by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
Canada’s minister of transport, infrastructure and communities, John Baird, was outed on a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation live radio program Feb. 2.
Host Andy Barrie asked guest Pamela Taylor, a Progressive Conservative candidate for the Ontario Legislative Assembly, “Can you think of a single openly gay politician in the Conservative party, federally or provincially?”
Taylor replied: “Openly gay? John Baird.”
“Thank you. You got me,” Barrie responded.
“There are many others,” Taylor said.
“That was really dumb of me,” said Barrie. “I let you walk right into me there.”
Baird is not openly gay but “is a familiar face in gay social circles in Ottawa (and has) attended Ottawa’s Pride parties,” said the Xtra! chain of Canadian gay newspapers.
A day later, Xtra! added: “(W)hen he’s not answering media questions, he is pretty frank about his sexuality (officially: whatever his sexuality is).”
Baird did not respond to requests for comment on the incident.
Taylor lost the election Feb. 4, coming in third. Openly gay Liberal Glen Murray, the former mayor of Winnipeg, won the seat, replacing openly gay Liberal George Smitherman, the former Ontario deputy premier, who stepped down in November to run for mayor of Toronto.
There are 24 candidates registered for the Oct. 25 mayoral election.