Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips Resigns After Beach Vacation

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on December 31, 2020

Over the past couple of days, Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips had taken intense heat for having taken a vacation to St. Barts in December and another personal trip to Switzerland in August.

Upon Phillips’ return from St. Barts, Ontario Premier Doug Ford accepted Phillips’ resignation as the Finance Minister, despite Phillips earlier on Thursday morning saying that he would like to keep his job but understands if he was let go. 

Ford’s in his statement on the matter said:

Today, following my conversation with Rod Phillips, I have accepted his resignation as Ontario’s minister of finance…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.

Although Phillips being punished for the frustrating optics of seeing elected officials vacationing around expensive destinations while Ontarians cannot even dine in a restaurant may calm the media frenzy, it won’t get rid of it either.

Because Phillips had pretended that he was still in Ontario while sitting on the beaches of St. Barts every politician is now under scrutiny on whether or not they were truly in the country regardless of what their social media seems to indicate.


Ford also is not fully off the hook. He may appear to have been the problem solver by coming down hard on Phillips by pushing him to resign, Ford was well aware that Phillips had gone on his December vacation, and the fact it took media attention for Ford to do something says a lot.

To a certain extent, it is questionable whether it was right for the premier to push Phillips to resign, seeing as Ford never dissuaded members of his caucus from taking these trips while Ontarians were severely unemployed and going bankrupt.

It would not be much of a shock at this point if more MPPs in Ontario are discovered to have also been taking badly timed vacations. It probably won’t be too long until we find out either.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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