Politician Caught Taking Caribbean Holiday Resigns

Ontario finance minister Rod Phillips tweeted in a way that made it seem like he was home
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2021 7:55 AM CST
Canadian Politician Who Jetted to Caribbean Resigns
In this Nov. 3, 2020 file photo, Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips speaks at a press conference at Queen's Park during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, Canada.   (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

One Canadian's "dumb mistake" has cost him his job—and a relatively high-profile one at that. Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Thursday announced the resignation of Finance Minister Rod Phillips, who traveled to St. Barts in the Caribbean on Dec. 13 as the government urged citizens to avoid all non-essential travel. Phillips returned Thursday after his whereabouts were revealed; during his time away he had been tweeting in a way that implied he was still in Ontario. The Guardian flags one video, posted Christmas Eve, in which he was sitting by a fireplace with eggnog and a gingerbread house beside him.

The BBC reports that upon landing at Toronto Pearson Airport, Phillips told reporters he hoped to hang on to his job, but "obviously, I made a significant error in judgment, and I will be accountable for that." Ford's announcement came after the two had a conversation. Bloomberg's take: "It’s a dramatic fall from grace. He’s a neophyte politician and has been Ontario’s finance minister for just 18 months, releasing his first budget only last month." (Read more resignation stories.)

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