In Canada on Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford ordered his finance minister, Rod Phillips, to “immediately” return to the country after discovering that he had left Canada earlier this month for a holiday.
Phillips and his wife left Canada on Dec. 13 and are still abroad, according to his spokesperson, Emily Hogeveen. His location was not revealed.
Ford said Phillips’ decision to travel is “completely unacceptable” – given that Ontario’s government last month issued guidelines urging its residents to stay home in order to curb the spread.
“I have let the minister know that his decision to travel is completely unacceptable and that it will not be tolerated again – by him or any member of our cabinet and caucus,” Ford said in a statement.
Phillips’ official Twitter profile is filled with tweets highlighting the seriousness of the pandemic. In a Christmas Eve tweet, Phillips paid tribute to frontline workers making sacrifices during the holiday season.
Phillips spokesperson told the Toronto Star that several photos of Phillips visiting public small businesses and fundraises were taken before his personal trip and tweeted out while he was still abroad.
As of Tuesday, Ontario has reported more than 2,500 COVID-19 cases with some 40 deaths.