Saturday, January 29, 2022

Ajax MPP Rod Phillips says he will not run for re-election in June

Long-term care minister Rod Phillips has announced that he is resigning from his seat and will not seek re-election in the spring.

Philips made the announcement in a statement shared on social media on Friday afternoon.

“I have always considered public service a privilege and an honor to serve as MPP for Ajax and in three cabinet departments. That said, my professional life has been spent in the business world and I am looking forward to returning to the private sector. I hope so,” he said.

Phillips, who is the former chairman and CEO of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, was recruited to run under the Progressive Conservative banner in the 2018 provincial election, when he was considered a star candidate.

He was initially appointed as the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks before being given the Finance portfolio in a later cabinet reshuffle.

But in December 2020, it came under fire after it emerged that he and his wife had gone on vacation to St. Avoid all non-essential travel.

At the time, Phillips called the trip a “dumb, dumb mistake” and resigned from cabinet.

However, Phillips was reinstated to cabinet last June, replacing Merrily Fullerton as long-term care minister.

During his time in long-term care, Phillips presided over new legislation governing the area, including fines for rule breakers and money for additional inspectors.

He also introduced a vaccine mandate for all long-term care workers, the only vaccine mandate initiated by the Ford government.

Nonetheless, he stepped down at a time of increased challenges for the sector with 326 of Ontario’s 326 long-term care homes currently dealing with active outbreaks of COVID-19.

The protection provided by vaccination has meant fewer long-term care residents died than in earlier waves of the pandemic, but the government still had to implement new rules restricting visitors outside of essential caregivers Huh.

In his statement, Phillips expressed his confidence in Premier Doug Ford’s leadership “through what is undoubtedly the greatest challenge of our lives” and said he believes Ontarians will elect their government at the next provincial election.

However, some say that his resignation less than five months before Ontario’s elections sends a very different message.

“Rod Phillips’ decision and announcement today is a surprise vote of no confidence in Doug Ford’s abilities and Doug Ford’s leadership or lack of leadership from a senior cabinet minister,” Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca told CP24 on Friday afternoon. “I think for several months now the people of Ontario have known that Doug Ford has been precarious and knows that he is always stumbling at the last second, but at this point in time a senior cabinet minister is essentially saying that his A public way out of works is absolutely amazing.”

NDP leader Andrea said, “Clery Rod Phillips can no longer defend the government nor can he defend his own record as a long-term care minister who did not protect seniors in long-term care.” as we see what’s happening right now.” Horvath in a later interview with CP24. “When it comes to long-term care, I must say that both liberals and conservatives are stubbornly holding on to the system where private profit reigns supreme and it has to be stopped.”

Ford issued a statement

Phillips said he would resign as MPP next month, to ensure the PC party has enough time to nominate a candidate to hold elections at Ajax.

Another caucus member – Jeff Yurek – also confirmed he would resign and would not seek re-election in the spring, a week after his announcement came.

A total of eight PC MPPs have announced that they will not seek re-election so far, including Phillips.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Ford thanked Phillips for his work “advancing important and necessary improvements to Ontario’s long-term care system.”

The premier said many of those reforms, including the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, will have a “long-term impact” when it comes to “improving the lives of long-term care residents and their families”.

“I have no doubt that there are great things ahead for Rod,” he said.

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