Transport Minister apologizes for cussing at Toronto
Transport Minister John Baird apologized to Toronto Major David Miller for cussing at Toronto.
"I was speaking out of frustration, and I certainly expressed that," John Baird said in the House of Commons on Tuesday. "This morning I phoned Mayor Miller and apologized. The mayor and I both agreed — let's look to the future. Let's continue to build on the important investments that we need to make in public transit and we committed to work with them over the next two weeks to make it happen."
He had 'cussed' without realising reporters were there.
Baird uttered the expletive casually on Monday after he mistakenly walked into a media room at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention in Whistler, B.C.
Baird told his aides that Toronto's application for federal infrastructure funds was the only one out of 2,700 applicants that didn't meet the eligibility criteria.
A reporter overheard him saying Toronto shouldn't complain about not getting the funds fast enough.
"Twenty-seven hundred people got it right. They didn't. That is not a partnership and they're bitching at us," Baird was heard saying.
"They should f--- off."
Both Mr. Miller and Mr. Baird agreed look ahead.
"This morning I phoned Mayor (David) Miller and apologized," he told the House of Commons during question period.
"The mayor and I both agreed let's look to the future. Let's continue to build on the important investments we need to make in public transit ... and we committed to work with them over the next few weeks to make it happen."
Opposition claimed this reflects an arrogant attitude of Conservatives.
opposition critics said that Baird's criticism of Toronto reflects an arrogant attitude and disdain toward the seat-rich metropolitan region where the Conservative party has hoped to make a political breakthrough.
"I think it does expose some of the basic questions on Canadians' minds," said Liberal infrastructure critic Gerard Kennedy. "Can the Conservatives deliver the good government they need when you need government, and are they making this recession worse by choosing their political needs ahead of the needs of areas like Toronto?"
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty however feels this comment does not reflect Harper government's attitude.
Speaking to reporters in Stratford, Ont., Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said that Baird's comments were "not very helpful," but feels that they don't reflect the Harper government's attitude.