So, I see that former Ontario Finance Minister Rod Philipps has resigned from Doug Ford’s cabinet. Good; that’s an important first step. As John Ibbitson says, Mr Philipps is a talented person and he will, be missed, but, the article says that “The Premier said he has asked President of the Treasury Board, Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, to also assume the position of Finance Minister and deliver the government’s 2021 budget.” That’s a sensible choice. Mr Bethlenfalvy is a relative political neophyte but he is experienced in business and finance and is well known on Bay Street and Wall Street.
I still have a couple of problems. The Premier seems to have known about Mr Philipps’ vacation well before it became public. It looks, to me, as though the pair of them hoped that they, together, could continue to deceive Ontarians. We, Ontarians and, especially we members of the Ontario PC Party, deserve better. IF Premier Ford had ordered Mr Philipps to come back home when he first learned that he was away, in St Barts, then they might have been able to cobble together an acceptable story but, for me, they both erred and it’s hard to say that one was worse than the other.
I remain convinced that Premier Ford has done yeoman service to Ontario and Canada, but in recent weeks his judgment has been called into question on several issues. I think he’s tired. And who can blame him? The stress of leading a government in this global crisis ~ and I believe that, unlike Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Ford was “out front,” making the decisions ~ the really good ones, the really tough ones, the not so great ones and all the others ~ ever since this thing started. That’s the main reason why, when things start to look up, again, that I think he should want to step aside. I hope he does and I hope that ALL members of the legislature give him a standing ovation and an ear-shattering, desk-pounding tribute for a job well done.