Rod Phillips to step down as long-term care minister, won’t seek re-election in June

Phillips resigned as finance minister over a controversial Caribbean holiday in December 2020

Rod Phillips has almost reached the end of the political road.

The Long-Term Care Minister is calling it quits next month and won’t seek re-election in June.

The MPP for Ajax made the announcement in a statement shared on social media Friday afternoon.

“I have always considered public service a privilege and it has been an honour to serve as the MPP for Ajax and in three cabinet portfolios. That said, my professional life has been spent in the business world and I look forward to returning to the private sector,” he said.

Phillips, who is former President and CEO of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, served as environment minister during the first year of Doug Ford’s government before being shuffled to the finance portfolio in a cabinet shuffle. He resigned from cabinet after Phillips and his wife took a Caribbean holiday in December 2020 while health officials urged Ontarians to stay home and avoid all non-essential travel due to the rapid spread of COVID-19.

His time-out from cabinet ended last June when Ford removed Merrilee Fullerton as long-term care minister and moved him into the job.

During his tenure, Phillips introduced a vaccine mandate for long-term care workers, the only vaccine mandate introduced by the Ford government, he presided over new legislation governing the sector which includes money for additional inspectors and increased fines.