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!