Rod Phillips resigns from Doug Ford’s cabinet, won’t seek re-election June 2


In the wake of the major crisis ahead of the election of Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives, long-term care minister Rod Phillips is leaving politics.

Phillips, the prime minister who has represented Ajax since 2018, announced Friday that he will not run in the June 2 election.

“I have spoken to Premier Ford and Brian Patterson, president of the Ontario PC Party, to inform them of my decision to seek re-election and to resign next month as MPP. AjaxPhillips, 56, said in a statement.

“This allows the Prime Minister to appoint a successor to continue the important work of the Ministry of Antiquities. It also ensures that the PC Party has a timely timeline. select the selected person in Ajax I am preparing for a district election, ”he said.

“I have always seen government jobs as an opportunity and it has been an opportunity to be an MPP in Ajax and in three cabinet positions. That being said, my professional life has come to an end and I look forward to getting back to business.

His surprising departure is a political crisis in Ford, coming 20 weeks ahead public opinion says it can be a close choice.

But Phillips praised the strong leadership of the Prime Minister …

“He always puts the best interests of the people of Ontario at heart. I am confident that Ontarians will re-elect their government in the upcoming elections,” he said.

Since taking over as caretaker Prime Minister last June, Phillips has been credited with helping to rehabilitate the Ontario plague-stricken nursing home, which was hit hard by the first wave of COVID-19.

Together with the involvement of the ministry authorities in the surprise search of houses, they established a approved vaccination program to all employees and ensuring a significant increase in operating budgets and investing in development funding in an area where many international governments are marginalized.

“Our work together has been very meaningful in my time as Crown Minister,” Phillips said of the long-term care role.

“Together we have protected the people with security the toughest laws and the best advocacy in the world, went ahead with the largest long-term care construction program ever held in Canada and invested in education and enrolling thousands of new medical professionals. While we continue to do everything possible to vaccinate and protect our fellow workers in the recent global epidemic. ”

Phillips became a major theme in December 2020 when he went on vacation to the Caribbean island of St. Barts at a time when the federal government was urging people to avoid unnecessary travel.

Although a the cabinet office knew about the Christmas trip, he he resigned as finance minister after returning to save Ford from political embarrassment.

But his absence from the executive council coincides with other Tories of turbulent months, which culminated in a two-day meeting of marathon ministers April ended when ministers decided to force police to monitor the stadiums and close stadiums to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The controversy was dropped the next day amid a loud bang from Ontarians and a direct result of his dissatisfaction. Ford moving his minister a few weeks later gave Phillips a difficult file for long-term care.

A successful business leader before entering politics, Phillips chaired Postmedia, the parent company National Post and Toronto Sun, and in 2011 was elected President and CEO of Ontario Lottery and Sport and Liberal Prime Minister Dalton McGuinty.

In 2014, he replaced Toronto Mayor John Tory as chair of the non-partisan party CivicAction urban affairs management agency. He also served as Mel Lastman’s chief of staff after the merger of the old city of Toronto in 1998 with North York, Etobicoke, Scarborough, York and East York.

Formerly mentioned as a potential replacement for Ford as the leader of the Progressive Conservative, Phillips’ resignation disrupts politics as cabinet ministers scramble for his future presidential race.

Robert Benzie is the head of the Star’s Queen’s Park office and a political correspondent in Ontario. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie

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