council meeting, a June council meeting, the mayor would have to return for the July council meeting or council would have to approve a resolution to allow his absence," he said.
The Toronto Sun released an audio clip of the mayor slinging off-colour comments about City Councillor Karen Stintz. “I’d like to f**king jam her, but she doesn’t want … I can’t talk like this … I’m so sorry," Ford says. The recording was made on Monday night at Sullie Gorman's, an Etobicoke bar close to the home of Ford's mother.
The Globe and Mail published stills from a video reportedly shot on Saturday night that shows Ford holding a pipe and smoking an unknown substance. The paper purchased the images for $10,000.