OTTAWA – Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is saying little about a report that he had sharp words with a cabinet colleague for criticizing Toronto’s embattled mayor, but hinted it had to do with political turf.
The CBC has reported Flaherty confronted Jason Kenney in the House of Commons last month after the employment minister called for Rob Ford’s resignation.
The broadcaster cited unnamed cabinet and caucus sources as saying Flaherty swore at Kenney and told him to shut up about Ford, who the finance minister has called a personal friend.
According to the CBC, the two men had to be separated by colleagues.
Neither minister has has denied an incident took place.
Flaherty, who is the senior minister in the Toronto-area, suggested Kenney, who is the minister responsible for southern Alberta, should stick to his neck of the woods.
“You know, I’m the minister for the Greater Toronto Area. I don’t comment on the mayor of Calgary,” he told reporters as he arrived for a meeting with his provincial counterparts.
For his part, Kenney recently told the CBC that “there’s always going to be some disagreements” but that he gets along with Flaherty.
Kenney raised eyebrows last month when he said Ford should resign over months of scandal involving drug use allegations, public intoxication and verbal gaffes.
He was far more forceful than Prime Minister Harper who merely issued a statement saying he doesn’t condone illegal drug use.