Former foreign affairs minister John Baird is in line for another lucrative job with a blue-chip company, having been nominated to sit on the board of Canadian Pacific.
If he succeeds, this will be Mr. Baird's second post in corporate Canada after quitting the Harper government cabinet in a surprise move earlier this year.
Mr. Baird's name is on a list of proposed candidates for directorships at Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., the company said in investor filings Monday. Directors earn about $235,000 a year in this post and investors are being asked to vote on the nomination.
The former Ottawa MP was also hired by Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold Corp., the firm announced late last week. He will serve as an international adviser to the firm.
The Conservative government has made mining a prominent part of its foreign-aid strategy in recent years, including by launching new aid programs in mineral-rich countries and establishing an institute on global mining policy.
It shifted resources to helping Canadian firms win deals around the world as part of push for what it called economic diplomacy.
Records show Mr. Baird was personally lobbied three times by Barrick during his tenure as foreign affairs minister.
NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus said the ease with which former Tory government ministers move into big business jobs in Canada is a sign that Ottawa needs stricter lobbying rules.
"These guys never seem to retire and go off and set up orphanages and head the HIV eradication program in Africa. They go to industries that are very closely tied to government policy," Mr. Angus said.
He said he'd like to see a requirement that all contact between former public office holders and the federal government be logged and made public in a registry.
Mr. Baird, speaking via Twitter, said his two jobs were cleared by federal Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson.
"I consulted the Ethics Commissioner before joining Barrick and before accepting CP's invitation to serve on their board. Got the green light," he wrote.
Under changes the Conservative government made when it took office, former government staffers and ministers are prevented from lobbying for five years.
But Mr. Angus says the definition of what constitutes lobbying is limited enough that former aides and politicians are still prized for their insider knowledge. Individuals employed by a corporation or another organization are only considered to be lobbying and obliged to record this with the federal lobbyists registry if they spend more than 20 per cent of their working hours each month on lobbying and preparation time.
He said the work of former politicians who advise corporate clients on how to navigate Ottawa – whom to call, what to say – is not captured by federal lobbying rules today.
"People who leave politics today are becoming advisers, not lobbyists. So you're advising on the political knowledge you have. You're trading your insider knowledge."
None of the ministers who've left the Harper government have been found in contravention of federal ethics rules.
Former minister of state for finance Ted Menzies left politics in 2013 to become president of CropLife Canada, an industry group for manufacturers, developers and distributors of biotech products. Chuck Strahl, who left cabinet in 2011, found work with pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. Merv Tweed, a former Manitoba MP, quit his Commons seat in 2013 to take a job as president of Omnitrax Inc., which operates the Port of Churchill in northern Manitoba.