The news of Rod Phillips’ vacation broke on Tuesday after Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that he had ordered his finance minister to return home.
“At a time when every Ontarian has been asked to make sacrifices, I am extremely disappointed in Minister Phillips and his decision to travel abroad,” Ford said.
Phillips, a member of Ontario’s ruling Progressive Conservative Party, said he left the province for the French island of St. Barts on Dec. 13, after the legislative session ended.
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. Ontario began a lockdown on Dec. 26 to curb the spread of the virus.
Phillips returned home on Thursday and apologized for the trip.
“Today, following my conversation with Rod Phillips, I have accepted his resignation as Ontario’s Minister of Finance,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a statement. “At a time when the people of Ontario have sacrificed so much, today’s resignation is a demonstration that our government takes seriously our obligation to hold ourselves to a higher standard.”