OTTAWA—John Baird, one of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s most trusted and high-profile cabinet ministers, is resigning his foreign affairs post and will not seek re-election later this year.
There is widespread speculation that the Ottawa politician is headed to a career in the private sector.
Friends and political foes alike took to Twitter to pay tribute to Baird.
Former Liberal MP Bob Rae—whose association with Baird dates back to their days in the Ontario legislature in the 1990s—called him “bombastic, mean spirited, vicious, eloquent, generous, smart, cantankerous, hardworking, ingratiating, effective, human.”
From NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar: “I thank John Baird for his service. We’ve always worked together when we agreed and debated passionately when we didn’t. I wish him the best.”
Last night, Conservative MP Larry Miller tweeted: “Hope what I’m hearing about MP John Baird not running is false He’s been a gr8 FA Minister Hope he’s gonna help Kevin Rudd fix the UN & WHO.”
Baird was recently asked by the head of a new international commission to help him reform the United Nations World Health Organization because it responded too slowly to the Ebola crisis.