Ontario LTC Minister Rod Phillips says he won’t run for re-election

Rod Phillips, a key minister in Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s cupboard, won’t search re-election in June’s election, he introduced on Twitter on Friday.

Phillips, who’s Ajax’s MPP and the province’s long-term care minister, stated he would step down from his posts subsequent month and return to the personal sector.

Afterward Friday, Ford’s workplace introduced that Premier had employed Markham-Stuffville MPP Paul Calandra to exchange Philips within the long-term care portfolio.

Phillips served as Minister of the Atmosphere for the primary yr of the Ford authorities. He was then named finance minister, however resigned from that place in December 2020, hours after getting back from a controversial two-week journey to St Barts regardless of public well being guidelines in opposition to journey on the time.

Ford introduced him again into cupboard final yr as longtime care minister, and Phillips stated in his assertion that the timing of his announcement at this time would enable the premier to nominate another person to guide the ministry.

Rod Phillips served as Minister of the Atmosphere for the primary yr of Premier Doug Ford’s authorities. He was then named finance minister, however resigned from that place in December 2020, hours after getting back from a controversial two-week journey to St Barts regardless of public well being guidelines in opposition to journey on the time. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Phillips stated he advised Ford and the pinnacle of the Progressive Conservative Occasion about his choice and thanked Ford in a press release.

“This may enable the Premier to nominate a successor to proceed the vital work of the Ministry of Lengthy-Time period Care,” Phillips wrote.

“It additionally ensures that the PC Occasion has the mandatory time to appoint a candidate at Ajax and put together for the provincial election.”

Ontario’s election is ready for June 2.

Phillips acknowledged what he known as Ford’s “sturdy management” by the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he has “all the time put one of the best for the folks of Ontario.”

“I’m assured that the Ontarians will re-elect their authorities within the upcoming election,” Phillips wrote.

Calandra to keep up different departments

In a press release Friday night time, Ford stated Calandra would preserve his present duties as minister of legislative affairs and chief of the federal government home.

“Because the main voice of our authorities in Queens Park to assist push vital laws, together with the not too long ago handed Fixing Lengthy-Time period Care Act, Minister Calandra is a trusted voice on the cupboard desk and reforming long-term care. We’re effectively positioned to proceed to obtain time period care house residents,” Ford stated.

Ford has introduced that Paul Calandra will probably be Ontario’s subsequent long-term care minister. (CBC)

“Our authorities won’t cease working to create long-term care house beds and enhance the care we offer to residents. Ontario seniors have given our province a lot and we are going to all the time be there for them.”

The long-term care sector faces main challenges

Phillips will step down because the long-term care sector faces nice challenges. Greater than 50 % of long-term care properties have been dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 as of Friday and extra staff had confirmed infections than at every other level within the pandemic.

Within the early levels of the COVID-19 pandemic, greater than 3,800 residents died from the virus in Ontario’s long-term care properties. Ford’s authorities has confronted a storm of criticism because the variety of deaths soared, partly as a result of PC rolled again a complete annual inspection of long-term care properties in 2019.

Vaccination means fewer persons are dying than in earlier waves of an infection, however the Omicron model has resulted in extreme employees shortages throughout the province, prompting requires army help as properties recruit staff. There’s a scuffle for.

Phillips entered public life in 2017 when former Progressive Conservative chief Patrick Brown recruited him to be the Tory candidate for Ajax.

He thought of a run for management of the celebration after Brown resigned in early 2018, however as a substitute backed Caroline Mulroney, who finally misplaced to Ford.

Phillips received a seat within the legislature later that yr, and as atmosphere minister, he oversaw the dismantling of the earlier Liberal authorities’s cap-and-trade local weather change plan and publicly led Ford’s struggle in opposition to the federal carbon tax. did.

Ford thanks Phillips for ‘tireless work’

In the meantime, Ford has thanked Phillips for “his tireless work representing the folks of Ajax and advancing vital and wanted reforms to Ontario’s long-term care system.”

Based on Ford, Philips constructed on the federal government’s work to construct long-term important care properties, recruit extra particular person assist staff and nurses, and, with the passage of the Fixing Lengthy-Time period Care Act, 2021, Improved accountability and transparency. area.

“These initiatives may have a long-lasting influence as they enhance the lives of long-term care residents and their households,” Ford stated in a press release.

Previous to coming into politics, Phillips was CEO of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Company and chairman of the newspaper writer Postmedia.

He additionally served as former Progressive Conservative Labor Minister Elizabeth Witmer and former Toronto chief of employees.
Mayor Mel Lastman.

Phillips’ announcement comes every week after one other caucus member – Jeff Yurek, who was ousted from cupboard final yr – additionally stated he would resign subsequent month and wouldn’t search re-election in June. .

A number of different caucus members have additionally introduced that they won’t search re-election, however will stay so.

Uncertainty ‘placing in danger’ LTC residents, says NDP

Sarah Singh, deputy chief of the Ontario NDP and long-term care critic, stated this isn’t the primary time the federal government has changed long-term care ministers, when residents have been within the midst of a disaster, and persons are involved that seniors will fall into the Ford authorities in disarray. whereas within the crack once more.

“Lengthy-term care properties are dealing with re-outbreaks and growing employees shortages, placing residents in danger,” Singh stated in a press release.

“Households with family members in long-term care really feel that they’ve by no means been a precedence of this authorities. They want speedy reassurance that their family members will obtain the care and safety they want, together with entry to boosters and a fourth dose.”

Based on Singh, the staff additionally want speedy boosters, paid sick days, higher pay and PPE together with N95.

“We have to see a plan now to maintain seniors protected in long-term care throughout this wave. O’Micron will not look forward to Doug Ford to repair his house,” Singh stated.

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