John Baird is apparently very particular about his business cards. This matter was, perhaps predictably, a subject of some discussion during Question Period this morning. With his first intervention, for instance, Liberal Scott Brison suggested Mr. Baird was giving taxpayers the “golden finger.” After the Foreign Affairs Minister had laughed this off, Mr. Brison asked a supplementary question, which I reprint here, in its entirety, without comment.
Mr. Speaker, there seems to be quite the quid pro quo going on over there. The foreign minister gives the President of the Treasury Board a $50 million slush fund for his riding. Then the Treasury Board minister lets the foreign minister break the rules to get his golden business cards. This is a very expensive game of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. When Canadians are struggling just to get by, why are Conservative ministers showering each other with gold? Why the golden showers?
After QP, Mr. Brison was asked by reporters about his phrasing. He responded as follows.
I’m a country guy. I don’t know how you interpret these kinds of things, but I’m not that sophisticated in that regard, but I certainly wouldn’t want to piss off the minister, but beyond that, I got to tell you though, the waste and excess of this government seems endless and John Baird is the minister of Foreign Affairs, he’s not the minister of bling and to insist on breaking Treasury Board rules so that he can have golden business cards at a time when too many Canadians are unemployed, too many Canadians are struggling speaks to the arrogance and the out-of-touch nature of this government.
Under questioning he said he was unaware of any inappropriate connotations.