John Russell Baird, PC, MP (born May 26, 1969) is a Canadian politician currently serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Baird had previously held the posts of Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Environment and President of the Treasury Board. Prior to entering federal politics he was a provincial politician serving in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1995 to 2005 and a cabinet minister in the Progressive Conservative governments of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves serving as the Minister for Children, Community and Social Services, Energy and Francophone Affairs in addition to being the Government's Chief Whip.
Baird was born in Nepean, the son of Marianne Collins and Gerald Baird. He became involved in politics when he backed a candidate for the local federal PC nomination in 1984. The next year, at age sixteen, Baird was the youngest delegate to attend the party's January 1985 provincial leadership convention. as a supporter of Ontario Attorney-General Roy McMurtry. Baird claims to have been a vegetarian since 1997. However, he admits to eating fish, and he is also reported to have eaten seal meat on a trip to the Arctic in 2009.
A long-time resident of the former city of Nepean and a graduate of Kingston's Queen's University, he is the member of the House of Commons of Canada for the riding of Ottawa West—Nepean. Baird was elected as a candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2006 federal election when his party won a minority government over Paul Martin's Liberal Party.
Baird was sworn in as Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, replacing Jay Hill, on August 6, 2010, in the Conservative Government. Prior to this, Baird served as Transport Minister starting October 30, 2008, Environment Minister starting January 2007, & President of the Treasury Board during the Conservatives' first year in power.
Foreign Affairs Minister 2011–present
Activists on board the Canadian Boat to Gaza in November 2011 urged Baird to resign as foreign minister for "failing to do his job". They said they had been roughed up and Tasered by Israeli forces and that "If minister Baird wants to put the interests of a far-right Israeli government before Canadians, he should apply for the job of Israel's ambassador". Baird affirmed Canada's support for Likud's opposition to Palestinian statehood while visiting Israel in February 2012. Apec conference in Russia. He said Canada's decision was not linked to growing speculation of an imminent attack by Israel on Iran's nuclear facilities. Baird said "Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today." Canada's actions were immediately praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who described them as "bold leadership."
On September 7 2012 the foreign minister announced the sudden closure of Canada's embassy in Tehran and the expelling of all Iranian diplomats from Canada. Baird made the announcement at an
April 3, 2012