PHOTO: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in his best-loved role as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s foreign affairs tough guy.

How about that John Baird resignation?

The theories over the water cooler were pretty fanciful this morning – ranging from speculation about possible controversial wedding plans for the outgoing Foreign Affairs Minister to a falling out with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

A rift would be nice, but it’s said here it’s unlikely. Naw, this is all about money – specifically, pension money.

If Mr. Baird retires now, he gets to collect his $100,000-a-year Parliamentary pension when he turns 55. If he runs again and then comes under the new pension rules for Members of Parliament, he’ll have to wait till he’s 65. So that would be a million dollars for no work foregone.

That is all, I suspect. Entirely defensible, too. It’s not as if he’s going to have trouble finding a well-paying job for the next 10 years – unlike, say, the hapless Rob Anders, MP for the disappearing riding of Calgary West, for whom rejections are piling up from potential employers.

Indeed, if any of us were wearing Mr. Baird’s loafers right now, I’m sure we’d make the same decision and exit, stage right!

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  1. I heard it through the grapevine that the rift between John and Steve began when John accidentally sat on a kitten at one of Laureen’s famous pajama parties at 24 Sussex, which ultimately led to John’s resignation. But, on second thought, the pension idea does seem more plausible.

  2. On the surface, it would seem a perfectly logical economic decision. However, it’s not just about the money. Remember, he would have earned a lot more as a sitting MP.

    I bet CTV’s Robert Fife knows the reason, and perhaps a few other insiders too.

    My guess is, he had a falling out with Steve. My guess is Steve is trying to get ahead of a scandal involving Baird. The way to do that is by accepting his resignation and his promise not to run in the next election.

    The story will come out, but not today or tomorrow, but eventually. Let us be patient.

  3. Now I’m really getting confused. I could have sworn Baird was Israel’s Foreign Minister. Especially after last month when he was visiting the West Bank when he was pelted with eggs by the locals. Which no doubt made for an “eggciting” day.

    Now that Canada is acting as Israel’s proxy army helping their staunch Kurdish allies in Mosul region in northern Iraq. They might as well tear off maple leaf shoulder patch and put on the Star of David.

  4. So it may be a “follow the money” thing? A million bucks extra in the pension fund would certainly be helpful. So, after ten years he gets a full pension at the age of 55. Meanwhile, all who come after, including the poor saps (us) who pay for it have to work to 65 and, in a little while, beyond that to keep them in caviar. It would be nice if the rest of Canadians were as well off after a spell of this government as these guys and their friends are.

    Interesting reaction about it all yesterday, though. Some established religions should look into this. Normally, canonization only happens after an exemplary life, a noble death and several hundred years of investigation interspersed with a few miracles. Yesterday, to read some of the stuff in the MSM, all was forgotten and Baird achieved sainthood by resigning while still a sitting MP.

    De resign-ius nil nisi bonum (to completely mangle a phrase)? Gimme a break…

  5. I am not very unhappy to see Baird go. He was the yes man for Harper in his heartless policies. His absolute cruel support of Israel’s occupation over the Palestinians even after the brutal assault on Gaza which killed approximately 2000 innocent people according to Amnesty International. I am not surprised that he is collecting a big pension, while others can’t afford to save enough for the future. They always complain about “gold plated pensions”, but when the time comes to abolish them, they never do.

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