Feather Baird

And another thing. Today's newspapers report that former Foreign Minister John Baird has been hired as an international advisor by Barrick Gold Corp. and CP has nominated him for a position on its board of directors. Lucky him. Now I do not dispute that John Baird is a very talented, hard-working and persuasive individual with a real gift for getting along with people, well suited to these new posts. Still, two things puzzle me.

First, apparently the CP job will pay $235,000 a year, possibly more. Yet it leaves time for the Barrick post and perhaps others as well so it's not a full-time job. What can even someone as talented as John Baird contribute that's worth that much as a part-time gig?

Some news stories suggest he's being hired for the connections he made in his time in politics. Well, if they're worth that much, more power to him, though arguably it suggests governments have too much largesse at their disposal if knowing your way around them is this valuable. But I also note that in response to concerns about the ethics of landing such splendid advisory jobs after playing a major role in tightening up the rules about former politicians becoming highly-paid lobbyists, Baird tweeted that “I consulted the Ethics Commissioner before joining Barrick and before accepting CP’s invitation to serve on their Board. Got the green light.”

Does he suppose morality is a technical field to be delegated to highly-paid experts?

Oh well. Maybe in his world it is.

UncategorizedJohn Robson