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Ontario: big rat jumps DoFo ship ahead of election

John Bell

January 15, 2022

First rule of political spin: if something is bad for your government/party, announce it late on a Friday afternoon.

Breaking news, announced approximately 3:00 PM, Friday January 14. Rod Phillips, Ontario minister for Long Term Care has left cabinet and is quitting politics. At the peak of the latest COVID wave, he's heading for the hills. He is the first high-profile Tory to abandon ship ahead of the spring election,

Phillips had previously served in Doug Ford’s cabinet as Environment Minister, and as Finance Minister. He was briefly demoted from cabinet after being caught sending a fake merry Christmas fireside video to constituents, when actually he was violating government COVID travel regulations and sunning himself in St. Barts. 

(St. Barts is a small Caribbean island devoted to luxury tourism, offering many 4-star hotels, restaurants, and tax-free shopping. Let’s just say, SunWing doesn’t go there.)

His appointment as Minister of Long Term Health was seen as a step in his political rehabilitation. 

Phillips must have had a good look at the polling numbers, and the rabid Tory Party base, and wisely decided there was no future there for him. Now he can wrap himself in Bay St patronage jobs and enjoy his time in St Barts without annoyance. 

He will be replaced in cabinet by Doug Ford's far-right-hand man and consigliere, Paul Calandra. Calandra will continue in his current cabinet roles as Minister of Legislative Affairs, and Government House Leader. The Tories have no intention of addressing the deadly crisis in LTC, so why not make it a part time job.

Readers may recall that Calandra was a high-ranking MP in the Stephen Harper regime, acting as the Dear Leader's Parliamentary Secretary. Not satisfied with the idea of being in opposition, he jumped to provincial politics to again be close to the seat of power.

Before being elected, Calandra was embroiled in a nasty family fight over money and inheritance in which he was accused of stealing from his dying mother and proposed having his sister killed. 

We are sure Calandra is the perfect person for Doug Ford to put in charge of the welfare of Ontario's most vulnerable seniors.

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