Ajax MPP Rod Phillips controversial Caribbean vacation has cost him his post as Ontario’s Finance Minister.
Phillips resigned from cabinet Thursday, hours after returning from a weeks long vacation to the posh island of Saint Barthélemy (St Barts).
Premier Doug Ford issued a statement Thursday that he had accepted the minister’s resignation.
“Today, following my conversation with Rod Phillips, I have accepted his resignation as Ontario’s minister of finance,” Ford said in a statement.
“At a time when the people of Ontario have sacrificed so much, today’s resignation is a demonstration that our government takes seriously our obligation to hold ourselves to a higher standard.”
Pickering-Uxbridge MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy will be taking on the role of Finance Minister while keeping his position as President of the Treasury Board.
Phillips came under fire earlier this week after confirming that he had been on vacation and returned to Canada Thursday morning after being summoned back by Ford.
Phillips’ trip caused even more anger due to his Twitter account continuing to post photos of him from around Durham.
The twitter posts, capped with a fire side “Christmas Eve’ video, inferred that Phillips was spending the holidays supporting local businesses.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement in response to Rod Phillips’ resignation as Finance Minister:
“Doug Ford knew about Rod Phillips’ trip to St. Barts two weeks ago. Not only did Ford not fire him then, he helped him keep the trip a secret. Phillips’ resignation from cabinet today is not because of Phillips’ vacation, it’s because they got caught.”
Ford admitted that he had known about the vacation for weeks, saying he’d made a mistake in not immediately telling the minister to come back.
Phillips will remain on Ajax’s MPP but the loss of a cabinet post will cost him nearly $50,000 in annual salary.
Photo courtesy of @RodPhillips01