Former Ontario Finance Minister and Ajax Member of Provincial Parliament, Rod Phillips, was forced to resign from Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet at the end of last year.
Even as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Ford and other top officials, were calling to avoid non-essential travel, Phillips decided to spend his Christmas vacation in the Caribbean island of St. Barts, while the province was in the grips of Covid-19 pandemic.
The media disclosure and the following public furore forced Phillips to resign as minister. But he still holds the MPP seat from Ajax, which is now being challenged by local career educator Amber Bowen.
Amber has been nominated as the Ontario Liberal Candidate for Ajax in the next provincial election. She is also an elected trade unionist with the Elementary Teachers of Toronto where she advocates with and on behalf of educators, students and their parents for a stronger public education system.
Here is why Amber says she wants to take on Rod Phillips in the 43rd Ontario general election which will be held a year from now, on or before June 2, 2022:
“There has never been a more important time to have a say in who represents us at Queen’s Park. We have seen a lack of leadership in the face of this pandemic that has amplified the problems that have existed in our systems for far too long.
Our healthcare system has been put under tremendous strain. Ontarians everywhere have lost their employment, struggled to pay rent, buy food, and provide for their families. We have seen our educators and kids struggling with online learning because this government failed to make our classrooms safe to protect them from Covid-19. We have seen the toll this has taken on working parents with more and more moms deciding to quit their jobs.
At a crossroads
This pandemic has brought us to a crossroads. We can either go back to the way things were that allowed for this to happen in the first place, or we can build back stronger with a system that doesn’t allow people to fall through the cracks.
Building back stronger won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight. But we have seen Ontarians everywhere, including right here in Ajax, band together in the face of adversity like never before – and that gives me hope. It gives me hope that if we work together, as a team, we can build back stronger – and it starts right here in Ajax. It was this hope that encouraged me to step up to be the Ontario Liberal Candidate here in Ajax.
I learned at a very young age how lucky I was to be born in Canada; a place where we have so much to be grateful for. My maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors who fled
to Canada after the war. They worked hard for a better life for their family. My dad was born in Libya and moved to Canada as a child. He met my mother in high school, became a teacher, moved to Durham to start a family and soon became a Vice-Principal of a secondary school.
As a kid I loved going to school with him and seeing him in the classroom where students and staff looked up to him. He taught me so much about leadership and the impact an educator can have on students. That is what eventually led me to the teaching profession.
I’m a proud career public school elementary teacher, where I connect with students and parents in our community every day. I am also an elected trade unionist where I advocate on behalf of educators for better schools, and an improved public education system for all our kids.
My family has taught me to push for better, stand up for what is right and fair. Those are the values that have shaped who I am today and why I’m running to represent Ajax in the next election. It is because I know that our community deserves so much better. We deserve someone in our corner who will put us first, no matter what, and work with us to find solutions to the problems that keep us all up at night.
Ajax is our home, and it is why I will work tirelessly on our behalf – to bring a strong voice to Queen’s Park advocating for the things that matter to us.”