Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is making it clear he did not appreciate Employment Minister Jason Kenney’s call for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s resignation.
Federal Conservatives have mostly avoided comment on the ongoing controversy surrounding the mayor, and Mr. Flaherty indicated on Sunday that comments from his Alberta colleague were unwelcome.
“You know, I’m the minister for the Greater Toronto Area. I don’t comment on the mayor of Calgary,” he told reporters Sunday on his way to a dinner with provincial and territorial finance ministers.
Mr. Flaherty was reacting to a weekend news report that said the Finance Minister triggered an angry exchange last month with Mr. Kenney on the topic of Mr. Ford.
The CBC said that Mr. Flaherty told Mr. Kenney to “shut the f–k up” about Mr. Ford. The report said the exchange took place inside the House of Commons. Sources confirmed to The Globe and Mail that the incident took place. Earlier that day, Mr. Kenney spoke with reporters and became the first federal minister to call for the mayor to resign. The mayor and Mr. Flaherty are close personal friends.
In a CBC interview that aired Saturday, Mr. Kenney did not deny the incident took place but stressed that the two ministers have a positive relationship.
“There’s always going to be some disagreements from time to time,” he said. “Jim Flaherty and I get along extremely well. … We may not have agreed on everything over the past seven years, but we’ve agreed on most things very closely and he’s done a phenomenal job as our Finance Minister and I’ll defend him any day of the week.”
Mr. Kenney’s office declined to provide further comment on the issue Sunday.