Dec 30, 2020

By Jane Brown

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There are calls for Ontario’s finance minister to step down, after it was learned that he took a “planned personal trip” outside of Canada to St. Bart’s earlier this month and where he still remains.

Rod Phillips has since apologized, and Ontario’s premier says the decision to travel is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated again.

Reaction has been swift on social media and in news reports.

NDP deputy leader Sara Singh says: “These guys just think the rules don’t apply to them.”

Former Toronto Mayor David Miller has also had a little fun while condemning the trip. He tweeted a picture of a White Sandy Beach with the caption: “Zoom Background for calls from St. Bart’s.”

He also tweeted: “A Finance Minister does not go to St. Bart’s for three weeks, let alone in the middle of a global health crisis without his/her Premier knowing and agreeing. Utterly unheard of and practically impossible.”

By contrast, the current Toronto mayor feels we need to move on from this.

“I don’t think people realize that the kind of horsewhipping he was given by the premier is something that is not a great experience to have when you’re on a team in politics like that, “John Tory told CP24 on Wednesday, “And he got one of those yesterday. He himself issued a statement saying he deeply regretted taking the trip. I think it’s something you’ll never see a person like Rod Phillips do again.”

John Tory says he’s known Rod Phillips for 25 years and calls Phillips “hard working, dependable and we’re lucky to have people like him in public office.”

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