at Canada On Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford ordered his finance minister, Rod Phillips, to “immediately” return to the country after discovering that he left Canada earlier this month for a vacation.
Phillips and his wife left Canada on December 13 and are still abroad, according to his spokesperson, Emily Hoogeveen. His location was not disclosed.
Ford said Phillips’ decision to travel was “totally unacceptable” – given that the Ontario government last month issued guidelines urging residents to stay home in order to limit the spread of the disease.
“I have informed the minister that his decision to travel is totally unacceptable and that he will not be tolerated again – by him or by any member of our government and our bloc,” Ford said in a statement.
Philips’ official Twitter profile is filled with tweets highlighting the severity of the pandemic. In a Christmas Eve tweet, Phillips paid tribute to frontline workers who make sacrifices during the holiday season.
A Philips spokesperson told Toronto Star Several photos of Phillips were taken while visiting public small businesses and collecting donations before his personal trip and posted on Twitter while he was still abroad.
As of Tuesday, Ontario has reported more than 2,500 cases of COVID-19 with around 40 deaths.