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Foreign affairs minister faces a new foe – a wooden plank

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird prepares to chop at plank of wood in Ottawa, Sept. 22, 2012.

Serge Fournier/Department of Foreign Affairs

Foreign affairs minister John Baird is known for being someone you don't want to mess with in Question Period – and now he's an honorary black belt.

Mr. Baird has been meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Kim Sung-hwan, in Ottawa to work on strengthening the two countries' development ties.

"Canada and South Korea are two prosperous nations made richer by the shared values and generosity of our people," Mr. Baird said in a news release.

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On Saturday, he attended a reception for the capital's Korean community and Ottawa taekwondo instructor Tae E. Lee presented him with an honorary seventh-degree black belt and uniform.

To earn the black belt, though, he had to prove himself by chopping a plank of wood. Hence the picture.

And because you're probably wondering – yes, a foreign affairs spokesman said, Mr. Baird did break the board.

Remember: strike with the grain.

We posted this picture on our Facebook page and asked for the best captions. Here are a few of our favourites.


"I'm demonstrating fiscal restraint firsthand – you'll each get a clipboard, and I've just halved the cost!" by Darren Fajcz.

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This is exactly what Baird had in mind when Harper said "hey – take a crack at the Foreign Affairs portfolio..." by Douglas Calderwood-Smith.

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About the Author
Assistant editor, Ottawa

Chris Hannay is assistant editor in The Globe's Ottawa bureau and author of the daily Politics newsletter. Previously, he was The Globe and Mail's digital politics editor, community editor for news and sports (working with social media and digital engagement) and a homepage editor. More


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