Finance Minister Rod Phillips Breaks Provincial Covid-19 Guidelines

- jim Young

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” - anon

Who’s Calling The Kettle Black?

It’s possible that when Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips booked his trip to St. Barts in the Caribbean, things seemed to be looking up a bit Covid-wise in Ontario. But by December 13 when he left for his vacation - not so much.

Ontario Finance Minister
Rod Phillips
Still, we were not in a lock-down situation province wide nor was Phillips likely aware, like the rest of us, that we would be facing a lock-down situation immediately following Christmas.

However that does not excuse Phillips’ poor judgement given that the province of Ontario was urging everyone to avoid non-essential travel during that time.

When are politicians ever going to learn that they need to lead by example?

Phillips’ decision to take that vacation was a monumental, stupid error in judgement on his part. Granted, Phillips is accepting full responsibility for this error in judgement and not trying to make excuses or place the blame elsewhere. At least he is, now that he has been caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar.

And while Phillips rightfully should be held accountable for his decision, Doug Ford should not be off the hook on this either.

While Ford may not have been aware that Phillips had taken this vacation prior to December 13th, Ford did learn about it shortly after and took no action at that time.

Why not? 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford
Why did Ford not demand Phillips return when he learned of his absence? Could it be that Ford might have hoped it would all blow over undiscovered with no adverse publicity if he helped keep a lid on it? 

Is that leadership by example?

When asked if he would resign, Phillips has indicated that Ford has not yet asked him to resign but it will be discussed.

That’s going to put Ford between a rock and hard place. Ford has made it clear that it is “unacceptable” for any public official to ignore the province’s Covid-19 guidelines, regarding non-essential travel.

If it’s unacceptable, there needs to be consequences or it all becomes lip-service.

But what kind of punishment is Premier Doug Ford in a position to mete out? Wasn’t Ford himself guilty of ignoring the province’s Covid-19 guidelines himself last Easter when he visited his family cottage contrary to these guidelines?

Did Doug Ford not also ignore these guidelines by allowing 2 of his daughters, who did not live in his household, visit on Mother’s Day while asking the rest of Ontario Residents to limit their gatherings to “household” only?

What punishment was meted to Doug Ford for his past transgressions? 

When are politicians ever going to learn that they need to lead by example?

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