Ex-minister John Baird looks to private sector

A source close to former foreign affairs minister John Baird says that he is expected to move to Toronto to pursue a career in the private sector, according to the Globe and Mail.

Sources say that it will likely be weeks before Baird announces his future career plans.

This comes after Baird’s surprise resignation from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet on Feb. 2 and the announcement of his future plans to step down as MP for Ottawa West-Nepean.

Sources close to Baird suggest that he is interested in a mix of private sector roles, which include corporate directorship, work with think tanks, public speaking and consulting.

Baird revealed on Feb. 4 he spoke with Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson one day before his resignation. Baird denies that he resigned because of a specific offer from the private sector, and consulted Dawson’s advice on how to conduct himself post-politics.

Baird wanted a further understanding of what his restrictions are when considering an alternate career path.

Federal ethics rules prevent ministers from discussing job offers with potential employers prior to resignation.

According to the CBC, over the next two years Baird cannot:

  • work for, contract with or serve on the board of directors of an entity, which he has had direct, or significant dealings with
  • make representations to a department, organization, board, commission, or tribunal with which he had direct or significant official dealings

Also, Baird cannot make direct representations to any ministers in cabinet who were there when he was. Also banned are any paid lobbying ventures for the next five years.

Related Articles:

What John Baird’s departure means for Stephen Harper

John Baird’s sudden departure merely raises questions

As a former public office holder, Baird is banned for life from:

  • taking advantage of his past life in government
  • acting on behalf of an organization or individual on any specific case that he advised the government on
  • sharing any information from his time in office that is not public knowledge

Despite the restrictions, Baird’s distinct political career will ensure that he has no difficulty finding his next path.

Media are reporting that a number of corporations, banks and law firms have already expressed interest in adding the former minister to their roster.

Photo credit: CTV News

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