Baird set to quit foreign affairs post

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OTTAWA – John Baird is well known for his pugnacious displays in the House of Commons — but later this morning, he’s expected to take a much different tone when he quits his foreign affairs post.

Baird is scheduled to address Parliament at 10 a.m. ET to officially announce his resignation.

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 & 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.